Suit of the Week: MICHAEL Michael Kors

Michael Kors suitFor busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

I haven’t noticed this suit before, but Bloomingdale’s lists this among its bestsellers.  Tailoring on the model aside (that hem is too long!), it’s refreshing to see a full-length pant — with full-length sleeves!  Both pieces are actually affordable, and the pants at least are available up to size 16.  The jacket (MICHAEL Michael Kors Notch Lapel Blazer) is $250, and the pants (MICHAEL Michael Kors Wide-Leg Pants) are $175.

Ladies, which are your favorite budget suits? Which are your favorite black suits?  

Psst: if you haven’t checked it out, here’s the Corporette Guide to Proper Hem Lengths



  1. looking for jewelry to wear with this dress. It’ll be for an evening wedding. TIA!

  2. I have had a welcome surprise this week…

    Recently, I have felt like I waste a LOT of time on the internet, both at work and at home. Just wasting time and not really doing anything productive. (Present company included, unfortunately…)

    So, I got a Chrome add-on that will cut off your access to sites you list after a certain amount of time that you set. I listed every time wasting site I could think of and set the limit to 45 min per day (which is cumulative, not per site).

    I have been pleasantly surprised to discover that Monday and Tuesday, I didn’t hit that limit until I was at home after work and messing around on the internet! I’d been beating myself up a bit mentally about wasting so much time, and now I discover that even though I take a lot of short breaks to check this or that, they actually don’t add up to much. So that was nice! And turning off mindless internet at around 7:30 PM prompted me to do some reading on Monday night. (Although was replaced with mindless TV last night…)

    • Yay Kat! I love Michael Kors and Bloomie’s, but Pant’s suit’s are NOT for the judge or the manageing partner. BOTH insist on seeing my leg’s! FOOEY in the winter b/c it is so cold out, but at least in the summer, the short skirt’s the judge like’s are cooler then the long skirts most women lawyers wear to court. But THAT puts the ONNUS on ME to keep my leg’s in shape, b/c Dad think’s they look like Steinway Piano Leg’s! DOUBEL FOOEY on Dad for being so sarchastic!

      Myrna is comeing over tonite so we can watch TV and excercise at the same time. Now that I got rid of her freind’s freind, I no longer have to think of the COTTAGE CHEEZE in his teeth or his funky fish smell in my apartement. What a releif that is!!!! But I still need a guy to help me make a baby. Grandma Leyeh said I should advertise in the P’ost or the Villiage Voice for a guy to do this, and she said that I would NOT have to pay if I did it NATURALY, but I would PREFER a Sperm Bank, where I could choose the guy based on the catalog. There was a Vince Vaughn movie I saw where he was the father of alot of kid’s from a sperm bank, but I do NOT know why so many women wanted HIS sperm? Is he considered a good catch? I would perfer Ben Afflack or Ryan Reynold over HIM! But I guess alot of women would want his sperm.

      For now, I am waiting for my prince to meet me on Madison or Park Ave. I’ve stopped walking down Lex b/c of the slush and the cars. Dad say’s it’s best to FACE traffic, so I walk DOWN Madison and UP Park. Mabye I will meet a RICH Hedge Fund guy on Park one night and NEVER have to work EVER EVER AGAIN!!!! YAY!!!!!

    • Cinnamon Gelato :

      That’s a nice surprise!

    • What’s the add-on? Thanks!

      • Baconpancakes :

        Yes, please! I need this!

      • It’s called “StayFocusd”. It’s free fit download from the Chrome web store. I don’t think it works for other browsers but they may have other similar apps.

  3. Anonymous :

    I just got an email about J Crew’s new arrivals and I was surprised to see their popular Cece ballet flat is being made in Italy once again. I know they got a ton of flack when they stopped making them in Italy, so maybe this is a step towards returning to the quality roots they used to be known for. Anyone a fan of the shoe? I’m thinking of trying a pair.

    • I’d be curious to know this as well. I’ve heard rumors that JCrew is returning to its roots or something (I never really shopped there back then) and it would be great if they had a quality flat. If they come in wide and are supportive, I might want to try a pair too.

      • They are neither. I find JCrew shoes horrendously uncomfortable, they’re narrow, blocky, and lack support.

        • I have very picky feet but for something that I’d just wear around the office, I’m not too concerned about the lack of support. My feet are narrow, though, so that’s not a problem for me.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, I wouldn’t call any of the flats “supportive”. Cute, yes. but not structured enough to qualify as support.

    • TO Lawyer :

      I had one pair of the Cece in suede that were so incredibly comfortable, before they changed it and there were complaints about them. I highly recommend! I may have to seek out more pairs now that it seems they are back to the original.

    • Anonymous :

      I love the original Cece flat! I have a wide forefoot and narrow heel and very high arches and could wear them all day. I ordered a half size up.

      Very excited about this news!

  4. Anonymous :

    What’s your guilty pleasure snack at work? All I want is a Cookies and Cream bar right now. And a coconut milk mocha.

  5. Anonattorney :

    Not a fan of the wide-leg pant trend – at least for suits. Who does this flatter? I think it just looks very sloppy.

