Do you love your work?


For many lawyers, the answer is no. The thrill is gone and if they could, they’d do something else. 

But what? 

I don’t know. But I do know there’s an answer. Something you can do that allows you to use your skills and interests and pays you as much—or more. Something gratifying and “just right” for you.

Ready for some good news? You might be a lot closer than you think. 

Before you decide to jump ship in search of work you love, what if you could stay where you are and simply stop doing work you hate? 

Yes, it’s possible.

Start by making a list. What do you hate about your career or practice? Daily tasks, responsibilities, rules, people, costs, lack of time, lack of fun—everything. Don’t hold back. Get it all out of your head and onto paper. 

Feels good to vent, doesn’t it? It’s practical, too, because acknowledging what you don’t want is the first step towards getting what you do want.  

But first, another list. This should be a list of everything you like about your work. 

Think about a typical day or week, see yourself doing what you do, and write down the things you’re good at and enjoy. 

You might realize that there’s more good than you thought. More good than bad. And gain some perspective you didn’t have before.

You might appreciate the good things, the good people, the positive you do to help others. You might feel a lot better about everything and if so, that alone has made this exercise worthwhile.

But there are still bad things, right? What do you do about those? 

Make another list. Think about the things that cause you pain, the things you’d like to eliminate or fix. And then, brainstorm possible solutions. 

Start with the big things—your practice area(s), partners, clients, markets, and your marketing methods. Changing one of these could make a huge difference. It could provide you with the career and work you’ve previously thought missing.

Then, look at the other things you do. Your workflow and resources might need a refresh. What would you change about how you handle cases or create work product? What would you delegate or outsource if you could?

Pretend you have a magic wand and could eliminate or change anything. What would it be?

If you had more employees, or fewer? Bigger clients or more of them? Shorter hours, a simpler schedule, or a few new ways to bring in more business?

You might not have the complete solution, but you’ve got a place to start. And realize that you’re a lot closer to doing the work you love.