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#1
So, I've been an attorney for around 15 years and I'm totally burned out on it. Never made partner, take orders from guy who does not really know how to handle cases very well, or manage his firm, which is frustrating. Kind of an "office space" situation.

The frustration I feel at work seeps into my personal life, affects my time with wife, kids. A week ago, I basically pulled an "American Beauty" move, giving boss 2 weeks notice because I'm spent, depressed, etc. (only realized this is sort of like guy in that movie last night, and we know that did not end all that well for Kevin Spacey). Maybe with some time to clear my head, this will seem like big mistake, but they say insanity is doing the same thing over and over hoping for different results, and staying at this job right now seems insane to me.

There's some book I read long ago called, "Who moved my cheese," about not being afraid to switch things up when you are not feeling fulfilled by your present course. Of course, the book was not written, specifically, for a family man with kids, mortgage in a recession.

I've been sort of brainstorming what I might do for money once I'm out of this job. These include:

1. Solo lawyer / start own practice. But it is risky in terms of how soon I'd get enough profit to pay bills. And, if I'm burned out being a lawyer, will this be any better than my present job? I'm thinking I might try to carve out a part-time solo practice working from den, if I can find clients that do not mind that sort of approach. Maybe even try to get work in music industry (though most of my experience is in litigation).

2. Freelance writer / novelist, etc.

3. Artist (have done glass fusion, chalk drawings, etc., for personal pleasure, not money).

4. Manager for kids (get them signed with talent agency, try to get them modeling / acting gigs)

5. Poker player (I used to be pretty good, won seat in 2005 WSOP Main Event, but never got to be "great" or steadily making profit, so I have not played in about 6 years, but could go back, try to improve my game)

6. Massage therapist (have about 300 hours training from years ago, enough to get license, hang shingle out, but market is tough for this line of work right now).

7. Yoga teacher (close to finishing certification program, could be teaching within six months if I am diligent)

8. Concert promoter. I live in San Fernando Valley and I feel like I could try to bring some good musical acts to local venues so residents don't have to drive "over the hill" to Hollywood, Santa Monica, etc., to hear great music. Like smaller jam bands, world music stuff. Anyway, not thinking that'll pay much (or even show profit), at least to start with.

9. Web designer. Used to be into computers, but my know-how is decades out of date, too much so to become software designer, but maybe I could pick up web design pretty quickly if it has short learning curve?

10. Med marijuana coop delivery / dispensary. A friend wants me to open a Medical Marijuana Delivery service, which is quasi legal here, if you do right paperwork. As lawyer, I think I could handle the paperwork, but also seems a bit risky. I have a friend of a friend who does this in Orange County and is ready to show me his business model, so I'm not reinventing the wheel. But it feels funny to be parent making living as pot dealer. And are there turf wars? I've heard some ethnic group (to remain nameless) has monopoly on Valley dispensary business, and maybe they play rough if they sense competition?

11. Blogger. This combines a lot of my skills. Can blog on law, on parenting, on social issues, on music theory, on philosophy, etc.... But can you make money off it? I dunno.

12. Starting restaurant. I'm a pretty good cook, have my "Top Chef" moments and a lot of personalized, custom recipes, like idea of creating my vision for great restaurant, healthy food without compromising flavor. Would probably need small business loan from SBA or something. My brother in law is out-of-work accountant, could probably help me create business plan. Have no idea what profit margin of restaurant is, I know most close down within a year of opening.

13. Rock climbing gym. I love climbing / bouldering. There are some good outdoor bouldering places in the Valley, but I know of no indoor climbing place in this area. I think to provide training in controlled environment, and weather-proof climbing facility, there is a local need that is unfulfilled, and it would do well here. Again, would need small business loan probably. Does SBA do this sort of thing? Anyone know how hard it is to get a business loan?

14. Something music related. Not technically good enough to busk. I'd love to sell some of my original songs, does not seem likely, at least not in near future. I'd love to learn more about music engineering / recording... I don't know, if I took one of those professional courses in sound engineering, is it hard to find paying work when you graduate?

I'm really just looking for how this all sounds to objective third parties, even if comments are negative. Can't really count on objective advice from friends / family. Maybe I need wake up call or something. And, too, I think I just have too many ideas, kind of freezes me from committing any one direction. Would be nice if I can cross off any of these things based on comments from people who do this sort of thing, have tried this sort of thing. Also would be good to hear thoughts of other mid-life-crisis people on how they cope, short of maybe doing something drastic like I'm sort of doing.

