Hobbies and side hustles can seem like a distraction when you’re on the law firm treadmill. But cultivating interests outside the law is often the ticket to figuring out what you really want to do career-wise. In this episode, Helynn Nelson shares about becoming a level 3 sommelier—and how it helped her figure out that she wanted to leave the law, and what she wanted to look for next.
If you haven’t yet, make sure you listen to episode 057, where Helynn shared all of the details about how she went from an employment litigation associate in Biglaw to working in human resources at Google.
In this episode, Helynn shares about:
- What her day-to-day in human resources at Google looks like.
- Becoming increasingly disenchanted with the practice of law, and wanting an out.
- Traveling to South Africa with her husband, falling in love with the wine, and opening a business together intending to import South African wine.
- Volunteering to be the one to learn more about wine so that someone could knowledgeably construct their company’s portfolio.
- Progressing through the levels of certification, culminating with level 3 certification, which involved a year of classes and a 3 day exam.
- Feeling like she had to hide her pregnancy at the law firm, but that it was a superpower when it came to identifying wine by its nose.
- Getting to the point where having an outside interest that was supported by her legal career—wine and pursuing her certification as a sommelier—was the only way to make it feel worthwhile.
- Sitting for the level 3 exam three weeks after her daughter was born—and passing.
- Pivoting from importing to consulting because of the priority shifts of motherhood.
- What she got from the world of wine that she didn’t get from the legal world.
- The experience of friends who have stayed in the law and are at the pinnacle of their legal careers, questioning whether it’s actually sustainable and looking for an exit.
- Why (and how) you should surprise yourself when it comes to your career.
Connect with Helynn:
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/seedless_somm/
- Helynn’s podcast, Wine Fault: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/wine-fault/id1515142473