Time for a change at work – my Eureka moment
From the sublime to the ridiculous….or not?!
I can’t tell you when or how it happened but one summer’s morning sitting on the M1 in yet another traffic jam, the 100 mile round trip a day to Milton Keynes lost whatever attraction it may have had.
A senior lawyer in a high net worth team for a national law firm the attraction of a well managed firm, rather nice offices and clients who ranged from being on the Sunday Times Rich List to multi-million pound lottery winners lost its allure – the fact that I had passed my 60th birthday and had spent my whole working life in the legal profession may also have had something to do with it!
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So with no more to do I resigned or rather retired – to hell with the pension pot and deferring my state pension until 65. As I had just sold my house and released some capital there really had to be more to life and I was going to find it.
I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my notice period and received such wonderful letters, emails and presents from clients and colleagues that perhaps working for a national firm wasn’t that bad – no it isn’t but the thought of no more targets to meet – for chargeable hours a day, billing and conversion rates – no, it was definitely time to go.
However as so often happens in this profession within three weeks of retiring and through an old friend, I found myself appointed as consultant to a small firm in my local town.
They needed help with building and marketing a private client team and two to three days a week with a 20 minute commute sounded wonderful. As my GP had already told me “After working at the level you have for all these years, to stop suddenly would not be good for you”. Plus of course, there is the pension.
So I find myself in a 3-partner firm in Corby a million miles away from a 132- partner national firm – or is it?
As lawyers we all moan, it is part of our DNA and we tend to think the grass is always greener. While the travelling is better and the pressure is definitely off , in reality as I found out during my first departmental meeting, there is very little difference other than the number of bodies and the figures being discussed. The same problems affected both firms; the same type of people moan or take centre stage and all refuse to change. The partners and staff at both firms work just as hard and face the same challenges.
My new firm’s clients may not be on the Sunday Times Rich List but they are just as important.
So did I make the right decision? Most definitely, yes. The only downside is that having spent all those years in a national firm I find to my horror that I am now obsessed with risk management!
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