Last year, associate attorneys topped the Forbes list of unhappiest jobs, beating out customer service reps, clerks and legal assistants. Garbage collectors, dishwashers and janitors didn't even make the list.
Seriously? People who have to clean up other people's messes have less to whine about than associates? Well, they're doing a job that makes the world a better place every day; maybe that makes a difference. Or maybe we should look at The Wall Street Journal's longer and arguably more sensible list.
But let's focus on the positive. Last year, associates topped the list; this year, they're not on it at all. Security guards now have that honor, which makes a lot more sense. Bank managers, accountants, customer service reps, store managers, sales execs, tech support reps, marketing managers, sales managers (again?), and machine operators completed the field.
What does this tell us, other than that it apparently sucks to be in sales? Probably nothing, so let's just launch into a list of why it's so awesome to be an associate:
- They're employed. That's always good.
- They can make good money, anywhere from $164,000 to $204,554 for BigLaw associates according to Business Insider, although the National Association for Legal Professionals will show you some different numbers.
- They're sexy. Riiiight. According to Salary.com, whose taste we might question, lawyers are number ten on the list of most sexy professions. Right behind doctors. Firefighters were number one, of course.
- As lawyers, they've got prestige. Although a little less than doctors, again. At least we beat out doctors on the list of professions most appealing to psychopaths -- we're number two! Right behind CEO's. In competitive lawyer mode, we would like to note that doctors are number nine on the list of professions least attractive to psychopaths, so we beat them quite soundly there. Number one most admired job: firefighters. Of course.
Are you a happy associate? Do the Forbes surveys make any sense? Do you wish you were a firefighter? Please share your thoughts on the FindLawLP Facebook page.
- Want career satisfaction? Don't chase money and prestige, lawyer survey suggests (ABA)
- A Happy Lawyer is a Good Lawyer: 5 Ways to Get Happy Today (FindLaw's Strategist)
- Legal Day Job Got You Down? Put on a Pro Bono Happy Face (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)