Is There a Right Answer to Legal Career Doubts?

One of these days, there has been much ado following the discussion on Ruth Manus’s column on Estadão regarding the outrageous amount of people who supposedly have well established career and turn to a lighter lifestyle.

According to her:

Isn’t it high time we accepted that if someone wants to be a transnational company CEO, that’s fine; if they want work in a café, that’s fine, if that want to be a math teacher, that’s fine; if they want to be a student forever, that’s fine; if they want to make brigadeiro, that’s fine?

Upon reading it, millenials added much fuzz to the debate. A few days later emerged a response that resonated throughout social media, brought by Yasmin Gomes, which eventually brought us back to our feet as she reminded that ~it’s nothing quite like that~:

The reality in Brazil is not one where people just step down and set out to travel around the world. It’s not for those who throw it all out the window and go sell brigadeiro. We live in a place where most people allow themselves to be exploited because they need to earn something, even if it is just a pittance at the end of the month. There’s so much despair that if we do not accept such hideous conditions, someone else will. Someone good and competent, for that matter.

Look, there is no such thing as a perfect job. This never ending idea that we need to sell our labor in exchange for a dime only makes sense if we, as competent as we are, let ourselves get lost in that stream. The notion that if do not work for our dreams, someone else will hire us to work for their’s is a cliché, but that does not mean that it isn’t true.

Right now, Vladimir Passos de Freitas’s (a former Superior Court judge in Brazil) words make a lot of sense when he talks about the difficulties we come across throughout our career and the resilience we need to overcome them. All in all, he reminds us that if we do not toughen up, we won’t find any success. #NoPainNoGain I guess, right?

People who see themselves as poor little things prefer to stand down at the first obstacle. At times, with say eyes, they declare to be disappointed with the legal world, as if their virtues precluded them from succeeding amidst a corrupt society. In other words, ‘good and honest people like myself just don’t stand a chance in the market’.

If I still did not convince you, let’s change our focus and take a look at this TED Talk, which has a pretty obvious title: “If you do something, something will happen”.

  • Oh, but what I am going to do? How do I get started? How do I achieve something? How do I escape the script of an ordinary life?

Kid, have you ever heard of something called “the internet”? It’s a tool that has everything you imagine and more. That Shakesperian quote about more things existing between heaven and earth that our vain philosophy can imagine is nowadays more suited to the internet than to the world itself.

There are all sorts of websites that can help us with tips and career orientation, not to mention coaching initiatives all around. I have been mostly inspired by The Muse, which offers a wide range of daily tips on productivity, goals, projects and other interesting points that help us become more focused. (I couldn’t be more generic, I know, but trust me on this one)

During Law School, there were many times when I thought about ditching it. I always felt like I didn’t belong in the legal world, and my motivation came more from taking a part in student politics that the subjects I studied. That, without the shadow of a doubt, reflected on the friendships I nurture to this day and contributed to a clearer view towards what I wanted for my future.

Even so, my professors and internship bosses would tell me that every category and theory I studied in class would only make sense years after I graduated and jumped in my legal career. It took me a while to believe such promise, but it has been fulfilled day after day.

Was Law School boring? Yes, boring as hell, for a million reasons. But we need to bear in mind that a grad course will hardly ever please everyone the entire time. If we do not look for our field of interest and attempt to align our expectations and talents and invest a ton of pro-activity, we will get nowhere. Our diploma is only as good as we use it as a tool to leverage our talent, rather than just considering it an entitlement.

Vomiting theories all around will only make sense if there is a practical outcome (but please do not assemble the A-bomb)

The main reason I say this is because never in my life have I intended to be the standard jurist, trying to become a public servant or pulling a stand-up comedy move in court. People who go down theses roads do earn my respect, but can I do if I dream a different dream? A mere Law degree wouldn’t ensure a job neither the projects I develop in my profession.

All right. We cannot forget that no career is worth an unhappy life. If you’re not thrilled by what you do, if your heart doesn’t skip a beat, just stop. Do you think I have adrenaline rushes when I review a contract? Obviously not.

But being involved in corporate restructuring projects and actively contributing to them does make me feel accomplished. It is beautiful to be able to see what we do in the bigger picture. This is what makes me want to maintain my current work routine and invest in my abilities.

If the day comes when I’m no longer satisfied with my career, then I’ll just pack my bags and leave to someplace far away with my dogs. I’m not trying to go full #grateful, but before anything else, before despising a profession for not growing or before even having something to leave in the first place, we have got to make the experience-knowledge-pro-activity mix worthwhile.

That’s about it. Let’s go for it and leave our mark!

Hope you guys have a beautiful week!