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Summary: Burnout and a sudden lack of passion can happen within any profession. So what’s a lawyer to do when they suddenly find they no longer have the passion to practice? Find out in this article.
Has the practice of law burned you out?
Sure, you like what you do, and you’re good at it as well, but keeping up the pace of your practice has you feeling a bit rough at times.
You even wonder if your passion for law has suddenly waned.
If you feel a lull in what is truly a profession you enjoy, check out these 4 restorative tips.
There’s no doubt that being a lawyer makes for a very good profession. Sure, one has to have a certain character makeup to be a lawyer, as in argumentative, assertive, confident and with words and a killer instinct. And for all that, lawyers get paid pretty nicely as well.
But like with any job, the luster of practicing law can dull and create a sense of burnout within a lawyer. To that end, a lawyer may feel less passionate about their profession.
The website Beyond Billables offers 4 tips for lawyers who feel as if they’re on their last legal legs.
Alter your practice and learn something new.
As is the case with any profession, the daily ins and outs of a lawyer’s profession can be tedious if not out-and-out boring. Of course boredom can lead directly to burnout, which in many situations is difficult to overcome.
According to the Beyond Billables article, lawyers moan about their jobs for many reasons. They’ve become comfortable in their role, they know the lay of the land and there isn’t anything interesting on the horizon.
Once the learning curve flattens, many people lose interest in what they’re doing. The article suggests lawyers not fall victim to this problem, which is obviously avoidable.
Lawyers should search out new ways to push themselveswhile also staying in their comfort zone. Perhaps take on a new practice area or make an effort to mentor younger lawyers. Maybe their excitement for the profession will rub off on the lawyer who’s afraid of burning out.
Go toward the deeper meaning of your work.
What does it mean to be a lawyer? It means that you are present to help and protect people. If you can take this to heart, then you will see that the big picture view of your work can help provide the antidote to the difficulty of daily doldrums.
Of course, as the article states, to do this requires that you know yourself and focus on your values. If you do things that are in alignment with your values, the odds are you’re going to feel good about it.
Studies have shown that individuals are most engaged at work when their goals and actions are personally meaningful, so look for the meaning in what you do. This is the all-important ‘why’. If you honestly can’t find one, then it may be time to change things up.
Lend your hands and abilities to others.
As the article states, helping others within a law firm may not be the ideal task for some lawyers. After all, most lawyers tend to be very busy, and barely have enough time for themselves and their cases.
However, for some lawyers suffering burnout, an altruistic attitude might get them through tough times which in the end can make the practice of law feel worthwhile.
Keep in mind that being a mentor to someone younger in your field can boost your enthusiasm for what you do.
Ask for and do more.
At times, the law firm vibe can seem tense and downright belligerent. It makes for an interoffice climate where people aren’t overly comfortable asking for what they need.
The Beyond Billables article tells us that we should not hesitate to request reasonable needs, which can include taking on new and different projects.
Of course, it is not recommended that a lawyer ask, if not demand, a raise or more time off. Lawyers instead should ask to be included in new projects that can pique their interest and lead them back to the level of excitement they once had earlier on in their practice.
While these four suggestions may work for some lawyers who can no longer find passion within their profession, they are not generalizations that are intended to work for everyone.
However, lawyers who are interested in rekindling the spirit they had during more exciting and satisfying times of their practice can try variations of the 4 tips given here. Sure, they may or may not feel any different about their professional life, yet at least they tried something. And to try something is better than sitting at your desk, depressed, embittered, or worse yet unmotivated and passionless.