Sunday, May 23, 2010

Breaking the News to Family and Friends

Since I quit being a lawyer, I have been much happier and I am looking forward to what lies ahead. Except for one day in particular: June 4. This is when I will attend a wedding, where I will be seeing old friends from college. I'm nervous about telling them I am no longer a practicing attorney and have chosen temp work instead. I accept the fact that they will think I am a loser, but I would still like to figure out a way to succinctly explain my career change and graciously change subjects.

I have been accepted into a healthcare program that will take two years to complete, but I will not be starting the program for at least another year (the waiting list is a mile long!). I'll be taking some classes toward the degree in the Fall, but my core classes won't start for another year. So how do I explain that in the meantime, I will be working as a receptionist? My husband keeps telling me that what I'm doing is brave and to just tell everyone that I'm working part-time and doing a little writing before going back to school. I know the problem is how I feel about what I'm doing, not how anyone else feels. Why, then, am I afraid that everyone is going to think I'm a bum? And how do I explain my career change in one sentence so I don't end up rambling and making everyone uncomfortable?

Maybe I should just tell everyone I'm pregnant - people always let women off the hook when they drop the P word. Or, I could tell everyone I can't talk about what I do because I'm working in a top-secret government position. That's what one of my friends always tells everyone, and I'm beginning to suspect she's full of it.

All of you career-changers, laid-off attorneys, and under/unemployed J.D.'s, how do you explain your career circumstances?


  1. "I'm nervous about telling them I am no longer a practicing attorney and have chosen temp work instead"

    Imagine having to tell them "AFter 8 years, I never passed the Bar."

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