    • I LOVE wide-leg pants. SO MUCH. Can’t wait for them to stage a comeback.

      • Anonattorney :

        What body type do you have? How do you style them? I’m honestly curious. I’m not particularly fashion forward, so maybe I just can’t envision how you can wear them for work.

        • Wildkitten :

          She’s a ginormous lizard so I suspect she mostly does whatever she wants.

        • I have substantial booty and belly (unsurprising for a monster, I know) and feel like the wide legs balance out my legs. I make sure that I have structure somewhere else in my outfit (around my shoulders or waist). And obviously, no dragging hems.

          • Anonymous :

            I have the same body type but I can’t deal with wide leg pants even if they’re more flattering. They remind me so much of the flares from the 90s and 00s, I can’t get over it.

        • Anonymous :

          They flatter me… I’d describe myself as medium height, very full busted, muscular shoulders, short but not too slim waisted, slender hips/bum, and muscular thighs. The reasons I think it works for me is that the pants accommodate my thighs while being tight around the hips, and the silhouette lends to shorter and more fitted tops, which helps the bust/shoulders/waist issues.

        • Skinny pants won’t be in style forever. One’s eye adjusts.

          I’m tall with substantial hips and thighs. I love a wide leg trouser (not flares, true Katherine Hepburn style trousers) worn long with proper hem length (less than 1″ from the ground) and wedge heeled shoes, and a longer cardigan on top.

          • Anonymous :

            Completely agree.

            Skinny pants don’t work for the vast majority of suit wearers. Even in NYC.

            Wide leg trousers are pretty classic and what the majority of women can pull off well with tailoring and a good heel.

          • +1. This is me too.

    • Anonymous :

      Not a fan, but this suit is ultra-sloppy. You could not wear those pants without the hem becoming nasty. I get gowns that hit the floor, but they’re not really multiple-use pieces.

    • MY EYES!! :

      Hem those pants, seriously!!!! ACK, so much sloppyness!

  6. Quick Politics Question :

    So my coworker and I were having a friendly discussion about the current candidates. My coworker skews right and I skew left but we are both very moderate. My coworker just mentioned that he had really discounted Cruz because of his personality but was surprised to learn that he has argued before the US Supreme Court x number of times. I responded acknowledging that but not being able to get over his or the other republican candidates stance on women’s health issues. I realized I had absorbed a talking point without being well versed in the issues. My coworker asked if there were issues beyond abortion, planned parenthood and birth control and I really didn’t know. So without belittling those three big issues, are there women’s health issues beyond that?

    • Anonymous :

      Parental leave?

      • Anonymous :

        And consider PP funding in terms of providing many services to women, beyond abortion or contraceptives.

    • Anonymous :

      Equal pay.

    • Wildkitten :

      Medicaid expansion.

    • Freedom from r*pe and assault, harassment, “benign” s*xism, etc. – just because most male politicians dgaf doesn’t mean these issues shouldn’t factor into your voting decisions.

      • Also, who cares if Cruz argued in front of the Supreme Court? As someone who was in his former debate league, I can attest to the fact that knowing how to “talk pretty” doesn’t mean you actually know anything. You would not believe how many debaters could run their mouths with NO substance behind the words.

        • Anonymous :

          I wonder how many APDA alums there are here!

        • Anonattorney :

          Yeah . . . not really sure how this has any relevance to his qualifications for president. He’s undoubtedly very smart; I believe he graduated first in his class from Harvard law. But that doesn’t mean you can just discount his political views.

          • I didn’t know anything about him really (I had discounted him based on his political views right from the start), so I was surprised to learn that he argued in front of the Supreme Court, went to Harvard Law, and is objectively smart. Doesn’t mean I agree with his politics at all, but I was surprised to learn those things about him.

          • Anonymous :

            This is my main issue with Cruz. He clerked for Rehnquist. You don’t clerk for a Supreme Court Justice if you’re dumb. And yet some (a lot) of the things he says are so out there that you know he’s just pandering to the lowest intellectual level of his base. Somewhere along the line, it became a political liability in this country to be an intellectual and it drives me nuts.

          • anon prof :

            He wasn’t first in his class, but he meets wants people to think he was. He is one of the biggest jerks I know. Trust me on this.

        • Wow – I always wondered who else from APDA would be on here :)

    • Anonymous :

      Welfare benefits and SNAP (food stamp) benefits, such disproportionately are needed by women, especially women of color. Adequate nutrition is part of health.

    • Anonymous :

      Funding for diseases related to women, or funding for diseases where the majority of the data relates to (white) men. Example – heart disease. Most of what we know about heart disease is based on data gathered from men. There is data now showing up that women experience some forms of heart disease differently from men, and should have different recommendations, symptoms, expectations from therapy.

      Or, data on issues relating to pregancy (hard to study because it’s not ethical to do many types of drug/behavioral studies on pregnant women). Health education for women (young women), s*x education (though this applies to both genders).

      Domestic violence, abuse and mental health stigmas – which affect both genders, but at least the first affects women more so than men.

