Decisions

Yesterday I atteded an interview at A Well Known Law Firm in Central London. This was my first set of interviews since being made redundant at the end of February. It went well. Very well.

On the train home I sent a series of tweets, which at the time were quite cryptic, but related to the whole job situation. I had a choice to make. I could take the job. The firm is well regarded. The people I interviewed with were great. The money was good. But it would mean returning to work in law firms, and giving up on things I had decided to try for.

Or I could turn them down, keep my dreams alive, whilst disappointing the recruiter who set up the meeting, the people I interviewed with, and leaving myself in the awkward position of still being out of work, continuing to struggle along.

So I came home, and I talked things over with Julia. She got me out of the house, to walk around Kew Gardens in the sunshine, surrounded by nature, to gather my thoughts. I came home and talked things over with my mum, but I had already made my decision.

Whilst out I had received a phone call, offering me the job. And this morning, I declined the offer.

I’ve spent five years working in law firms. I’ve met some great people. But I’ve never felt fulfilled by the work. Over the years I’ve come to dread the work. The environment of law firms does not suit me, and is contributory to my depressive moods (again, no slight against law firms, this is just my temperament).

I’ve realised, I don’t ever want to work in a law firm again. I can’t take it anymore.

So there you go. The very last vestige of my legal career gone at last. From studying law, to working in law firms and now I’m walking away. And I don’t feel bad about it, not anymore. For the first time in a long time I’m being honest with myself and true to who I am. I could get a job in a law firm, because I was very good at what I did. But I was not happy. So for the good of my mental health, it’s time to walk away.

So what now? I still have my writing. I still have eMergent Publishing. Neither will pay the bills, not right now. I have my painting and drawing. And there lies possible career number one. The more I realise I enjoy painting, and enjoy being out in nature, the more I wonder about combining the two. So why not botanical art? There are a number of courses, and I’m spoiled by having Kew Gardens and RHS Gardens Wisley within close vicinity, not to mention Jurassic Park just outside.

The second possible career requires returning to university to gain a post-graduate qualification. It’s something I never thought about, but has been mentioned to me several times this year, something that would be rewarding and fulfilling, something I could feel passionate about, something that makes a difference. I would like to retrain as a social worker. Social work courses are oversubscribed, but there is a dearth of male social workers.

So, there you go. I’m still out of work, but I’m happier for knowing what I don’t want to do, and what I do.

And if you see me going for an interview at a law firm in the future, you have my permission to shoot me.

Now I’m going to head out and spend some time indulging in my first love, with my true love.

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3 thoughts on “Decisions”

  1. Congratulations on making possibly the toughest decision – to finally decide to walk away, rather than hang on the periphery or worse still, get sucked back in. I’m glad there are things surrounding you which are inspiring new (authentic?) directions and possibilities. I think you’d make an awesome social worker… but its tough work – even for a tough guy like you!

    There’s a big sigh of relief to see eMergent is figured into the future. And also to see you back here blogging.

    So dare I ask – did the clouds clear in more than one way?

  2. Paul, I admire your courage and ability to lead with your heart and will be championing your work no end to people because you deserve the recognition!

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