Sunday, March 4, 2012

Highs and lows

So, my last post was about the "constructive layoff" my law firm did on February 24th. Since then, life's been pretty hectic. I was trying to decide what to do as I went about my week and worried about my loss of income.

My week started with a general feeling of vacancy and failure. I went about business as usual, thinking that some kind of activity under the commission-only pay structure was better than nothing. I met with another attorney from my firm in the area and did a ride-along with him. I came home, did my own thing, and fretted about what to do. I went to networking events; instead of promoting my law firm, I let people know that I was an unemployed attorney looking for work.

By the end of the week, I was facing the inevitable: it was time to dip into my dwindling savings and start living off of that again until I either started making commission or found a new job. On Friday morning, I went to a networking event at the Chamber of Commerce of a nearby town. It was a good event, but I was fretting and stressed. When it was over, I checked my cell phone. One missed call, and a voicemail.

It was an attorney I had spoken with at a networking event earlier that week, and he wanted me to call him back ASAP. I obliged; his office was less than a mile away from where I was, and did I want to come in for an interview? Um, yes.

Long story short, I spent a grand total of 7 days on a commission-only pay structure - i.e. effectively unemployed. My new job starts Monday.

Good: I get to be a lawyer. I get to get paid. The commute is pretty good, and it's in the opposite direction of traffic.
Bad: We probably have to put our dog down.

He requires pretty much round-the-clock care due to his age; he can't walk, and he is on an incontinence bed. He cannot flip himself over or anything.

It's a mixed bag. I'm happy that I'm moving forward with my career, but it's always sad to lose a pet. Plus, I have no illusions about the kinds of hours I'll be working henceforth.

Something else that was a little unexpected is that I am sad to say goodbye to my (now former) boss. While working for that law firm was tough due to all of the uncertainty and pressure that goes with being part of a start-up, the one thing I will say about my old boss is that he was a kind person. He genuinely seemed to care about his team, and he wished me nothing but the best. That's not something that can be said often about people working in the legal industry. In fact, I rarely ever see it in general.

I wish circumstances had been different. If finances weren't a concern, I'd want to stay with that firm indefinitely, just because working for a kind person is important to me. Sadly, I have six figures of student loan debt to worry about. For now, I need some kind of steady income coming in while I build my empire.