  7. Zika has been mentioned on here a few times. I recall us complaining that all of the focus was on the woman when the men should worry about it too. Here is an article that says the risk may be greater for men as carriers. It dies fairly quickly in the blood stream (how mom passes it to baby) but we don’t know yet how long it stays alive in semen.

  8. I’m over the amount of crap I’m carrying in my work purse.

    Can someone, who drives to work and parks on site,so access to car in case of emergency, give me an idea of what they carry in thier bag, keep at the office or in the car and or what duplicates you have.

    • I honestly keep nothing in my car. What are the things you feel like you need to have? Here’s what I have in my work bag all day: Laptop, notebook, pens, small hairbrush, wallet, sometimes an extra power cord if I’m running around the building that day.

      In the morning, I also have a pair of work shoes that I change out of at my desk (and leave the driving shoes under my desk all day).

    • Wildkitten :

      Why don’t you empty your purse into a canvas bag, except for your phone and wallet, and see if you miss anything during the day?

    • I take the train. My work purse has all of my telephones, batteries, wallet, keys, work ID, lipstick/eyeliner/random coupons. That’s it. If I’m bringing lunch, I shove the purse in a tote with my food.

    • Purse: Wallet, laptop, phone, notebook, pens
      Car: Chapstick, coins/emergency credit card hidden away
      Desk: Pretty much anything and everything you’d find at Walgreens (food, beverages, OTC meds, hair/makeup supplies, hose, etc.)

      I also keep laptop and phone cords both at home and at the office.

    • If I am not taking work home with me, I have my purse which has my wallet, sunglasses, lipgloss, keys, pen, other random junk that I don’t use during the day, haha and my lunch bag, which has my lunch and sometimes snacks like fruit. In my desk drawer I keep lotion, tissue, lots of non-perishable snacks, tea. I keep a jacket, tennis shoes for walking at lunch, phone charger, and water bottle at work. I don’t really keep anything in my car.

      If I am taking work home, then I also have my computer bag with my laptop and any files I need. This is not often that I take this back and forth though.

    • Purse: lipstick, chapstick, phone, wallet.
      Car: sneakers, blanket, extra sweater, flashlight, ibuprofen. Honestly, I’m mainly concerned about breaking down in the winter.
      Office: Deodorant, powder, hair smoothing creme (dupe of what I have at home), period supplies, blush and a hairbrush. If I were more advanced I’d have some mascara, eyeliner and tinted moisturizer here. I work in a very casual environment and my major goal is to be able to look more put together in a hurry if I happen to have a surprise big meeting and either didn’t put on makeup that morning or want to freshen up.

    • I’ve had too many lipsticks and glosses melt in cars over the years. I keep nothing in there

      I drive to work (in SF, go ahead and judge me) and I carry a sizeable tote bag. In the main bag compartment i carry my laptop, iPad, a small calendar/planner, a small case with various chargers and cables and my earbuds, wallet, and sunglasses case (which either has my sunglasses or regular glasses in it, depending on which I’m wearing at the moment)

      In side pockets I carry my iPhone, building security passes, portable charger. One inside pocket holds a lipstick and a compact (which I use for the mirror). In a larger zippered compartment I have a couple of feminine supplies, nail clippers, emery board, collapsible hair brush, lip balm, a pretty pill case filled with Aleve tablets, a small tube of hand cream, one eye pencil and a portable fillable makeup brush that has some of my foundation in it.

      I have a 50% travel schedule and this bag also works as my carry on. I never seem to be missing anything. And I also never take anything out at airport security.

    • RE associate :

      No purse. Carry phone (case has a card slot for license and one credit card), access badge, and car key (no house keys because I have a keypad). Charger in car. Everything else in the office.

      It’s awesome not to carry a purse.

  9. Anonymous :

    I’m a practicing attorney taking the bar exam next week and I’ve been consistently getting less than 50% on my BarBri practice MBE tests. I also don’t have much grasp over most of the essay subjects because I just haven’t had time to do many practice essays, and there’s no overlap between the essay subjects and MBE subjects. I’m panicking because I feel like I was doing so much better when I took my first bar but I also may have passed that bar by a big margin. I’m in a state with a high (75%+ normally) pass rate so I’m trying to remind myself that most people will pass but it’s hard not to feel like I’m doomed. Any advice for my last few days of study or comforting words? TIA.

    • itsme1987 :

      I’ve taken the bar exam in three states and passed all three (a range of difficulty among the three). If you are unfamiliar with the essay subjects, you may have to make up some points of law. The key is to make it up, stick with it, and apply it as stated. Make sure you follow the suggested essay format for your state to a T. That said, do not underestimate your common sense! You probably know more than you think. Time management is key under any circumstances when taking a bar exam–but especially when you are not confident, you cannot let yourself fall into a trap of second-guessing whether your made up point of law makes sense–just go with it. When I took the MBE a second time, I got a lot more right on the actual test than I did during practice and a lot more than the first time I took the test. You passed the MBE before, and you can do it again! I really think you will pass.

      • itsme1987 :

        I wrote this assuming you took the MBE before — if not, getting around 50% on the Barbri Practice tests seems really normal. The practice tests are much harder than many of the real test questions IME.

