When I was a lawyer in a big firm I used to love working in a tall tower. I loved slipping out of work late across the shiny floors. The hushing sound of the cleaners polishing the marble in the background.
I used to love being the last one to leave work at night. Leaving late wasn’t a badge of honour that sat proudly on my chest, like it did for some, it was something that just happened and became a habit
I loved working in the silence and solitude while I stayed late, listening to the office tower settle for the night. I used to love the opulent surroundings and the million-dollar views. I mean, come on, who wouldn’t...?
I even loved the late-night camaraderie in the kitchen when we ate the often stale, cut sandwiches for dinner.
That was before I woke up.
Or more properly was woken up by extreme burnout and realised that the authentic me did not care for any of those things and she was being slowly eroded as a round peg in a square hole.
The woman inside the automaton that went to work each day was dying a slow death trying to be someone she was not. Loving the material trappings and the importance the position gave her, when that’s not really her thing.
Falling prey to the dream of a power office with a view. Looking for the external validation of being needed to solve a problem. Rubbing my hands with glee to know I was important. I helped high profile people make hard decisions. That made me important, right?
Big law firms are strange beasts. And at the firm I joined, I found a tribe. A pack of smart and witty people who could joust with words. A pack who liked to work hard and party hard too. I had found a home. A sense of belonging too.
That was then, this is now.
Now I’m on another wavelength altogether. And if I am up late it is because I am talking to someone on the other side of the world helping them overcome a challenge or a habit they no longer want.
But if this speaks to you and you feel like you are not working and living in alignment with your authentic self and you are finding it harder and harder to fit then let’s chat. I would love to hear from you.