Career Managing Self Personal Development Planning

Making your dream a reality – starts here

Written by Allison Wolf

Do you have a dream about your career that you think may not be possible?

Some dreams are worth pursuing, even if they take a while to achieve. I know this for sure because this summer, after more than a decade of step-by-step progress, I am living mine.

I have a home on Salt Spring Island, and my dream has been to live and work from there full time. This summer I am spending two full months on the island working from my home office, meeting my clients with video calls and over the phone.

What made much of this possible for me are the significant advances in technology over this period. Now with remote access software, and high-quality video call services, it is easier than ever to be connected and face-to-face.

What also made it possible was my ability to shift beyond the mindsets that held me back, to abandon old internal beliefs about work that I had outgrown.

Why am I telling you this?  Because as a coach I know that settling for mediocre isn’t the way to go. Challenging yourself to achieve what is meaningful or important to you is vital.

If you are finding your work a drag, and your motivation depleted, consider making a change. I know private practice lawyers who have found fulfilling work as in-house counsel, and vice versa.

If you enjoy your legal practice, but like me, would prefer to live outside the city, consider a remote-working arrangement. Many lawyers I know are working remotely from their homes for their downtown law firms. They love the focused work they get done from their home offices. Abandoning the commute has given them the gift of added time and flexibility.

If you dream of taking a year off, to travel the world, or to explore some other pursuit, let me tell you about one managing partner I know who left his job as a senior associate in a top national law firm to make furniture for a year.  After his sabbatical, he returned to his legal practice with passion, purpose, and focus. Now a decade plus later is a leading lawyer in his area of practice.

What’s your dream? What’s calling you?  Don’t believe the inner voice that tells you it’s not realistic, or impossible. Don’t believe the friends or family members who will tell you not to take any risks. Instead, follow that quiet but insistent voice inside you that says, this matters, this is worth pursuing.  Speak to a trusted advisor and take one small step forward. More small advances will follow, and one day, like me working from my Salt Spring Island home this summer, you will have arrived.

About the author

Allison Wolf

I am the founder of AWAL and one of the most senior coaches for lawyers in North America. I have helped countless clients over the past fifteen years, develop thriving legal practices and before that served as director of marketing for award-winning law firms. My specialty is uncovering the thinking traps and gaps holding clients back and helping them acquire the mindsets, skills, and habits for growing successful and rewarding legal careers. After a career in legal marketing and business development with law firms in Beijing, New York, and Vancouver, I was trained as a coach in 2004 at Royal Roads University and now coach clients from across North America. You can reach me at or learn more about my coaching practice from the coaching section of the Attorney With A Life Website.

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