    • Just took the July bar and did Barbri. How did you do on the full mock MBE? I was panicking for the last week or two because I was scoring around 50% consistently on the short (10-20 question) samples. I think I was around 70% on the full mock at the midway point (and that was top 90-something % of all takers). The short practices toward the end of the program are just much harder. I passed the MBE by a lot. Barbri MBE is harder than real MBE (even though everyone during the bar complained real was harder).

    • When a took a bar exam after practicing for a few years, I was hopeful that the fact that I actually was a lawyer would show in my writing and approach to legal questions and convince the graders that I should be a lawyer in their jurisdiction. I recall one question about preliminary injunctions. I hadn’t studied that in particular, but in all jurisdictions it’s pretty much likelihood of success on the merits and irreparable harm. And posting a bond if the court deems security appropriate. There have to be some freebies for you! Plus your competition in February is generally less impressive, so if you can pass one bar, you can likely pass a Feb bar.

    • For the essays, I would just outline and then read the sample answer, rinse and repeat. Doing those repeatedly will help you.. the same major issues get tested over and over on the essays.. also see if you can get a hold of one of those charts that tracks the subject matter of the essays test to test.. that may give you some (albeit take with a huge grain of salt) idea of what will be tested. At this point, I wouldn’t spend too much time writing out essays in full.. just outlining in 10 mins (or whatever you allocate).

  10. Would you rather be well paid but stuck in a job title that’s lower than what you want OR have a higher title, but make less? And why?

    • Anonymous :

      Definitely the former. Job title ranks about eighth or lower on my list of important things in a job, after: pay, quality of work, collegiality of co-workers, hours, job security, opportunities for advancement, and commute. Basically, job title is just really unimportant to me.

    • Totally be more well paid. I have lots of power irregardless (HA!) of title, show me the money!

    • I would be REALLY tempted to go for the title, and honestly it’s because I am insecure and even superficial “prestige” makes me feel better…..But ultimately, the responsible choice is to go for money over title so you can save more for retirement/emergencies/if you get laid off.

      Unless you mean job responsibilities would be commensurate with title, in which case, probably title because of prestige but also because at least in theory it positions you to get more money later on elsewhere. And because the work would be more interested.

    • You can’t eat titles.

    • Yeah my question would be where you see yourself in another few years. If you’re happy where you are, then I’d say money with lower title, but if you’re thinking about further advancement/changing companies, I would say title so you are better positioned to go farther later on. Also of course depends on how much of a $$ discrepancy and how important that money is to you but then we’re getting into really specific details (i.e., if we’re talking about 20K difference with a household income of say 300k, maybe title is better anyway, but if we’re talking abotu $50k in a household income of 150k, then money).

    • Depends. Does the title come with non-$ benefits like a better career path?

    • Anonymous :

      De-lurking to comment on this because it’s a subject to which I have given some thought. I am a court commissioner. Broadly speaking, we do the same work as judges for 15% less pay. Our judge colleagues treat us as equals; the attorneys who appear before us often call us “judge,” most of the people who appear before us don’t even realize we’re not judges. But it sucks to have to explain what a commissioner is, every single time you meet somebody new at a party.

      So while generally I would take the money, my colleagues and I are in general (if sorta joking) agreement that we would take a 5% pay cut in exchange for a job title with the word “judge” in it. (Like the federal magistrates, who some years ago magically became federal magistrate judges.)

    • Anonymous :

      I would go for the one that is more challenging and opens more long term opportunities, regardless of pay out title. I like to do interesting and challenging work, so whatever aligns to that.

    • I’ve thought about this quite a bit, especially when I switched jobs about a year ago. I have the same title I had at previous position, but make 25% more than I did before. An adviser told me to only move to a new organization for a better title, but my new job is also at a larger organization with more room for growth, and is highly visible. All in all, I’m fine with the title for now, and expect I’m in a better position to improve both my title and my salary in the not-too-distant future.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      This would entirely depend on what type of work came with each position – if I was getting the type of work I wanted and the rest of the benefits/requirements were basically the same between the two positions (similar vacation time, commute time, benefits, and length of workday), I’d want the position where the work and responsibilities were most in line with what I want to do. If the work was also mostly the same and literally the only difference was the “better” title, there’s no way I’d take a pay cut just to sound fancier at networking events.

    • Anonymous :

      This depends a lot on your level and what you want long term in a career. If you are early management and want to get to a senior role someday, then having “associate manager” when you do director level work and get director level pay will likely be an issue when you want to go somewhere else.

      If you are mid career and have had a variety of titles, and now you are, say, doing VP level work with a director title and VP pay (and bonus and options and benefits etc) then it matters a whole lot less.

      I’ve been a VP before but make more now, 5 years later, in a Sr Director role. Total non-issue for me but I don’t have aspirations much beyond the VP level.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      If you want to stay at the company long term, go for the salary. If you are considering a move in the next few years, title. The title could sound more impressive in your job search. Also think about the responsibilities, potential for promotions, and connections you can make in each position. It’s not always so cut and dry with salary and title.

