Work-Life Balance

A Job Jolt Could Change Life For the Better

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Mitch Kempker
Photo courtesy of Mitch Kempker

Economic meltdown, thousands of lost lawyer jobs, big-firm careers teetering on the brink: What could be worse for an attorney trying to build a successful and balanced life? Or, really, what could be better?

Economic collapse is perhaps the ultimate wake-up call, and experts say this year’s crisis has created a unique opportunity for lawyers to re-examine priorities and create a better balance between work and life. While transitions are admittedly uncomfortable and disruptive, for the many lawyers experiencing what psychologist Ellen Ostrow calls “life on a conveyer belt,” job insecurity or loss can provide a life-changing jolt.

“They put their heads down, and it’s relatively infrequent that they peek up and ask if this is where I really want to be today,” says Ostrow, a certified career coach in the Washington, D.C., area.

A layoff or transition forces a reassessment of lifestyle choices: Do I really want to work this much? Do I really need to make this much money? And this, experts say, is where the upside emerges.

Read the full story “Letting It All Hang Out: Job jolt could change your life for the better” in the July ABA Journal.

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