DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My parents gave up a lot to put me through college and then law school. They did what they could to pay as I went along, so there would be next to no loans to repay, and their plan worked.
But the thing is, now that I have been working in the legal field, I am beginning to believe it just isn’t for me. I am having a hard time seeing myself sticking with it for the next 20 or 30 years. I just do not have the personality for it.
I am afraid it will break my parents’ hearts to know they went without vacations, new cars, and putting more in their retirement funds so they could give me an education. At the time I really loved studying the law, and had an overall good internship experience, although some of what I learned during it began to seed my doubts. Now that I’m with a general practice law firm, and reality has set in, it is already getting hard to go into the office every day.
How do I break this change of heart to my parents? --- THE LAW’S NOT FOR ME
DEAR THE LAW’S NOT FOR ME: While I’d bet your parents want you to be happy, I’d also bet they’d want you to give the job a chance. There’s often a period or process of adjustment to be faced when the realities of an idea or ambition kick in. This isn’t to say you should lock yourself into a life of unhappiness in your career. Perhaps you could explore other firms or types of practices that might appeal more to your personality and strengths.
If after a year or so, you’re still feeling the law isn’t for you, then begin looking around for something that will be a better fit, and be honest with your parents. They’ve been behind you so far, hopefully they’ll go with the flow on what comes next, especially if you can demonstrate to them that you truly did give it an honest shot.