Remembering TCPaul, 2016-2019

Job or sanity???

If you are truly sick and tired of the current, soul-sucking catwoman33301/29/19
It doesn't have to be one or the other. You can eat healthie tcpaul01/30/19
Agreed on this. Compartmentalize. Make healthy changes in jd4hire01/30/19
Well, I did put up with it for 2 years until I just couldn't fettywap01/30/19
Don't let snakes take a toll on your mood. Pathetic loser triplesix01/30/19
I was almost a therapist before I went into law so thought I newjag1701/30/19
In my experience quitting a job you hate or are seriously bo ambulancechaser201301/31/19
Most of us need jobs to live our lives. Therefore, if you ar wallypancake01/31/19
Totally agree with Ambulancechaser and Wally: Love the an newjag1701/31/19
or find another job while you work... If your current job is confused1l9301/31/19
Totally agree! Rationalizing like that should not be an endp newjag1701/31/19
I communicated my point poorly. It was not meant as a means jd4hire01/31/19
OP: while I don't disagree with any of the above advice-espe toooldtocare01/31/19
One of the reasons I like this site is there is truly some g newjag1701/31/19
I was in a bad job once, for about a little over a year. I jeffm01/31/19
Thank you, everyone!! I deeply appreciate all the time you catwoman33302/02/19
Do you speak another language? Can you apply for citizenship mtbislife02/05/19
I speak some limited French. My G-parents were Italian citi catwoman33302/06/19
Sounds good, and I've thought about it, too. Instead, I wou jeffm02/06/19
Well, I'll take a different view. If you've got no responsi toooldtocare02/06/19
"Lisa, if you don’t like your job, you don’t go on strik david6198302/06/19
Kind of reiterating what other posters have said, but if you doublefriedchicken02/06/19
You build a fu*k you fund. I cannot stress how important thi ternarydaemon02/07/19
^^^ The fu*k you fund is key to your mental health and caree palmtree1902/11/19
A friend still in the trenches sent this to me about a contr lifeofleisure02/12/19

catwoman333 (Jan 29, 2019 - 11:16 pm)

If you are truly sick and tired of the current, soul-sucking, exhausting job grind, burned out to the extreme point of utter mental and physical zombiedom but, at the same time, so scared to just quit because you fear lengthy unemployment/inability to support yourself/poverty, what should you do?? Continue to wreck your health and sanity and waste precious months, years of your life forcing yourself to do something you despise and will ultimately regret, or just roll the dice, throw caution to the wind and just "Do it!!"

Serious replies appreciated.

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tcpaul (Jan 30, 2019 - 5:48 am)

It doesn't have to be one or the other. You can eat healthier, find time to exercise, and look for another job, all while working your current job. Don't fall into the trap of thinking your option is one or the other. Don't let your job mentally hijack you. It's self-sabotage. You can get your s&!% together. You can. So do it.

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jd4hire (Jan 30, 2019 - 9:02 am)

Agreed on this. Compartmentalize. Make healthy changes in the other aspects of your life and make job hunting your #1 priority. Leave with the first good offer.

Also, this isn't a suck it up, but I always remind myself how hard others have it. Whether it be the people in Venezuela who can't afford toilet paper, the homeless guy I see on my commute every morning standing in freezing temperatures or those working factory jobs in the late 1800s. While your situation likely sucks, the human mind and body is an amazingly resilient thing.

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fettywap (Jan 30, 2019 - 12:12 pm)

Well, I did put up with it for 2 years until I just couldn't take it anymore. Then I complained, got fired, and we're in litigation. I had money in the bank at the time though. I don't think I would have had the courage to complain if I was broke. I also got very lucky in finding a job that paid more right away. Most people probably end up in a lower paying job and unhappy. So, I don't know. Start sending resumes and try to find a better job, but don't do anything without thinking that you may regret.

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triplesix (Jan 30, 2019 - 1:57 pm)

Don't let snakes take a toll on your mood.

Pathetic losers who have any power strive on it.

In the mean time, start arrangements for a new gig. If you don't let them screw with you, they will eventually get rid of you anyway. Just do your work and ignore the drama.

Don't quit now... You don't have to and you need the money. Unless you got family to bail you out.

