Monday, August 10, 2009

for those who were PDs but then weren't

for those who left, or those who left and returned to the profession...

What do you think?  What made you leave?  How do you feel now that you left?  Did it change the role that work plays in your life?  And for those who came back... why?  And how do you feel about your return?

1 comment:

Blonde Justice said...

I was a PD then left then came back again. But when I left I did the same work, just for private clients, so it wasn't like I was doing something extremely different. (Maybe you're looking for the opinion of someone who went off to be a monk or something?)

What made me leave: I wasn't really unhappy when I left, maybe a little burnt out, but I wasn't really looking to leave when this opportunity fell in my lap. But some of the things that made me willing to leave: I was feeling financially hopeless... would I do this forever and never pay off my loans and always live in a tiny little apartment? And I think I was feeling a little bit burnt out, you know, it's a lot of spinning your wheels and not seeing a lot of results/change.

Also, this is weird, but it's hard to be in your 20s and think, "Is this really going to be what I do every day for the next 30-40 years? Am I going to get up, commute to the same office, walk to the same courthouse, make the same arguments, EVERY DAY for the next 30 YEARS? It's crazy to think about. I can't imagine doing anything for that long. So, I saw a chance for a change and thought it'd be a good idea.

After I left, I felt, sad. I missed it a lot. There were a lot of reasons. I was lonely, I didn't like the clients, maybe the firm wasn't the right fit for me. I worked a lot harder in private practice. I worked longer hours and I worked a lot harder while I was there- there was no time to sit and b.s. with a colleague or play on the internet or, well, anything. It made me appreciate my time as a PD a lot more. And it also made me re-evaluate what I thought "hard work" was.

I returned to the PD world because I missed it. Because I thought I could do more good. Because it felt more like my calling.

I think now, my life has changed that I can work a little more efficiently. I don't spend the afternoon on the internet and then wonder where the day went or why my work isn't done. Sometimes I goof off, but at least I know I goofed off, and most of the time I buckle down and work hard, and then I don't need to stay late and work weekends (unless I'm on trial.)

Somedays I still think "Am I really going to do this everyday for the rest of my life?" I can only imagine that everyone thinks that about every job maybe. I try to think more about my life changing even if my job isn't. Just because I'm getting up and going to the same office every day doesn't mean my life isn't changing. Friends are having babies, I'm planning vacations, I'm signing up for a new class related to a hobby, I'm making new friends. My life is changing and my job isn't my life. It's like what you said, you can also be something else.

I think the biggest change is I'm more efficient at work and better manage my time between life & work. I'm happy about my return. Sure, some days are hard, some days suck, but I feel like I kind of went into it the 2nd time knowing what I was getting myself into. And I'm happy.

If you're looking for my advice, I say that if you're itching to leave, it's ok to leave. You have my blessing. Maybe you'll miss it and come back (like I did) and it will feel more right. Or maybe you'll find something even better - if you do, be sure to tell me what it is.