      • In-House Europe :

        I’ve actually found my high-level title to be a deterrent – about 10 years out of law school and a GC – if I apply or show interest for anything below that level I’m seen to be overly qualified – even though I have a very (very) small legal team…

  11. Any advice on how to cheer up my SO? We are both in high-stress jobs (law/consulting/banking) and the past two months have been especially bad for him. He got promoted last year and does not feel ready for the new role (the promotion was unexpected and happened even though SO didn’t want it). His employer provides no training to ease him into the role, his immediate bosses aren’t mentors (they expect him to just *know* how to do stuff in his new role, and routinely shout/scream at him for making errors), and he has had some tough meetings with clients without any support from his bosses.

    Today was yet another bad day for him and while I try to do my best to make him see the big picture (‘this too shall pass’), I am really sad he is going through this. I am also worried about the toll this is taking on his health. I feel like both of us would be infinitely happier if we had less stressful jobs, but switching is not an option right now (several complications since we are not from this country). I’m just sad and don’t know how to make the situation better. I’m at a stage with both of our jobs where I feel we made a big mistake coming to this country and trapping ourselves in our current employments.

    Any suggestions? Time is a big constraint – we usually don’t have more than 15-30mins to connect during the day as one or both of us is away from home for work during the week. We are having dinner together tonight at home (and I have made dinner) but he goes back to the grind tomorrow.

    • When my DH is in trial, or similarly utterly swamped, and I’m at least a little less busy than him, I try to do little things to cheer him up during the day (like leave a post it with a hershey’s kiss by his keys in the morning), send him funny gifs or images (something that doesn’t take more than a second to read and smile), and try to take care of as many household things as I can – whether that is chores, or buying a gift for an upcoming wedding, or walking the dog, whatever. Mostly I try to make sure he feels no added guilt that he’s not spending time with me and that i totally understand what he is going through.

      • Thanks! I’m doing most of the chores part. The hershey’s kiss idea sounds nice – I’ll try it tomorrow morning.

  12. This is going to sound like a humble brag or a troll,?but I’m genuinely curious if others feel this way. I feel perpetually bored and under-challenged at my job, and frankly, all jobs I’ve ever had (I’m late 20s). I read, write, and learn very quickly. Basic work tasks seem to take me half the time they take my coworkers, who act stressed and overwhelmed. I make quick decisions and think fast, while everyone around me seems to agonize over small things.

    I work in finance/technology, which should be a challenging industry, in a mid-level role. Of course there are busy times, days with lots of meetings, etc – but I would say on the average day I spend less than 50% of my time actually working. I browse the web, listen to podcasts, take long lunches. All of my deliverables are completed on time and highly praised – on our bell curve I received the highest performance rating and a huge bonus. I raise my hand for extra work, tell my boss I have capacity, pitch new projects. Honestly, I don’t even know what my boss does all day – but he acts so stressed out. I’m not too concerned about my job because everyone is always praising my work and my “amazing ability to manage so much work at once.” It feels like the Emperor Wears No Clothes. Could the rest of my coworkers feel this way too and just be hiding it? I’m so bored and count down the hours until 5 every day.

    • You’re in the wrong job. Time to start doing some serious career-thinking / networking. You’re late 20s, so still have time to switch.

    • Anon 4 This :

      You sound like me – a lot like me. I am well paid, on a great track for promotion (think associate > partner, though not law), but don’t do enough day- to-day. There are days where I work 14 hours if a deal demands it – early in my career that was every day and a lot of weekends, but those are fewer and far between now that I’m 5+ years in the job and my already efficient self is that much more efficient due to experience/familiarity with the company/the industry/expectations.

      The catch is, I really love the work. Like, really love it. I’m afraid to raise the point for fear of someone thinking I’m not pulling my weight (which is counter to everything I’ve been told/my reviews, etc., so I recognize that’s probably a silly concern). So, no advice – just know you’re not alone. You’re not humble bragging and I totally get you. I would ask yourself if you like the work/the industry/general career trajectory. If I didn’t answer yes to all of the above, I would be out looking for a new job yesterday.

    • Nancy Drew :

      In some ways, I could say something similar. I work in communications and to me, it’s so obvious how to communicate well, but I get rave reviews on how I take complicated concepts and make them simple. It takes me less time to do certain things but I drag my feet on others when I have extra time. I tried a startup for awhile and if I didn’t enjoy more stability in my life, this would have been a good fit. For personal reasons, the startup didn’t work and I left to join corporate America. Why? Because I like the challenge of getting my work past the corporate BS and many layers of hierarchy. If you don’t want to change fields, see how you can change your environment.

    • Anonymous :

      If it really matters to you, then go over to a more challenging industry, like consulting. If you don’t care, then stay where you are.

      Also, it’s worth considering why your colleagues are taking longer. If they are investing in due diligence that you are not, it might eventually put your performance at risk.

    • Anonymous :

      Are you getting promoted? Or just big merit raises? Sounds like you should be making a move up, either at this role or somewhere else. Perhaps mix up your task types in a new role- if you power through pitch books, or whatever, what about starting to work on biz Dev / sales skills?