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newjag17 (Jan 30, 2019 - 2:15 pm)

I was almost a therapist before I went into law so thought I would post:

I actually agree with a combination of the other words of advice on here--

1) First, you are definitely in a much better position than many, many people not just in the world but the U.S. as you not only have presumably a home, food, financial resources but you also have a high education. Regardless of some of the negative talk on here about the legal profession, a law degree is definitely something to be prized. Hell, enough people sure keep wanting one. Many opportunities can be found outside of law even if it means getting some additional education like a masters, certification etc

2) Definitely focus on other aspects of your life like fitness, travel, hobbies, relationships---

3) If you can, maybe taking some time off to seriously reflect on what you want to do moving forward--shut out distractions or even go somewhere to think and be honest with yourself.

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ambulancechaser2013 (Jan 31, 2019 - 12:23 pm)

In my experience quitting a job you hate or are seriously bored at is like no longer working out and eating whatever you want. At first it feels great but later you will not like it as you are getting fat and unhealthy. I’ve been there.

At the end of the day, in my opinion, money talks and bs takes the bus. If you hate your job find another one while you are still employed. Working for yourself makes sense if you can keep the lights on AND you know what you are doing. You need money, experience, and a source of paying clients.

Let’s say you do WC or collections work, two areas of law that I hate and would never want to do for the rest of my life or at all.

Start running and going to the gym. Make time for it. 30 minutes a day and run 3 miles. Work up to it. It will make you feel much better. Eat healthy while you are at it. When I did these things my quality of life was higher.

Then apply to a different area of law. Try learning something about it. Then go on interviews. If you can/ are willing to take a pay cut then you may get the job.

Don’t despair.

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wallypancake (Jan 31, 2019 - 1:04 pm)

Most of us need jobs to live our lives. Therefore, if you are in a bad position and do not have a viable alternative, you need to make lemons into lemonade. Not a good idea to just throw caution into the wind. There are techniques that you can employ to help your psychological condition...

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newjag17 (Jan 31, 2019 - 1:44 pm)

Totally agree with Ambulancechaser and Wally:

Love the analogy about "not working out and eating whatever you want". It is truly much easier to get different employment while still employed--at least you are continuing to accrue money, experience, time employed.

I'll use my personal experience: So I have been a DA my entire legal career--never had any desire to work at a private law firm. However, I have other interests besides the criminal law world, however, my challenge was always--"How the hell would I manage trying another area without leaving a gig I like"

When I discovered JAG Reserves, for me that was a solid pathway worth looking into since I would be able to:

--Serve (something I always wanted)
--Keep current solid gig (didn't want to uproot, sell house, etc)
--Do something that would allow me to try a different area of law

Now while JAG may not be the answer for everyone, it is an example of how to expand horizons. Another example may be to connect with your bar association and do some pro bono work, free seminars in different areas and see if there was something that attracts you. That definitely can be done while still employed and taking care yourself physically/mentally.

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confused1l93 (Jan 31, 2019 - 1:44 pm)

or find another job while you work... If your current job is that bad AND you need active income to survive your job hunt should be the only think your really thinking about.

DO NOT THINK stuff like "I have it better than other people." If you want your life to be better than use ALL YOUR BRAIN CELLS to make it better. Rationalizing the situation you don't like simply doesn't work... Yeah people in Africa are starving but it does NOT change the fact that you hate what your doing for most of the day. That's no way to live.

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newjag17 (Jan 31, 2019 - 1:47 pm)

Totally agree! Rationalizing like that should not be an endpoint--a starting point just to get some positive vibes going then use your brain cells to make it better for oneself individually.

Excellent point, Confused!

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jd4hire (Jan 31, 2019 - 3:38 pm)

I communicated my point poorly. It was not meant as a means to rationalize and stay there, but as a means to stay positive while working to better one's self. My point was not to allow a poor situation to become all-consuming. Stay positive and focus effort on making a move...that was my point.