Ken
#4
Quote by krm27
The frustration I feel at work seeps into my personal life, affects my time with wife, kids. A week ago, I basically pulled an "American Beauty" move, giving boss 2 weeks notice because I'm spent, depressed, etc.


"Selfish" and "father" don't belong in the same sentence.
This is why I don't like arguing on the internet.
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#5
Number 10 is my favourite and probably most likely to succeed. Combine that with the restaurant and you're golden!
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#6
Does your wife work? If so, how far does her pay stretch in terms of paying bills etc.?

Quote by Zombee
"Selfish" and "father" don't belong in the same sentence.

He didn't use either of those words.
#7
What's your track record during those 15 years?

If you've done great work and won't have trouble finding work if you decide you want to go back, then I don't see that huge an issue, even if you decide on a different field - it's not like a law degree is going to disqualify you from much other than jury duty, and a lot of companies would probably value having someone with legal knowledge.

It sounds like the job's ruining your life, so clearing your head, reevaluating your life, and figuring out what to do now does make some sense, assuming you have enough money stowed away to support your family until you get a job again.

Speaking of family, probably a good idea to talk this over with them if you haven't already. "Honey, I quit my job" can't be a good thing to walk to the table with one night.

Also bear in mind I'm just a random college student, so I'm not speaking from personal experience on any of this, I'm speaking from observation of people, markets, etc. so take my words with a grain of salt.
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Last edited by necrosis1193 at Mar 15, 2013,
#8
Quote by raoooos
Does your wife work? If so, how far does her pay stretch in terms of paying bills etc.?


He didn't use either of those words.

he's being a selfish father.
This is why I don't like arguing on the internet.
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If only you could back that statement up.
Quote by Zombee
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Last edited by Zombee at Mar 15, 2013,
#9
13. Rock climbing gym. I love climbing / bouldering. There are some good outdoor bouldering places in the Valley, but I know of no indoor climbing place in this area. I think to provide training in controlled environment, and weather-proof climbing facility, there is a local need that is unfulfilled, and it would do well here. Again, would need small business loan probably. Does SBA do this sort of thing? Anyone know how hard it is to get a business loan?


Do this one, it sounds cool.
Quote by jakesmellspoo
ooh look at me i'm ERIKLENSHERR and i work at fancy pants desk jobs and wear ties and ply barely legal girls with weed and booze i'm such a classy motherfucker.
#11
Quote by Zombee
he's being a selfish father.

in what way? and where did the cute snarky gif go?
#12
Quote by raoooos
in what way? and where did the cute snarky gif go?


I'm saving it. In the way that he's taking his family through an unsure financial future because he doesn't like his job... and all of those alternate options sound like they came from a 17 year old's list of possible majors.
This is why I don't like arguing on the internet.
Quote by damian_91
If only you could back that statement up.
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Quote by damian_91
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#13
It's not as if he can't go back to being a lawyer if things don't work out for whatever reason.
Quote by jakesmellspoo
ooh look at me i'm ERIKLENSHERR and i work at fancy pants desk jobs and wear ties and ply barely legal girls with weed and booze i'm such a classy motherfucker.
#14
If you are not doing something that makes you happy, then there is nothing wrong with deciding to change. You are alive, you may as well live.
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#15
Quote by ErikLensherr
It's not as if he can't go back to being a lawyer if things don't work out for whatever reason.


Thats true. Still, though, work is work. It isn't fun. It pays for your family and yoga and weed and rock climbing. I think the smart move is to move forward and decide on the next job before leaving the current one. Leaping stone to stone only works when you have one to land on, so to speak. Nah meen?
This is why I don't like arguing on the internet.
Quote by damian_91
If only you could back that statement up.
Quote by Zombee
Wolfgang's Philadelphia Study. Look it up yourself.
Quote by damian_91
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#16
i dont agree with zombiee that he is a "selfish father" but you should have DEFINITELY not quit your job without having that backup option in place, or atleast have narrowed it down to a solid 2-4 choices.

as for me i would suggest against the dispensary since right now you still can get dicked around by the u.s government.
Last edited by chud123 at Mar 15, 2013,
#17
AND PLEASE PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEE dont be a talent manager for your kids. it will ruin your relationship with them and it is NEVER a good idea to put the financial burdens of a family of 4 or more into the hands of children/ teens.
#18
Yeah, do what you want but make sure it won't **** up your family's life.
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#19
Quote by Zombee
I'm saving it. In the way that he's taking his family through an unsure financial future because he doesn't like his job... and all of those alternate options sound like they came from a 17 year old's list of possible majors.