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah, this was me until I started a new job recently. Now I am in a new industry in a much more senior role, and I feel like I know nothing and everyone’s smarter than I am. I have excellent “soft skills” and consider myself a fast learner, but there is just so. much. to. learn for me right now. I kind of miss being a big fish in a small pond with a cushy salary and lots of job security (but I think I will really like this new job once I figure it out). Be careful what you wish for, but if you really do want a challenge, yes, you are in the wrong job.

  13. Can anyone compare a career in nursing to a career in transactional law?

    I’m a 10th year associate and, after some health issues this year, realized that I don’t want to be a lawyer anymore. I want to help people, have a defined work schedule, and have actual, practical skills. I want to actually interact with people for more than .25 or .5 hours in the day.

    I am not too worried about money (one of the perks of being a 10th year associate) but I do want to find a career that I find fulfilling. Thanks!

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      I know a lot of nurses, and the early years of nursing are brutal. Yes, you have a defined work schedule, but that “defined work schedule” is likely to be 10 or 12 hour shifts in a busy hospital. You’re on your feet non-stop, you’re lowest on the food chain so you’re treated like support staff in spite of your actual, practical skills and years of education, and you don’t exactly get to pick your shifts, so expect to work holidays, weekends, overnights, and pretty much any other shift that no one wants. After a few years, you can likely transition to a better department/better shifts, or to a doctor’s office, but initially, it’s a tough life. If your health issues are at all stress-related, I’m pretty sure the early years of a nursing career would exacerbate rather than alleviate the problems.

      Anecdotally, I know one woman who started over in a nursing program at 35 (after two decades in retail), and while she’s happy with her career choice, the transition back into full-time schooling and competing with much younger students who didn’t have the same life constraints (spouse, kids, aging parents, etc.) for grades and internships was really, really tough on her.

      • Killer Kitten Heels :

        To add – I think nursing can be a really fulfilling career, but I don’t think it’s “easier” than law in any way. That’s not to say it wouldn’t end up being a great fit for you personally, but if you’re on the hunt for a career that brings you warm fuzzies, I don’t think it’s the right choice.

        • Thanks! My health conditions are not stress related (yay?!). I know that to move forward in my career as a lawyer (I’m in a position where I could be a 20th year associate in 10 years), I’d have to start “at the bottom” of any in-house or other law firm job I take anyway. I guess it boils down to whether I want to be a nurse or still a lawyer at the end of it.

          • Killer Kitten Heels :

            I don’t know what you do, exactly, but unless going in-house or switching firms would mean starting over in a totally new practice area, there’s almost no way someone with ten years of experience as a lawyer would be starting “at the bottom” in a new firm or in-house job.

            If you don’t want to be a lawyer anymore, that’s cool (I don’t either, so believe me, I get it!), but if the issue is that you just don’t want to be at your firm anymore, don’t write off all other legal jobs – you’re likely qualified for at least mid-level positions in other organizations as an attorney if you want to continue to be one, and there’s just no way lateralling is going to be in any way comparable to the experience of starting undergrad over again to get your BSN (figure 3 years minimum to get through all the required courses, and that’s assuming your nursing school accepts your current bachelor’s to cover all of your non-major requirements, which it might not – when I did orientation advising at my undergrad, students with degrees more than 10 years old had to start with zero credits, just like someone with no BA or BS at all).

          • Killer Kitten Heels :

            Also, I feel like lawyers are never really “at the bottom” in the way nurses are – like, yes, you’re at the bottom of the lawyer hierarchy, but there are still multiple layers of staff “beneath” you. Starting over in nursing, to me, would be more analogous to starting your legal career over as an entry-level assistant or paralegal than to starting a career as a first-year associate.

          • Thanks! You’ve given me a lot to think about. I really wouldn’t mind overnight or 14-hour shifts as long as I can go home and unplug at the end of it. I really am looking for a boundary between work and the rest of my life.

            I’d probably start with a LVN or RN cert. I don’t particularly enjoy school (or at least don’t want to spend 4+ years in school again).

            Call me crazy, but I don’t mind being at the paralegal level–I don’t particularly like tasks like counseling clients or coming up with legal strategies or generating proposals. My paralegal gets treated well, has a great team of other paralegals to work with, leaves at 4:30pm, and takes real vacations.

            In-house jobs are very, very competitive in my area. I did a secondment a few years ago, and didn’t particularly enjoy it. I’ve been job searching for an in-house job for 18 months now and only had two interviews. I think my lack of passion for being a lawyer is just gone and employers can tell.

          • This might not be what you are looking for but here is a thought….

            Have you considered other adjunct health care roles like genetic counselling?