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toooldtocare (Jan 31, 2019 - 2:22 pm)

OP: while I don't disagree with any of the above advice-especially the point that it's a lot easier to find a job when you've got a job-I can relate to the situation where something has to give, one way or another. What I'm trying to say is that I've been in situations where all you can do is walk away. However, before making any decisions, explore the following:
1. What are your responsibilities-in other words, other than yourself, who are you taking care of? If others, could they survive you just walking away from your job? And if the answer is "no" then you need to have a conversation with them about what's going on in your life, how the job is making you crazy, about what if anything they can help you with.
2. What do you own, and what's your debt? If you quit, is it ok with you to lose whatever you may have, and mash your credit?
3. What's the plan if you leave? Find another job? Hang out at the beach? Hike the Andes?
It's important to have a plan, even if others may not agree with it.
I was at a crossroads like this once, but it was relatively easy because I was single with no dependents and didn't own anything except a very old car and education debt. So yes, I decided to "do it" but if it all fell apart, the only casualty would be me.
You're in a tough spot; no matter else it may be helpful to get counseling, as often that can help separate the minor annoyances from the major problems.

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newjag17 (Jan 31, 2019 - 5:21 pm)

One of the reasons I like this site is there is truly some good counsel, opinions and life experience on here--

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jeffm (Jan 31, 2019 - 6:01 pm)

I was in a bad job once, for about a little over a year. I hated that job. I wanted out. I was afraid because I was dependent on it. I was ultimately let go due to boss's financial issues. It was the best thing that ever happened. I was scared as heck, and it was agonizing - no doubt. But once I got over it, I was so relieved he pushed me into the water and made me swim. I simply was not capable of doing this for myself and had to be forced into it.

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catwoman333 (Feb 2, 2019 - 12:15 am)

Thank you, everyone!! I deeply appreciate all the time you spent responding and your detailed, thoughtful, kind comments and encouragement. All wonderful suggestions!! I haven't yet figured out whether I am burned out on this job, the area of law, the legal profession in general (or all 3). As the old joke goes: "I love law practice. It's just the clients I can't stand!" LOL

In this work, I encounter so many unreasonably demanding, intensely angry, even sometimes scary (mentally unbalanced) people screaming on the phone, constantly complaining about their lives in vivid detail. And, of course, they always blame the lawyer if their case is not won. After 10 years of this grind, I find it EXTREMELY wearying. I have nightmares about work. I worry about angry clients filing frivolous "vengeance" bar grievances.

I also find American culture (BTW, I was born and raised here)--with its increasingly louder/noisier, faster-paced, more overcrowded, expensive cities, depressing news, noisy, angry, divisive politics/culture wars and public discussions (on TV, internet, social media)--increasingly nerve-wracking and toxic, which doesn't exactly help my mood and work productivity. (But that's an entirely other topic, I guess, so forgive the digression.)

I spend a lot of time fantasizing about just chucking it all and moving overseas to a much cheaper, quieter, and saner existence--at least for a few years (if not permanently). Perhaps some day I will muster the courage to do just that!..:-) If any of you has done that, lived abroad for a few years, I would love to hear about your experience!

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mtbislife (Feb 5, 2019 - 3:43 pm)

Do you speak another language? Can you apply for citizenship on the basis of your parents being from another country? Many jobs I see abroad are in tech/IT. Teaching English abroad for pennies most likely would not bring you much clarity. Also, you will always be viewed as an outsider. If you are serious about leaving then you will need to spend at least a month in the given country and check everything out as the internet is typically not reflective of the true experience.

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catwoman333 (Feb 6, 2019 - 3:49 am)

I speak some limited French. My G-parents were Italian citizens, and I think I can get "fast-track" Italian citizenship on that basis instead of waiting a full 5-7 years of residency required of people with no family ties there.

Re: jobs, I know it would take awhile to find something other than teaching English (which, BTW, often pays room and board), but so what? Teaching English--even for a year or so--while "detoxing" from law practice and exploring the rest of the world sounds pretty relaxing and idyllic!! There are more important things in life than just $$$. And who knows? I might meet someone there, fall in love, and then life trapped in the American Rat Race is history...:-)

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jeffm (Feb 6, 2019 - 8:45 am)

Sounds good, and I've thought about it, too. Instead, I would suggest you might be better off staying here. Once you quit, you will need to re-establish a new vocation. Your time would probably be more productive in this regard if you focused in a locale you consider to be a permanent residence.

