Do you think there’s something wrong with you because you don’t like being a lawyer? Do you wonder why everyone else seems to be able to handle it while you feel unbelievably miserable? There is nothing wrong with you!

On episode 044 of the podcast, I shared about another myth that keeps lawyers stuck in jobs they hate: that there’s something wrong with them because they don’t like their job.

There are so many lawyers out there who think that not liking their job is an indication of some kind of failure on their part.

It’s not.

Listen in to hear about my experience with this phenomenon and why it’s so insidious.

Other episodes in this series:

Mentioned in this episode:

Episode transcript

TFLP 044: There Is Nothing Wrong With You

Intro: 

Hi, and welcome to The Former Lawyer Podcast. I’m your host, Sarah Cottrell, and on this show I interview former lawyers to hear their inspiring stories about how they left the law behind to find careers and lives that they love. Let’s get right to the show. 

Sarah: 

Hello, everyone! This week on the podcast we are going to continue with the series talking about myths that lawyers believe that keep them stuck in their jobs. 

So last episode, we talked about the myth of the perfect next step. And this episode, we’re going to talk about the myth that there’s something wrong with you if you don’t like working as a lawyer. 

Okay, so here’s what I’ve seen, and this is also what I experienced myself. I was working in Biglaw and I didn’t like it. But I really thought that I should like it. Right? I had always been a high achiever, checked off all of the boxes, school and law school. And in my mind, I was supposed to like the job that I was doing, because it was, you know, relatively prestigious, it paid well. I should like it. 

And there was a long time where, on some level, I knew that I didn’t like it. But I thought that that was some sort of failure on my part. I thought there was something wrong with me because I did not like that job. 

And, as I mentioned, this is not just something that I’ve experienced, it comes up over and over on the podcast. And I talk to people all the time who are having the exact same feelings: They don’t like their job. They’ve worked really hard to get there. They think they should like it. And they think there’s something wrong with them. 

Instead of saying, “Hey, this job is not a fit for me,” or even maybe, “This job is toxic, and I need to get out,” they turn it towards themselves. And they say, “I should like this. And there’s something wrong with me that I don’t.”

So that is a myth that will keep you stuck. And that is a really tricky one. Because it is very common that on some level, if you’re unhappy with your job as a lawyer, that on some subconscious level, you are thinking, “Well, I should like it. There’s something wrong with me that I don’t like it. Maybe somehow I’ll figure out a way to like it.”

And yes, like, maybe you’ll move practice areas, maybe you’ll move to a different type of law, a different type of work, move into the court system or government. But the reality is that even if making a move to a different type of law and not just moving out of the law entirely is the answer for you, the ultimate answer in terms of what you should do, you’re not going to be able to figure that out if you’re constantly telling yourself, “There’s something wrong with me for not liking what I’m doing now.” 

I mean, here’s the thing: you don’t like your job? That’s totally normal. It doesn’t mean that you have some sort of moral failing. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. It just means that you don’t like your job!

So the best thing that you can do if you find yourself thinking this way, or if you notice this sneaking into your subconscious thoughts, is to just do everything that you can to let go of that “I should like this” guilt. Okay? Because that doesn’t serve you. It doesn’t help you move forward. I’ve seen it myself and I’ve experienced it. 

So this is your reminder that there’s nothing wrong with you if you don’t like your job. 

I will talk to you all next week!

Outro: 

Thanks so much for listening today. I absolutely love getting to share these stories with you. If you haven’t yet, subscribe to the show, and come on over to formerlawyer.com to get even more support and resources in your journey out of the law. Until next time, have a great week!