That was literally the weirdest part to quote to make your case

The part about him saying his job is affecting his relationship with his kids and he wants to fix it.

lol
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#20
Quote by Zombee
Thats true. Still, though, work is work. It isn't fun. It pays for your family and yoga and weed and rock climbing. I think the smart move is to move forward and decide on the next job before leaving the current one. Leaping stone to stone only works when you have one to land on, so to speak. Nah meen?

I agree with you there, this seems like it could've used more forethought. But it's done so, may as well move forward. Firstly by eliminating nebulous stuff like "blogger" or artist or pimping out your kids and focusing on the realistic ideas like growing weed.
Quote by jakesmellspoo
ooh look at me i'm ERIKLENSHERR and i work at fancy pants desk jobs and wear ties and ply barely legal girls with weed and booze i'm such a classy motherfucker.
#21
Quote by chud123
AND PLEASE PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEE dont be a talent manager for your kids. it will ruin your relationship with them and it is NEVER a good idea to put the financial burdens of a family of 4 or more into the hands of children/ teens.

I think he meant other kids, not his own.

But I have literally no idea, if only he were around to reply
#23
Quote by ErikLensherr
I agree with you there, this seems like it could've used more forethought. But it's done so, may as well move forward. Firstly by eliminating nebulous stuff like "blogger" or artist or pimping out your kids and focusing on the realistic ideas like growing weed.


I wouldn't recommend growing weed. It can be done, but California is pretty competitive to try and get your weed sold legitimately. Plus for a novice there is a lot to learn especially by trial and error, and you never know what can happen with criminals and cops.

Each of these possibilities, like I said before, sound like adolescent dreams. "Yoga can't be hard", "Weed growing cant be complicated", "Professionally making art or music is only a matter of talent/practice", "My kids should be famous", "I'll open a restaurant".... These sound like ideas you get off an 8ball.
This is why I don't like arguing on the internet.
Quote by damian_91
If only you could back that statement up.
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Wolfgang's Philadelphia Study. Look it up yourself.
Quote by damian_91
No need to, absurd generalizations aren't my thing.
#24
Lol, how could you suggest something so outrageous, erik.
Quote by Sliide90027
But as a bigoted lemming, you have so cry an Alinslyite slur revealing you lack of reason and sense.


Quote by MusicLord16
BOB 1. ur 20 and two u like evil things and idk if u worship the devil
#25
Hey my first preference is still the rock climbing gym, I'm just saying his friend of a friend who runs a dispensary already and who's willing to show him how it all works make it sounds like a more viable option than the rest and he may as well take advantage.
Quote by jakesmellspoo
ooh look at me i'm ERIKLENSHERR and i work at fancy pants desk jobs and wear ties and ply barely legal girls with weed and booze i'm such a classy motherfucker.
#26
Dude

I am in law school (only a 1L) and this is something that has worried me. Law seems like one of those gigs where people invest tons of time and money, then, totally get fried and move on.

I am curious to see what you decide to do bro. Good Luck!

What kind of practice are you in?
#27
Quote by Zombee
I wouldn't recommend growing weed. It can be done, but California is pretty competitive to try and get your weed sold legitimately. Plus for a novice there is a lot to learn especially by trial and error, and you never know what can happen with criminals and cops.

Each of these possibilities, like I said before, sound like adolescent dreams. "Yoga can't be hard", "Weed growing cant be complicated", "Professionally making art or music is only a matter of talent/practice", "My kids should be famous", "I'll open a restaurant".... These sound like ideas you get off an 8ball.


While I agree that the list of idea's aren't all practical, I think you're dead wrong in saying he's selfish for wanting to improve his and his family's lives by quitting a soul crushing job that is negatively effecting his outlook and his relationship with his family. Obviously he needs to find a solution where he can still be a provider, but we don't know his wife's situation either do we? A career change and desire to be fulfilled by your life's work is not selfish. It's bravery.

