Quitting a lucrative career is perhaps not the smartest thing I’ve ever done, if all you consider is my lack of savings and refusal to obtain alternate employment. And the fact that my preschooler requires semi-regular feeding, and my husband currently works at a temporary public-service fellowship* for the princely sum referenced above. In the meantime, I stay calm by focusing on the fact that this certainly won't be the stupidest thing I ever do in life. Rooftop unicycling still squeaks out the win (but only because it was a pitched roof).** I survived that
So here's why I scuttled my career:
- Cognitive dissonance of the billable hour. I love the law, but I hate the business. Billing services in tenths of hours under rigid billing criteria results in an invoice that implies a false objectivity. The bills make the work possible, but they are bullshit.
- Parenting. If you are a mother, and you see your small children only 1-2 hours a day, you are neglecting them. Even if they are well-cared for during that time, you are neglecting them. Everyone deserves a mother, and the one my kid has is me.
- Appetite for risk. I was initially hired at my firm as a 24 year-old law student, and I stayed for 25% of my life. At some point, you have to decide whether you want a particular work experience to be your “life’s work.” I decided.
- Scalability. Selling time is for indentured servants. And with the competition for clients keeping rates low, the primary means of becoming “more successful” when your product is your time is to sell more time. Or to lie. No.
- Relationship experimentation. I am fascinated by Roissy/Game/PUA theories of male/female behavior, and have been doing experiments to test their hypotheses over the last few years. I can’t wait to see what what happens to us (inter-/intra-personally and professionally) when we invert our earning status . Marriage stays interesting when we do interesting things with it.
- Self-assessment. I’ve led a pretty charmed life, one that includes lots of family and friends who tell me how awesome I am at regular intervals. I would like to ascertain the extent to which they are blowing smoke up my ass.
I have no idea what happens next. This should be interesting!
*I know. I'll get to that.
**True story, unfortunately. The unicycle belonged to a yo-yo-er of some renown.