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Leaving The Law: A Risky Career Change Toward Passion

I didn't have the skills to do anything but litigate, and certainly not the résumé. As much as I didn't want to be a lawyer again, I had focused on it for so long that I just couldn't see myself any other way. The first day after leaving I sat down to make a list of other possible career fields. I came up with business, banking and insurance. Journalist and travel writer certainly never made the list.

According to Lansky people decide to leave careers at different times and for different reasons, but one thing that should never hold you back is the idea that you've already got too much invested in to turn around.

"There's an expression in finance, throwing good money after bad," she said. "You don't want to tie yourself to a career that makes you unhappy just because you spent money on it at one point... Sooner or later it's going to hit you right between the eyes."

For me that was absolutely true. Although I had sunk nearly a third of my life into getting there, leaving the law was absolutely the right decision. As career moves go, leaving a good job in a prestigious field was probably a lousy one, but my motives weren't based around a five year plan. They were much more simple than that. I had been unhappy for a long time and that needed to change.

So I left. My fiancée and I bought a pair one way tickets to Cambodia and decided it was time to see the world for a while. I started my website along the way and fell into being a writer. On a good day, I make a quarter of what I used to and have absolutely none of the perks that came with a top floor view. I can't use the old instruction manual anymore, the one I followed from high school to college to law school to the firm. Life has gotten more complicated than that, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Besides, I'm already down ten pounds.

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