I'm really lost in my career. Started out in ID and hated it, jumped around and made it out of ID to my desired area. Been at my current firm almost a year, but it's totally toxic and I'm likely being pushed out. Trying to make it work and stay here for as long as I have as I've jumped a lot in a short time and frankly I don't want to jump again. I had the chance to go back to ID and work for an old mentor who is incredible and go back to doing what he does (continued in comments)

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Former ASA/DA here who went to ID, loved it, left for a while, and had exactly your experience. I went to ID and don't regret it. I like the work. Yeah, you heard me. I LIKE INSURANCE DEFENSE. I do third-party work. This area is what you make of it - you gotta play your cards right. I'm perfectly comfortable financially . I'm treated well. I have good benefits. My pay is good (didn't say great), but I know I might not be as happy at any other shop. I'm 13 years in - did 8 as a prosecutor, did ID for 2, switched to a super sexist boss who made my work life miserable for 2 years, then went back to ID and I have zero regrets. Take it for what it's worth.
Don't listen to the person telling you to go to the PD or DA office. THAT to me is career suicide unless you plan to be cemented there.

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That's how I feel! I've been doing this new area of law for almost a year. Thought this firm was gonna be long term but shortly after I arrived the young partners mentoring me left and told me to leave to. It's small with terrible resources and tech. I want to give it some more time and do a full year at the firm and then reevaluate. Come spring if I still feel like I made the wrong choice, I'm going to reach out to my old partner. Glad you have a safety net--those are comforting to have. And yes if they let me go I know I will be ok. I'm still early into my career. Just have had a very rough start and haven't landed on my feet.

I’m sorry you’re feeling lost and that you’re in a toxic environment. People may differ, but in my opinion, I think you made the right choice turning down insurance defense work. I’m currently in ID and I don’t hate it, but it’s so hard to get out of, and you don’t want to wind up back in something you really had to work to get out.

You know the work you like and you know what you don’t like. You know you dislike ID, so it doesn’t really sound like an improvement to go back to your mentor, except less workplace toxicity. I encourage you to focus on pursuing work that you actually enjoy, despite temptations to take a step back and have security. You made the decision knowing what you’d be going back to, and you didn’t want to go back. There is nothing wrong with that and I think it’s great you’re following your gut.

Are you working with any recruiters? The job market is slowing for the holidays but I hear it picks up again in Jan/Feb.

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The second half of the year is often quieter for hiring so don’t get discouraged! Things pick up in the new year. Which practice area do you work in now?

And still do work in my current area which is the area of law I love the most. However, it means going back to ID, which is something scary and I'm worried I'd be committing career suicide if I go back, especially since I worked so hard to get out. I'm not valued at all at my current firm. Haven't really been valued since I stopped working for my old mentor over 2 years ago and have just hopped around toxic firms. Finding a long term firm has been extremely difficult and I just haven't landed on my feet. I turned down my old mentor and I have no idea if I made the wrong choice.

What if I get stuck in ID again? I'm so terrified of that. But also terrified of leaving to another firm in the future and it being just as bad as my current one

I know safety is tempting, but don’t go back to ID. If you really can’t find a job, work for your local DA’s (or PD’s) office for a bit. They pretty much are always hiring.

Can you elaborate on what is toxic about your current firm, and why you think you’re being pushed out? Are you maybe just still adjusting to different work, processes, people, personalities, etc.? Any chance you’re selling yourself short/feeling imposter syndrome? I worked really hard to get out of ID too and would never go back. Jumping back into ID just seems too risky.

It's definitely not imposter syndrome. Just work for some seriously unhinged people who aren't fond of me. Thought I finally was where I needed to be since I made it out of ID, but now I feel incredibly lost.

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