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To want to give up my job and ask for your experiences?

(22 Posts)
Maybejustme Mon 11-Jan-16 20:25:05

I am a lawyer. It has always been a bit stressful but I think I'm fundamentally just not very suited to it. I have tried the City and in house and we have moved out of London and I have tried a regional firm but I'm still almost paralysed with fear some days at the potential for screwing things up. Months of CBT has helped a bit but hasn't solved it completely.

I would love to pack it in and be a SAHP but I just don't know if I'm brave enough. Please, I would be grateful for your experiences. Are there any ex lawyers out there who have re-entered the best workplace a few years down the line in a different field? I feel like I could spend my whole life on the edge of madness if I stay but am too afraid to close my eyes and jump. I don't know if I would ever be any use in any workplace ever again. Anyone else feel like this?

Babycham1979 Mon 11-Jan-16 20:27:50

I'd recommend looking at the thread from last week about a primary school teacher wanting to do a conversion and become a lawyer. As of Friday, there were at least 17 pages of horror stories from city lawyers who hated their work. You are not alone!

GingerPCatt Mon 11-Jan-16 20:32:12

Totally different job but similar circumstances. It was stressful and I hated it and it was effecting my mental health. I had to get out so had a long talk with DH about our finances. We could afford for me to quit and be financially stable for a few months but I would need to work.
Quit my job and have now found something part time that I'm really enjoying. The pay is less but it's enough and I am SO much happier.
If you are that unhappy and can afford it, quit! If it doesn't work for you as a SAHP then find a part time job in another area.
Life's to short to be miserable.

IonaNE Mon 11-Jan-16 20:32:54

Babycham (or someone else who remembers the thread), could you link the thread pls. I'd be interested to read it. Thanks.

Needtobebetter Mon 11-Jan-16 20:34:52

I'm not a lawyer/ex lawyer but I'm going through similar with my career at the moment. I'm on maternity leave but the thought of returning to work also paralyses me with fear. I can't relax at home knowing I'm going back and I don't feel capable of being a professional. I've just started on anti depressants and I'm feeling a little better but I just can't face my job. I'm not in a position to be a SAHM.

I've decided to leave and do something different, less demanding and not related to the field I've worked so hard to get into. I'm not sure how realistic it is to return to a career at the same/similar level after having a break, despite that not making anyone less qualified than they were. I suppose it depends on how quickly things move and change. I know mine will be difficult to get back into.

It's a hard decision but if, financially, you can manage then I'd do it without much hesitation if it's affecting you in such a drastic way. The risk you take is that your mental health gets worse and it affects your home life. Happiness has to come first, I'd do it. Good luck!

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Mon 11-Jan-16 20:35:29

I had to give up work to be a SAHP, not many people get that luxury (we were broke but I didn't earn the cost of childcare)
It's nice to have that time and be with the kids - you only get one chance.
Cross the work bridge when you come to it!!
Any chance of a sabbatical- even if you don't go back you may feel it's a safety net?
I have a completely different job now and love it - part time so still see the kids and mostly home when they are

Missdread Mon 11-Jan-16 20:37:25

If your health is suffering that much you need to do yourself a favour and cut back or pack it in completely. It is terrifying not having the career anymore (teacher here) ,being dependant financially on your partner etc but I can tell you that you won't regret spending that time with your little people! I always imagined I'd go back to teaching after having my kids but they actually need me MORE now they are in school. I just wouldn't be able to manage it all if I was running the home, running their lives and trying to work too. Now I've found a happy medium where I work from home writing whenever I can and still get to pick the kids up, drop them off at all of their clubs and put them to bed. Sure, it's not millions I earn but I feel very valued in what I'm doing for the family so it's all worth it xxxx hope this improve for you soon xxx

Duckstar Mon 11-Jan-16 20:38:30

If you want to be a SAHP have you asked your firm about a sabbatical/career break? You could effectively try out being a SAHP without having to commit to leaving work.

I'm at the Bar and know a few women who have taken a few years out and then returned. Most Chambers are happy to do this - one of the few joys of being self-employed!

I had similar feelings about my job after my first child. I went and saw a careers consultant to consider other options (Career Balance). They got me to look at what I wanted from work etc. I ultimately decided to stay at Bar for the moment, but am looking at the judiciary in the future. If you are uncertain about what you want you might find it helpful speaking to a career consultant.

