Big Law Firms v. Small Firms – Does It Make a Difference?

When I was interviewing for jobs while at my big law firm job, and shortly after quitting, I interviewed with some small law firms. I thought that by going to a small firm, I could do interesting work, work with people I like, and have more hands on experience earlier into my career.  And maybe deal with fewer billable hour requirements.

I think I was mistaken.  Looking back now, I was going about my job search in all the wrong ways.  I was seeking an escape from the job I was in, rather than targeting the jobs and workplaces that I wanted to work for.  Ultimately, the small firms didn’t hire me, and in retrospect, I am so glad they didn’t.  I would have gotten paid less, would have had to probably work harder than I did at the big law firm, work on less interesting cases with less interesting and friendly co-workers (at least at those particular firms).  So what was it worth?  I probably would have been more unhappy at those jobs than I was at my big firm job.

Sometimes things don’t work out for a reason.  I know the reason the small firms didn’t work out was so that I would be forced to examine myself more critically and try to figure out what I really wanted, rather than choosing the easy ways out from a job I felt miserable in.

What do you think?  Is there a big difference in terms of happiness levels for junior associates when comparing big firms with small firms?

I would LOVE to hear from you!  Leave a comment below and let me know.

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Detaching from the Outcome

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Detaching yourself from the outcome is a great way to release your any frustrations, anger, or bitterness you might be harboring. What I mean by that is, you can have goals and strive for certain ambitions, but you shouldn’t become too attached to their outcomes.  This is because even if you achieve the outcome you are seeking, it will not drastically change your happiness levels (beyond the initial feeling of elation from the accomplishment), but if you do not achieve that outcome, it could become a great source of unhappiness and frustration.  Instead, try holding a space to welcome and be open to these outcomes occurring, but not in a way that makes them the end goal.

There is a saying that happiness is a journey, not a destination.  I believe in that 100%.  I also have a personal mantra that helps me deal with situations where unexpected things happen and I feel thrown off balance.

My personal mantra is:

“Whatever happens is for the best. Whatever doesn’t happen is for the best.”

Do you meditate or have a personal mantra?  I would LOVE to hear from you!  Leave a comment below and let me know.

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