In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog

Three Bad Reasons to Stay When You Want to Quit

You know you want to quit, but something is holding you back.

Is it that you are afraid of an uncertain future? Maybe you're worried about making less money? You think people will look down at you for getting out of the business?

These may be the reasons you aren't leaving, but they are bad reasons for staying in a job you can't stand. Here's why:

Uncertain Future

Of course, the future is uncertain! If we all could predict the winning lotto numbers, we'd have a lot of crazy people trying to buy the White House. Thank goodness, that hasn't happened.

What it takes is a little strategy. Don't let a fear of the future freeze you in the present. Do your homework; make a plan; then go with it.

If you've checked it out thoroughly, the future will not look so uncertain. So your forecast may include some showers, but you can handle it with an umbrella. Most of the time, particularly for in-house lawyers going outside, it's just the change of environment that seems so scary.

Less Money

If you are reluctant to quit because it will mean a pay cut, join the club. That would be the club of people who are miserable in their jobs but stay for the money.

But if you have already resolved to quit -- and a smaller paycheck is the price -- then get used to it. Poor lawyers are the happiest, often the ones working for legal aid, non-profits and public interest firms.

That's because they really like what they do. Everybody knows money doesn't buy happiness, although you might want to quit until after you buy all those holiday gifts.

What Others Think

If you are seriously afraid of what others think about your career choice, why did you become a lawyer in the first place? We work in the most hated profession, right next to ertswhile executioners or something.

So don't worry about what your enemies think. As for peers, many will probably envy you when you make the break.

Besides, the people who really matter to you -- your loving family and friends -- will support you. We're talking emotionally, not financially.

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