AnyFucker Mon 11-Jan-16 20:40:52

no advice for you but I think this is the thread referred to earlier

Dixiechickonhols Mon 11-Jan-16 20:54:17

I'm a solicitor but only work part time since having a family. Part time definitely helps. I had a difficult few years but now DD is end of primary school i'm glad I stuck it out. If your children are young the worse may pass.

Have you looked at gazette and timewise jobs. Are there any roles that appeal eg in house support or maybe law college teaching?

What area of law do you specialse in?

Maybejustme Mon 11-Jan-16 20:54:20

Thanks very much, AF.

The "best" workplace? Apologies - stupid phone. Just as well I don't work in a field that requires attention to detail, eh?

AnyFucker Mon 11-Jan-16 21:02:10

If it makes you feel less alone, I suffer massively from "Imposter Syndrome" too and spend much of my working and non-working time waiting for the "axe" to fall. I have a stonking case of chronic insomnia to show for it too.

HerRoyalNotness Mon 11-Jan-16 21:11:53

Can you do something else? I know colleagues who worked in contracts for a construction/engineering company with legal backgrounds. Preparing contract scope, awarding and if you fancied in the later part of it, monitoring of them.

I would be very wary about giving up work completely. H dropped a bomb in our family a few months back and I am currently employed and stuck with few options (other complicated living arrangements). I can't believe I've been so stupid to not have been working these past 8mths.

HerRoyalNotness Mon 11-Jan-16 21:12:24

unemployed obviously

AnyFucker Mon 11-Jan-16 21:14:03

Yup, if it were a straight choice between continuing being able to support myself or becoming dependent on a man....I would keep working any day

Wanderer1789 Mon 11-Jan-16 21:44:05

Have you had a look at jobs for local councils?

I'm a public sector worker and know several ex lawyers who took up mostly unrelated positions in the council. Though absolutely their law experience helps massively.
Two I know are in the equality and diversity teams.

Also, lots of ex teachers in the schools service in the LA.

Public sector work isn't amazing pay usually, but you do tend to get decent hours and flexible working.

thisisbloodyridiculous Mon 11-Jan-16 21:45:49

Ex - lawyer here who left and started own business 18 months ago. Never looked back - life is much brighter and better now. Run as fast as you can & don't look back is my advice.

Pannacott Mon 11-Jan-16 21:58:33

Have you gone back to work yet? I had a non lawyer job and felt similarly, it was horrible. But I went back part time (3 days a week), and we also had an understanding that I could leave if I didn't feel differently. Those two factors together meant that I felt very differently about it and actually started to enjoy parts of it.

Bluewombler2k Tue 12-Jan-16 11:58:44

Different career to yours but similar situation to Sallyhasleftthebuilding I was getting overdrawn by working as my benefits stopped once DH and I got married nearly 2 years ago. I had a bit of money from the sale of my house with ExDP but this is running out now. DH got made redundant 2 months after I quit my job, is now self-employed but still no help with benefits. We are not quite on the breadline but it is a bit stressful. BUT it was still the best decision I ever made, I get to be part of DS's (he's 6) school life, chat with other Mum's, help him with his homework and just be there more than I ever could since he was 1. I don't regret my decision at all, and we also now have a dd who is 8 weeks old and I although I will be looking for pt work when she is a year old, I don't think I could ever go back to the way things used to be until they are both much older. I had a brilliant career, then a not so great but different career but I still enjoyed my independence. Things change and at the moment my life feels right because of giving up that job. Don't get me wrong, if my job was financially better I would have stayed working but I believe things do happen for reason.
Sorry for the long waffle, guess I am trying to say that if it can be practically be done and it's feels right for you, maybe take the chance and try it out?

LoisWilkersonsLastNerve Tue 12-Jan-16 12:53:33

I recently quit a well paying job that was causing me stress and health issues to be a sahm and work a couple of nights a week in a local shop. I don't regret it but earning less money is making me feel a bit useless. We won't be able to save as much or have the holidays we planned.

Potterwolfie Tue 12-Jan-16 13:03:01

I left a long hours, long commute job in the media when DCs were tiny and have never looked back. I have a v supportive DH and we agreed togther it was the best option for us.

I've worked freelance and flexibly ever since and it's been brilliant,and now as they near their teens, I'm thinking of getting back into a career, albeit in a slightly different direction.

A very good friend of of mine is a lawyer and did lots of freelance part time work with a company, before securing a four day week. ..There are opportunities out there, if and when you want to get back into work.

Your health and happiness are the most important thing, good luck!

Maybejustme Tue 12-Jan-16 22:48:14

Missdread, do you mind me asking what your new job is? Are you writing novels? That would be an absolutely wonderful path to take...

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