Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More Changes

And on the topic of growth and change, I'm about to embark on a huge set of changes. Yesterday I was offered a new job, which I'm planning on accepting today. It will start at the beginning of October, and I will be leaving my job at the law firm where I have worked for five years.

It is not without a lot of trepidation that I switch jobs. The law firm where I currently work is really like a big family. Two of my bosses were my teachers in law school, and additionally, I did a co-op with this firm during law school. They have taught me everything they know. I had a lot of autonomy at this job - I could take any sort of immigration case that I wanted. I only answered to myself. A lot of life changes occurred during my job here - I transitioned out of law school, was sworn into the bar, my dad died, and I went through my entire pregnancy there. The fall that precipitated Annie's early labor occurred just outside my office, as I was coming back from lunch.

But I can't stay. The firm has had some very serious financial troubles, particularly over the last year. Starting in January, my hours had been cut back to 4 days a week. And up until about a week ago, they didn't know if they would be able to take me back at all in September when I finish my maternity leave. Last week, they finally said I could come back 2 days a week (less than I wanted), but there were no promises about the future. It is extremely doubtful whether I could even accomplish my job with only 2 days a week in the office. Anyone who has talked to me about this knows that I have some strong opinions about why the firm is in such trouble, but I won't go into that here. Suffice it to say that I don't think things are going to improve there, even if the economy improves, and I could very well be facing a complete lay-off if I stayed with them.

The new job is completely different from my old job. Instead of litigation and direct client services, I will be advising criminal defense attorneys about the consequences of various crimes on their client's immigration status. While I am happy to be challenged, and while I see a lot of potential in this job, the absolute change in what I'll be doing is a bit staggering. And in addition to the complete change in job description, I'll be working in a completely different section of the city.

I'm scared. I didn't want to have to deal with a change in job right at the time that I'm dealing with the significant changes in my personal life that come with having a baby. Perhaps I should've seen the writing on the wall at my old job sooner than I did, and should've switched jobs a long time ago. "Should'ves" and "could'ves" are convenient but useless in retrospect.

I'm going to miss my bosses and co-workers and my clients. I'm going to miss my office, with the big window overlooking a little park with beautiful trees. I'm going to miss all the sandwich shops where I used to eat lunch. I'm going to miss working with clients. I wish it wasn't time to move on.

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