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Surround Yourself With Powerful Examples

Surround Yourself With Powerful Examples

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I'm talking about the importance of surrounding yourself with people who are doing what you want to be doing with your career. If you've been working for a little while, you've probably heard the expression, "If you don't want your boss' job someday, you might want to think about a different career path." It's true. Why would you work so hard if you don't want to progress on the path you're on? That sounds kinda silly, doesn't it? But what else could you do? A lot of people have identified that they don't like their current career path, but a lot of people haven't figured out what's next. So they stay stuck. And stuck is often an unhappy place to be. What's a girl to do if she finds herself in this position? I was there for a long time, so let me help you.

A few years ago, I was a lawyer living an unhappy life, struggling with the prospect of making a career change. I was highly educated - with degrees from both Cornell University and Emory Law School - yet I felt my career options were limited. WHAT?! Yes, it's true. And I bet you can relate no matter your career or education level. We get pigeon-holed into a certain career and we think there's no other options available to us. WRONG! Let me be the first to tell you that the skills you've acquired in your current job can translate nicely into another career field. I promise you. This is true no matter your career level. There are, for example, transferrable skills from working entry level positions at Starbucks or The Gap (that was my first job in high school!). Customer service, team work, organization skills, and in the case of Starbucks - reporting to work at an incredibly early hour shows a huge level of dedication, discipline, and hard work. All important character traits to have for any job. So the first key to getting out of your "stuckness" is identifying the skills and character traits that you possess and listing them all out on a piece of paper. Be as general as possible. For example, instead of saying that you're proficient in a certain computer program that only lawyers use, write on your list that you successfully learned how to use a unique and complex software program and became quite proficient at it. Do you get where I'm going with this? Start generalizing your skills. If you learned that lawyer software program, you can probably learn the software program at a doctor's office or in a big corporate office, you feel me? When you start generalizing your skills, you'll see that they aren't only suited to your current career field.

After you've done this, my next recommendation is that you get outside your little career bubble. You see, when I was a lawyer, I often spent 70+ hours a week devoted to work and my (very little) free time was spent running errands and, you know, just keeping my life together by paying bills, walking my dog, grocery shopping, and going to a yoga class or two. When you find yourself in this position, your exposure to other people is pretty limited. In other words, it was hard for me to see beyond my little career field, beyond my little bubble. There are millions of people out there performing millions of jobs, but I was so trapped in the legal profession that - when I wanted to look for other career options - my mind went blank. Maybe you can relate. Maybe you're a nurse or a teacher or in the IT field - whatever your field, it's easy to get a little stuck there. It's easy to become pigeon-holed. We often make friends at work, so perhaps many of our friends do the same jobs as us, too. We get so comfortable in this little world (even if we don't particularly like it) and it becomes difficult to see beyond it. I know so many lawyers that dislike their jobs, but they all say to me, "I just don't know what else I'd do with this degree." WHAT?! There are literally thousands if not millions of jobs they'd be qualified for. Lawyers have so many transferrable skills. Just to name a few, most lawyers are great writers, amazing researchers, and very skilled at analyzing data, negotiating, and critical thinking. And, these days, most lawyers need to be pretty good at technology too. A lot of digital documents and emails need to be analyzed before going to trial and there are a lot of complex IT concepts involved with that process.

So how do you get outside this little bubble? It can be as easy as Google! Do some searching. I bet you'll find articles and maybe even podcasts and interviews. For example, if you get on Google and search "former lawyer," you'll actually find a podcast with tons of interviews of former lawyers who are now doing something else (click here to listen to mine!). If you listen to one of these podcasts per day, in just a couple of weeks you will have expanded your mind from "I don't know what else I can do with this degree" to "there are so many other possibilities for me." That's pretty powerful stuff. There is huge power in surrounding yourself with examples of people who have already done it. That's why I named this journal entry "surround yourself with powerful examples." When you're in this state of possibility, good things start to happen. Opportunities start to arise. That good energy of "I can do this" and "there are options" and "I don't need to stay stuck here" really can propel you forward. It replaces the negative energy of "I'm stuck here" and "I don't have options" and "I'll never be able to do something else." If you've been following my journal entries for any length of time, you know I'm always emphasizing mindset. This is no different. Expand your mind. Find proof that there are lawyers {or insert your current job} doing other things with their lives. There is TONS of it. You just have to look for it. And then this proof will naturally expand your mind as to what's possible for YOU. 

Let's talk about some other examples, just to get your mind going. Did you know a nurse can work in the legal profession? Yep! Nurses are needed in medical malpractice cases. So maybe you don't like the day-to-day work of being a nurse, but maybe you'd like lending your expertise in a legal case. Or maybe you're a teacher. Did you ever dream of starting your own business one day? How about creating an online course in something you're proficient at? There are tons of people teaching all sorts of things online and you, my friend, are leaps and bounds ahead of them because you already have some real life teaching experience. Plus, online courses have exploded during the past year or two and it's an awesome business to start as a side hustle. 

I hope you're able to learn something valuable from my own experiences. My wish is for everyone to know the feeling of doing work that brings them joy. It truly is an unbelievable gift to not dread Mondays and hope for Friday's fast arrival. If you'd like my Weekly Journal sent straight to your inbox every week, click here to subscribe. 

P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I'm in the process of creating a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h over the past couple years and I want to make it easier for you to access and read the entries that resonate most!


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