Shutting one door to jump out the window

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Yesterday was my final day as a paralegal. My boss bought everyone lunch, and they surprised me with a card wishing me well on my new endeavors, as well as with a delicious chocolate cake! It sounds corny, but it did mean a lot to me. I was with the firm for just under 2 years. I spent my final two days training my replacement. I feel confident that my clients are in good hands. I emailed a few of my closer clients and colleagues to let them know about the change, and everyone was very supportive.

I am no longer a paralegal, the one thing by which I have defined myself for the past 5+ years. I have changed my LinkedIn profile and my employment info on Facebook. During the past couple of days, I have felt a strange mix between relief and “omg did I make a mistake??” How am I handling this? I went and got my hair done right after work. Nothing makes a woman feel better about her problems than a little bit of overdue pampering! But, after that, the questions continued to float around upstairs. I am told this is completely normal, and that if I wasn’t nervous about starting a new job, I would be somewhat defective.

Good to know.

How have others reacted to my career change?
Confused.
They don’t understand exactly what it is I will be doing, nor why I would even want to make any changes in my professional life. Some have actually looked at me and said, But you’ll have to work weekends sometimes…are you sure you can handle that?? What about your relationship? It’s summer, for cryin’ out loud!

Those kinds of comments really get to me, not because I am insecure about my relationship — I have a fantastic fiance who is incredibly supportive of my writing and my career choices. He is behind me 100%, and I love him for that. I’m really not sure why weekend work is such a big deal. Sure, it will be different, and there will be many days where I am sitting at my desk while everyone else is at the beach. But, it’s not forever. Who knows? I may end up totally loving this job, and working on the weekends won’t be a big deal. I understand the concept of paying your dues in order to progress. If I worked in a restaurant, or in retail, I would have to work weekends.

When the doubt creeps in, I go back through my writing portfolio and emails between network contacts who are eager to work with me. It feels good to know that I am steadily building the career that I want, making all the right connections and making, for the most part, the right decisions to get to where I want to be. What I once thought was an intangible dream is ever-so-slowly becoming tangible, and that is a fantastic feeling. I feel empowered.

Bring it on, new job! I’m ready! đŸ™‚

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