Money fears, we all have them.
What if I lose my job?
What if I can’t make the mortgage payment?
What if I can’t feed my kids?
My respect goes to those of you who have faced these money issues head-on, they are tough. Job loss is tough. Being responsible for the well being of not just yourself but your family is also hard. I am the primary provider for my family and so experience that responsibility every day.
And here’s what I know – money fears are a major trap keeping many lawyers in jobs that give little satisfaction and lots of stress.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Abramowitz had some assets that made his transition from lawyer to entrepreneur easier – no law school debt thanks to his parents – and it is important to note that wealthy parents or a spouse with a big salary are not requirements for making a successful career transition.
Big Law works as a great career choice for some and not so well for others. I have been privy to many successful transitions out of big law firms by people without major financial backing.
- Former trial lawyer Doug Jasinsky moved out of a big Canadian firm and founded the marketing agency Skunkworks.
- My friend, a single mom and former McCarthy Tetrault business lawyer, opened a successful boutique legal practice with a close friend.
- I know a single mom and former big firm lawyer who now happily runs her own solo wills and estates practice.
- A sole-provider dad with a young child at home, who left his big law practice to join a small regional firm.
And I know many other lawyers who have successfully transitioned their practices out of large firms to smaller firms, in-house, or out of law all together.
If your job feels like a straightjacket that is squeezing the life out of you, trust me on this one, change for the better is possible. It doesn’t have to be done in one go. Making a career change happens in small steps. The steps to take will depend on the transition you want to make. If you are feeling stuck, the first step is to reach out for help. A Coach or a Lawyers Assistance Program Counsellor can help you with figuring out your path forward.
Money can be an obstacle and not an insurmountable one. Beware of assuming that no movement is possible – get some advice instead.