Yes, I understand that work is work. Most people don't like their jobs. But that means we should just be complacent and accept mediocrity because that's just the way it is? Maybe it's because I'm still young enough to have hope, to not be crushed into submission. But I say fair play to those who dare to dream.
#29
Quote by krm27

The frustration I feel at work seeps into my personal life, affects my time with wife, kids.

Quote by krm27


3. Artist (have done glass fusion, chalk drawings, etc., for personal pleasure, not
money).

5. Poker player (I used to be pretty good, won seat in 2005 WSOP Main Event, but never got to be "great" or steadily making profit, so I have not played in about 6 years, but could go back, try to improve my game)

6. Massage therapist (have about 300 hours training from years ago, enough to get license, hang shingle out, but market is tough for this line of work right now).

7. Yoga teacher (close to finishing certification program, could be teaching within six months if I am diligent)


So you have/had time for all of these extra activities, but it's the Monday-Friday
lawyer gig that's keeping you from your family?
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#30
If you didn't make partner, it's because you didn't try hard enough. There are no excuses, only challenges and opportunities. Rise to the challenge or find opportunity elsewhere. Don't leave your entire family stranded because only you are lost. Man up and figure your shit out.
#31
quit your job and do something else that is more fun.
everything will work out fine, people get way to stressed and it really isnt worth it.
now extra flamey
#32
Luckily, you have a wide variety of interests and a good deal of skills and qualifications to boot. My two cents is that the bouldering or rock climbing gym seems like the best idea. It seems like there'd be a great market for it in your area, and its a growing sport that I think you would love catering to.

Best of luck I commend you for taking what's basically a leap of faith. My wife would want me to do the same
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#33
Quote by thingstodo
...find opportunity elsewhere.

That's exactly what he's talking about doing and you're berating him for it.
Make up your damn mind.
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#34
Quote by DartS17
So you have/had time for all of these extra activities, but it's the Monday-Friday
lawyer gig that's keeping you from your family?

Ummm...
5. Artist (have done glass fusion, chalk drawings, etc., for personal pleasure, not
money).

5. Poker player (I used to be pretty good, won seat in 2005 WSOP Main Event, but never got to be "great" or steadily making profit, so I have not played in about 6 years, but could go back, try to improve my game)

6. Massage therapist (have about 300 hours training from years ago, enough to get license, hang shingle out, but market is tough for this line of work right now).


Maybe his kids weren't born then.

Anyways, I really think TS should do what he loves. Yeah it sounds pretty selfish because he has a wife and kids, but if he's really fed up with his job, that means there needs to be some kind of change. The last thing to risk is his unhappiness projecting on his family (and so far he says it's "seeping in").

But since we live in the real world...

...TS, first completely talk it over with your wife. Tell her/remind her that your career is making you unhappy. Does she understand? Will she support your decisions to change career paths? Will she be willing to stretch her job (if she has one) to cover the bills? If any of those answers are yes, map out a plan of attack for a new career path.

If any of those answers are no, I'm sorry but you'll have to do what you have to do. Go back to being a lawyer and work your ass off to make partner.

Back to new career paths, in my opinion #6, #7, and #13 sounds realistic. This is coming from someone who works at a gym. Have you thought about combining the three ideas for a single facility? Go for the certifications, and put yourself into it 110%.

If nothing seems to work out, maybe you just need a vacation or some extra free time (to do something for yourself). Maybe this whole thing is just a phase. Find constructive ways to outlet your frustration (like doing art or music projects on the weekends - you don't need to turn it into nothing more than a hobby). You may have to sacrifice these career dreams for your family, but keep your head. Don't let your family get caught in the crossfire. Give them and yourself nothing but happiness.
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Last edited by Mathedes at Mar 15, 2013,
#35
You guys, he said "Manager for kids" not "Manager for my kids." A little reading comprehension would go a long way.

TS, it sounds like a lot of your frustration is directed towards your particular place of employment, not the line of work in general. About half of your ideas seem far-fetched, so if you do decide to completely exit the legal field, don't do it to be a blogger or a poker player....
#36
Lawyer?

Get a job cleaning out the shark tank at Sea World.
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#39
White collar problems.

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#40
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White collar problems.

there's nothing wrong with improving yourself or your life, no matter your status. you're probably kidding but it's still worth saying. plus lawyers aren't that wealthy anymore, the market got a little bigger and they don't take as much money home anymore.
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