            I’m an MD. A good friend of mine is a genetic counsellor. It was either a 1 or 2 year masters degree but I’m sure there are different ways to get it. In terms of the hospital hierarchy, she is outside of the ward hierarchy as she works in a clinic setting only (in our cancer centre), she has her own support staff (a couple of secretaries, interns, etc) and she spends the majority of her time on patient interaction (more than I do) because she has so much support. I believe she sees patients from 8-4 every day, has all weekends off, no on-call. I’m pretty jealous. She also currently makes more money than I do as an MD (although she will tell me her pay will likely never go up from here whereas mine will climb quite a bit in the next few years)

            In terms of nursing specifically, I wouldn’t personally really want to do it in the ward setting, although I might be more likely to do ER, ICU or aid-ambulance or something like that. There are a lot of options, but you may have to get in somewhere and then work your way into the area you like. At my hospital most RNs start on the regular wards and those are routinely 12 hour shifts (7-7) but they do get lots of days off. Weekends and holidays are worked in a hierarchy so you do work lots of those in the beginning (but you get weekday days off to compensate). If you are more used to taking orders than giving them, think about how you will like being told what to do by a young MD. I have good relationships will my nursing colleagues, but thats not the case for all docs. You will also have to deal with the good and the bad of patient interactions (nurses are the most commonly assaulted profession in Canada- I suspect its similar in the US), potentially deal with death on a regular basis.

            That said, the reasons you list are similar to the reasons I switched into medicine and, while its hard, I do feel every day like I do something concrete and tangible that is good for the world and I feel my work is valuable and important. That’s a good feeling.

          • That should have been “air-ambulance”

        • Anonymous :

          Eh, I disagree. I’m not disparaging nursing; I think it’s a great career and it certainly requires a lot of training and hard work to get into it, but I know a LOT of nurses who work roughly 9-5 and make six figures (and are happy with their jobs). I know very few (actually I’m not sure I know any) lawyers who can say the same. My nurse friends haven’t had the experience you describe with it being super hard and long hours in the beginning, and I definitely think it is an easier career than law (but I think most careers are). I do agree with your point that it can be hard to start over in a new career at 35.

          • Killer Kitten Heels :

            This may be location-dependent. I’m in an area that’s pretty saturated with nurses and similar-level healthcare professionals, so entry-level nurses have to actually compete for somewhat limited openings (although it’s less saturated than law). I’d imagine in an area with a nursing shortage, it’d probably be somewhat easier in the early years.

          • Thanks! I like the encouraging anecdata!

        • I agree with KKH because the second factor you wanted was defined work schedule. It can be defined but still overnight or 14 hours long. Are you OK with that?

      • Nurses are certainly not “lowest on the food chain.” I’m a nurse’s aide, and I don’t even feel that I am (though close). Nurses are the primary caregivers in charge of any patient in the hospital. Many of their orders do come from physicians, but they make many decisions independently that greatly affect patient outcomes.

        I saw my patient almost code today, and a team of ICU nurses and respiratory therapists were in the room for several hours fighting to get him back. The physician was standing by with a few contributions to the situation, but the main stars were the nurses and RTs. This is nothing against doctors, of course, but nurses have a lot more autonomy and power than people would assume.

        Not to be combative, KKH, I just want to give OP my side of the story– I love my industry. Of course there are bad days, but the good outweigh them.

    • Nurses are abused. The average work span of a nurse is 5-7 years. So most people get out fast. They work equally as awful hours as lawyers, especially with on-call. They are physically assaulted all the time, from patients biting them to fighting them and even relatives of patients. Plus there is a lot of bureaucracy to wade through to actually help people. Not to mention lucid patients treat them like sh*t and assume they must be incompetent if they are a nurse instead of a doctor.

      • Just to offer a different perspective, several members of my family are career nurses. Stress levels and hours vary based on the kind of nursing. There are ups and downs like any job, but speaking generally, none of them work the kind of hours I do as a biglaw lawyer, and their jobs are much more conducive to having a work-life balance. Just as an in law, there are many paths – hospital, dr. office, nursing home, etc. None of them have been abused or assaulted. Those in a hospital setting generally work 3 10 or 12-hour shifts a week and those working in medical practices have more regular 9-to-5 hours. They have all worked some annoying shifts at times. In hospitals, you will almost always get stuck working at least one major holiday per year.

        In addition to enjoying the patient care aspect of nursing, I would think about how well you are able to disconnect emotionally from your job. They don’t “take work home” in the sense that I have files to work on when not in the office and they may never see a patient again when their shift ends, but certain cases/patients/families definitely stick with them.

        • Thanks KLR! I used to work in childcare to pay for college (all hours and all ages). I was luckily one o f those who didn’t get overly attached to the kids beyond remembering their names. I was well-liked by the kids but I also didn’t treat them like they were my own flesh and blood like some of my co-workers.

      • Anonymous :

        What? You’re insane. This is not a generalized issue for all nurses.

      • Wow. 5-7 years? Not the case on my ward, OR or clinic. My nurses have all been there longer than me.

    • Coach Laura :

      Can’t compare nursing to transactional law but I am related to a lot of nurses and my daughter is graduating this semester so I have advice. Yes, nursing can be both very rewarding and very brutal at once and there is no nursing shortage for new, inexperienced nurses.

      If I were to do it (or if someone was asking my recommendation) I’d recommend a direct-entry Masters. Don’t start with RN or LVN/LPN as those jobs are being phased out. You say that you don’t want to be in school forever, but nurses who just get the RN (via community college or other non-Bachelor of Science route) are relegated to the lowest starting jobs and are excluded from jobs at teaching hospitals, floor/charge nurse positions etc.

