How Your Career Affects Your Happiness (or: Are There Any Happy Lawyers?)

Rainbow Valley, originally uploaded to Flickr by rwangsa.Reader C wonders who the happy lawyers are… but I think this leads us to a bigger question that will hopefully make for an interesting discussion: how do you view your career in your general quest for happiness?

Hi Kat, I have a question for you and your incredible readers. I am an undergrad applying to law schools now for next fall and I do recognize the oft-quoted “realities” (from friends of family, professors, etc) of being a lawyer- mountains of dense reading, long (sometimes extremely so) hours, getting stuck in a job you hate just to pay of the $200k of student loans your education cost you. I sort of stumbled onto the idea of law, I wasn’t one of those who dreamed my whole life of putting away the bad guys or anything; I randomly found it through a class but I have never been more in love with a subject. I am an avid Corporette reader, but the things I read in the comments section of many posts terrify me and leave me to ask, rather desperately: Is anyone happy being a lawyer? I know everyone is different, had a different idea of “the dream lawyering job,” reacts differently to stress, etc. but if there is anyone out there who loves being a lawyer, it would be a huge comfort to hear about it!

First off: apologies to the non-lawyer/JD students among Corporette readers; hopefully our discussion will take us to greater truths about happiness and your career.  That said… reader C’s question is a great, great question, and I think the readers will give far better answers than I will considering that I never really found my happy sweet spot in the law, personally. Something I’ve heard often, and agree with wholeheartedly, is that there are two kinds of people: those who enjoy law school, and those who enjoy the practice of law. I am totally in the first camp of people — I loved law school, which I found to be filled with ethereal questions that you can ponder at your leisure and come to your own conclusion. There are clear paths to “success,” and good work is tangibly rewarded with grades and other honors. (Pictured: Rainbow Valley, originally uploaded to Flickr by rwangsa.) [Read more…]

Weekly Roundup

Liking these posts? Follow Corporette on Twitter — this is the edited version of what we’re reading! (We also Tweet if we hear about a good sale.)

Sotomayor6_sitting– Congratulations to Judge Sotomayer on her nomination. Ms. JD rounds up several articles about her, while Jezebel focuses on some of the more offensive reactions.

– Hot pink fuschia is the latest trend to hit both menswear and womenswear… Elle would be so proud! [WSJ]

– Two interesting happiness and balance articles this week, both from the NYT. First, researchers discover that not only are careers in finance or consulting bad for work/life balance, but they in fact are far worse than careers in law or medicine. Secondly, researchers found that the reported happiness level for women has dropped since the dawn of the feminist era. Perhaps ignorance was bliss?

– Shopping’s My Cardio offers some tips on how to make a “worthy” splurge.

– The Happiness Project offers tips on how to make conversation with a stranger — uber handy for summer office mixers, as well as for networking opportunities.

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