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toooldtocare (Feb 6, 2019 - 9:36 am)

Well, I'll take a different view. If you've got no responsibilities to anyone other than yourself, and the job is genuinely making you crazy, then make a change. Draw up a plan first, and remember that you'll be starting all over again, no matter what you do.
But I've worked with too many people desperately unhappy at work, who end up alcoholics or pill addicts or similar. It affects their health, their careers, their families.
But this is a big deal; you are literally blowing up your life and starting over again. Unless you are a recognized expert at your field of law, it will be very tough to go back again. That's why it may be helpful to get counseling to see what's going on; is it the job or something else, and it can give help identifying issues and determining what's a big deal and what isn't. And if it's the job, then you've got a decision to make: stay or go. And if you go-another job or recreate your whole life?
If it helps, it's not that uncommon, what with all the stories about lawyers stating restaurants or doctors driving trucks or similar. But you are starting all out all over again, no matter what you do.

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david61983 (Feb 6, 2019 - 8:21 am)

"Lisa, if you don’t like your job, you don’t go on strike. You just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That’s the American way.”

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doublefriedchicken (Feb 6, 2019 - 5:15 pm)

Kind of reiterating what other posters have said, but if you don't have any dependents or strong ties to the local area, then moving overseas and teaching English is probably a good idea. You might be burning bridges to your legal career, but it doesn't seem to be helping you anyway.

As for difficult clients, it is important to remember that your are not a social worker or a therapist. It's kind of like a brain surgeon. You didn't put the tumor in the brain, you are just trying to do the best you can with the situation presented. No need to get emotional or take any of it personally. I haven't dealt with bar complaints, but I guess the bar gets many frivolous complaints a year. You can't control that so why worry?

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ternarydaemon (Feb 7, 2019 - 3:31 pm)

You build a fu*k you fund. I cannot stress how important this is for various undertakings in life. Depending on how you see it, a fu*k you fund equals to six months of full life expenses in liquid savings, or twelve months of greatly reduced life expenses (less entertainment, clothing, etc.).

You can build a fu*k in 3 years while working AND being frugal. Since your expenses will be commensurately reduced, control your spending and credit, work out, even if you have to run on the street and lift concrete blocks, eliminate frivolous expenses, purchase used as much as you can, use buck purchases as much as possible. Read, have hobbies and pretty much begin to forget about the rat race, and you will begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel in some years, to the point where being fired or quitting a job will be strategic decisions, not tragedies.

Easier said than done if you have children or family, in which case you are screwed or fu*ked, and you should welcome a life if indentured sevitude and pseudo-slavery, just like the baby boomers; but without the benefit of retirement or wages increasing with inflation!

If you are earning 65k a year in a high COL area, while having 100k+ in non dischargeable debt, then you really need to consider your debt as never-to-be-repaid debt, and manage the interest via various debt relief and assisted payment programs. The so called tax bomb should not worry you that much, since the tax impact will be against your taxable assets and income, which will not be much anyway 15 years into the future, if not being non-existant, or you may even have a negative worth, in which case the IRS will not really have a case against you.

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palmtree19 (Feb 11, 2019 - 11:36 pm)

^^^ The fu*k you fund is key to your mental health and career trajectory.

The best thing I ever did was threaten to quit unless my boss hired someone to help me (I was swamped at the time). I only had the courage to do that because I had 6 months of living expenses in cash, a paid off car, and no student loans. It worked out: my threat to leave got me a raise and reduced my workload by 1/3 at the same time. Unfortunately, the job market for lawyers is abysmal and you need fu*k you funds before trying that.

A quicker way to gain the same edge is to marry well and live on the lesser of either of your incomes. It sounds draconian/masochistic, but it's not that bad if you're both professionals and on the same wavelength financially. If you can manage this, you'll both *immediately and permanently* have fu*k you money. As a bonus, you'll be able to generate genuine wealth relatively early in your life.

If you (1) hate your job, (2) don't have savings, and (3) can't find an employed spouse, maybe you need to ask yourself if you've been getting in your own way. *Spoiler Alert* Yes. It's you. You need to reevaluate everything.

My advice? Don't move to Europe/Asia to start over. That's crazy. Move to a LCOL small town w/in a half hour of a flagship state university with a research hospital.

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lifeofleisure (Feb 12, 2019 - 12:01 pm)

A friend still in the trenches sent this to me about a contract attorney he worked with who got suspended from the NY State Bar. Friends says this person was mentally unstable ten years ago...it looks like it all caught up with him into delusional and psychotic behavior with multiple, involuntary trips to Bellevue.

https://law.justia.com/cases/new-york/appellate-division-first-department/2018/2018-ny-slip-op-02583.html

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