I have a wonderful family life, and I have a brilliant and loving fiancé who I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with. My problem is work related: I went to law school, passed the bar, and I’ve been a lawyer for two years. Prudie, I hate being a lawyer. I tried Big Law, a job at a corporation, and nonprofit work, each one with the idea “maybe I’m just in the wrong type of law/environment.” I’m done experimenting with law. I want out. It’s making me miserable, and it’s making everyone around me miserable (via me being a weeping sad sack). It gives me terrible anxiety, and I feel like I can’t do the work. I have people telling me that I can do it, but I just need someone to accept that I can’t, without a pep talk about how I just need to do x, y, and z and I’ll be able to do it just fine. I liked law school, but I just don’t like the practical application of law, I guess.
I have looked at all those “escape the law” websites, but they all advise going into fields that I have no experience with. One just said “be a CEO” as if that was simply achievable. If it were feasible, I would just get a job like I used to have (I was a waitress, although I’m not sure if I actually miss being a waitress or if I just miss being 22), but I have student loans that would make this impractical and would put a lot of financial responsibility for the household on my fiancé. It doesn’t seem fair to expect him to support me when I could, feasibly, suck it up and keep doing this job (albeit poorly and miserably).
I talk about this with my therapist, which helps. She tells me that if I’m that miserable in my job, I need to find something else that I can tolerate. But I’m so afraid that no matter what I do, I’ll have the same experience. I’ll hate it. I’ll dread waking up in the morning. I’m at a loss. Do you have any advice on how to figure out how to move forward?
— Beat Down in Buffalo