So, I hate my job. For years I’ve been trying to work through nitty gritty and minutiae in the hopes that sorting out those details would “fix” my dissatisfaction. I’ve switched jobs a few times and dabbled in a few practice areas. But I’ve realized I just hate practicing law. Is there any reason to tell your boss or supervisor that you’re miserable? My assumption is no. They won’t fix things. So why would you? Any reason I should reconsider? (P.S. looking for an exit, but that’s not settled.)

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Honestly, wouldn't unemployment be the ideal time to explore different career paths and try different things? Imagine spending the amount of time you spent at work into opening up your own bakery.

What's the harm if you're miserable anyway? Being a lawyer is definitely a good "safety net" as far as careers go. The absolute WORST case scenario is that you take a job at a insurance defense or workers comp firm at a lower salary, but you'll be decently off. It's not like you'll be homeless.

Take your chance and see what you find! Sounds like you've given law a real shot and aren't just quitting "because it's hard". You've given it time and tried different practice areas. Go for it!

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You need to suck it up. But that doesn’t mean you need to stay miserable. Nevertheless you’re the bread winner for your family, and in a small area. You’ve burdened your family with huge student loans and you need to own up to the plan you made and the risk you’ve taken.

What area of law do you practice? Why are you miserable? What parts of your job do you like? Answer these questions first before trying to get us all to commiserate with you. Putting in a piss poor effort and skipping around different jobs didn’t make you satisfied with your career? Well of course it didn’t. Take some time to think about what worked well, and then try and find something in that direction.

I’m willing to listen and see what you liked about your past few attorney positions, but I need to know first that you haven’t already given up.

My friend went from Big Law to being a chef and baker. You're not alone. I love my job but everyone is different.

What do you enjoy doing?

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Here here! I suck with cars, so that wouldn’t work. And I’m decent at lots of other things but really good at none of them. So I’m not sure what my best alternative is that doesn’t include a 50% paycut. If I were single, I’d suck it up and move into a trailer. My wife and kids don’t like that idea, though.

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If you're thinking of leaving law altogether, it's not like asking them will hurt your future job prospects. Worst case they know you're leaving and make you leave sooner. But, as long as you show them your work isn't suffering they might be able to offer some guidance.

Maybe they can help you identify what it is you don't like about practicing, and either adjust or amicably say goodbye.

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That’s sort of what I had been thinking. But I’m not close enough to having an exit identified that I’m afraid of the middle scenario where they show me the door and then I’m unemployed. Part of me says that’s not all bad. Unemployment is a great motivator. But I’m nonetheless loathe to invite that on myself.

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You should check out The Former Lawyer Podcast. The host has started a whole community of former lawyers to support each other. It might help you figure out why you’re miserable and whether to leave the law.

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I admit I haven’t either, but it’s piqued my interest. I’m considering leaving the law one day myself but not quite there yet. Not sure what I would do. But I do appreciate listening to the podcast to hear other people’s stories.

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I’m with you. I’ve thought about telling my boss that I am miserable at work but i think it will cause him to analyze my work even more so! I would say come up with a plan first before telling him/her.

Yep. That’s where I’m at. Although I know that having that plan in place means that, even if they respond well to my concerns, entirely unlikely I’d agree to stay put. Other internal rumblings make me all the more interested in leaving.

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