      Direct entry Masters (requires a prior bachelors’ degree plus normal nursing pre-reqs) gets you the RN and the Masters at once and saves a ton of time. Then you could do almost anything: Work almost anywhere and then with 1-2 years’ experience you could do things like teach (college nursing programs), research, nurse-educator. You could also work as a Nurse Practitioner if you choose that track. My eye surgeon says that if he was to advise someone starting out – unless they wanted to be a surgeon – that NP is by far the better job in terms of ROI, time, status, quality of work environment etc., when compared with being an MD. You could make a big impact on the lives of your patients. But I really advise against the quick RN/ADN/Community College route for anyone over 25 unless that person needs to work to support themselves while going to school.

      • Coach Laura :

        Just to be clear, Direct-Entry requires a prior bachelors’ degree in ANY field. Doesn’t have to be science related.

      • Two Cents :

        One of my best friends is a surgeon and she says that if she had to do it all over again, she would be a NP. Great 6 figure salary, highly respected, great work life balance.

      • You are mistaken with your RN distinction. You can be an RN with an associates degree, or an RN with a bachelor’s degree. RNs are not being phased out… there would be no nurses left. RNs with associates degrees are being phased out, might not be able to work at teaching hospitals, etc.

        • Coach Laura :

          Clarification. Posting too fast – the RN license is not being phased out but those RNs without a BSN or higher degree may have trouble finding jobs. However some nurse groups are advocating for the elimination of non-BSN prepared nurses, as we’ve seen with Physical Therapists and Pharmacists who are now being driven to post-graduate preparation. So for long term career safety, a BSN is safer,

          Some hospitals are not hiring LVN/LPN graduates – that is true.

          I still stand by my advice – BSN or MSN is the way to go for new entrants to the nursing profession. For existing RNs I would give different advice depending on the ages and needs of the RN.

          • Thank you! I have some accelerated programs in my area for the BSN. I’ll research them tonight.

    • This response is late, but I’m almost done with nursing school after a 4-year career in NY finance. BEST decision ever, and for the same reasons as you. I felt completely empty in my corporate job.

      There are so many options after getting your BSN. Seriously. It doesn’t have to be a 12-shift gig, it can be anything you want. I’m strongly considering nurse anesthesia, which is currently still a 3-year masters, and they make bank, some of them with very good schedules. Otherwise probably NP, with tons of opportunity for high income/great hours. All with lots of patient one-on-one. I might even teach one day. And honestly? I love my coworkers (I currently work as an aide while in school). Most of all, going back to school and really using my brain to learn a MILLION new things has been awesome. Nurses have to know a lot more than most people realize. Knowing that you could make the difference in whether someone lives or dies is really humbling (and honestly, at times, thrilling).

  14. lucy stone :

    I just maxed out my 457 contribution. Adulting, so boring. I hope future me is happy with this decision.

    • Anonattorney :

      Yayyyyy! Congratulations!!! Boring, yet (hopefully) so satisfying? I’m not yet maxing out my retirement contributions, but hope to soon. To me, it’s one of those big financial milestones like paying off student loans. I say reward yourself with a celebratory drink this evening.

  15. Ellipticals :

    Hi all–has anyone purchased an elliptical machine for her home/apartment that she finds to be really great for the purchase price? I’m looking to spend $1000 or less, and I want electronic ramp and resistance features (so not manual adjust). I’m considering the Proform 720 e or something similar. I’d love to hear what has pleased (or displeased) the hive in this arena!

    • Anonymous :

      I have one. It might be the one you mention – I got it at D**k’s sporting goods and is of the ProForm variety. I don’t use it every day and it might not be long lasting if I did, but I do use it probably 2-3 times a week generally and it’s held up fine for a year. It seems smooth, but since it’s on the bottom (slab) floor of my house, I can’t really comment on how much noise it would create with something below. You need to l*be it pretty often, but otherwise I’ve not done any maintenance. Overall, I’m glad I bought it and only wish I had earlier. It’s great to have one at home and frankly I should have done that and cancelled my gym membership during some of my busier work seasons.

    • You may already know this but many apartment buildings don’t allow treadmills and ellipticals because of noise – ask me how I know – so you should check if you are in a multi-unit home.

    • Anonymous :

      check out craiglist. You will get one for a bargain…

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      I think for heavy workout equipment like this it’s much better to go high quality. Do your research, find a few models, then do a search alert on Craigslist. People often sell little-used equipment for a song because they don’t use it enough and it’s a pain to move. We got a four year old gym-quality ($$$) treadmill for $500 this way and it’s a tank.

    • I splurged a few years ago and bought an Octane Fitness elliptical. I love it, even though I do not like exercising indoors. So summers, it is rarely used and winters when weather is bad or I cannot get home at a reasonably safe hour to run outside. It is a tank; it was expensive, but it was worth it. it is extremely quiet, and I can watch tv or listen to audible, and the noise is not prohibitive even though it is upstairs and other bedrooms are downstairs. it is very smooth and gives a great workout.

      Follow the advice of others and check out craigslist or even ebay if you are in a large enough city for local listings you could pick up yourself.

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