signs time to quit biglaw firm job

signs quit job quit career biglaw

Are You Ready to Quit Your Job?

Read on for a list of my top 10 reasons it might be time for you to quit your job!

1. Jealousy.

You find yourself jealous of every person in your office who has a job that appears less-stressful or less-demanding than yours.  For me, this was basically everyone at my Biglaw firm who wasn’t a lawyer.

This included, but was not limited to, feeling jealous on a daily basis of at least one of the following people: the cleaning lady who worked the evening shift, the extremely friendly woman who worked at the coffee bar, the young women who ran the cash register in the firm cafeteria, the front desk security guards, the word processing team who worked overnight shifts in a windowless, basement office and, perhaps most of all, the secretaries/practice assistants who never stayed at the office one minute past 5:30pm.

2. Weight Gain/Loss.

This one is simple – you have either gained or lost, unintentionally, a significant amount of weight. Sometimes this one is harder to see for yourself because we tend to turn a blind eye to it, and just assume the laundry is what is shrinking our pants.

However, if you look around your office, you can see it on the frames of your coworkers. It can be alarming to see a drastic change in someone within a short span of time. If that someone is you, it might be time for a career change.

3. Overall Health.

You think that you are too busy to go to the doctor or dentist for a year (or more) and view not having enough time to make (and then subsequently follow-through and actually make it to) these appointments as just a part of the job. 

No job should take up so much of your time that you are unable to tend to your basic health needs, so if your job is preventing you from doing this, it’s probably time to cut back and make a change.

4. Sunday Scaries.

Your “Sunday Scaries” (read all about them HERE) begin on Saturday, or even on Friday night the moment you’ve left the office for the weekend.  If your job is stressing you out so much that even on weekends when you aren’t working, the thought alone of going back to work and how terrible it is going to be is enough to spoil your whole weekend, something is wrong.

Even if you aren’t getting the tell-tale pit in the stomach feeling until late on Sunday night, it’s still probably worthwhile to assess your job and life anyways. Maybe it’s not time to quit yet, but something is not right. I’ve written before about some quotes that might help inspire you to deal with the Sunday Scaries, if you have them – which you can check out HERE.

5. Hobbies.

You no longer have any hobbies.  Did you used to play co-ed rec soccer but don’t have time for it anymore? Did you used to like to paint or do crafts in the evenings while you unwound?  How about volunteering? Training for triathlons?

If these have all fallen by the wayside, your life is out of whack and it might be time to find another job that can accommodate your life as well as your job.

6. Plans.

You never make plans anymore because it’s easier not to make plans than to make them and probably have to cancel them. Or even worse, maybe nobody invites you anywhere anymore because when they used to, you’d never be able to go anyways. This is a lonely way to go about life. If you can, start making those plans again, even if it makes you anxious that you might have to cancel them, and then do everything in your power to stick to them.  If you try this for a while, and it isn’t working, it’s probably time to let the job go.

7. Expectations.

You are only sticking it out at the job because you think other people think you should or expect you to be there.  If you dream about leaving and doing something else, but don’t think you can because you don’t want to disappoint your family (what would your mom think if you no longer worked that big corporate job, what would she tell all her friends that you did?), your alma mater (would you have to update the alumni directory to “Unemployed”? Isn’t that terrible for their employment stats?), or Sheryl Sandberg (leaving the job was probably a sign of leaning out and not leaning in, so Sheryl would be so disappointed in you), take a step back.

Thinking about what others will goes through many people’s minds before they quit.  Remember you are the only one on that mental list of people who you don’t want to disappoint.  If you don’t want the job, get out.  This is a great exercise you might find useful to help you  redefine yourself – because you are more than just your job.

8. No More Dreaming.

You stopped dreaming or thinking that your dreams could become a reality if you just acted on them.  When I was still at my Biglaw job, I used to talk with my coworkers about quitting and opening up a juice business or a fitness company.  We would get super excited about the company/companies, even discussing names, what we would sell, where we would set it up, who we would cater to, etc.

While it never got any more serious than some fun dreaming, I realized that there was a key difference between me and at least one of my coworkers – I still thought the dreams were possible.  Why couldn’t someone who was fit and into exercise quit his or her job and open up a private personal training business?  Why couldn’t a super smart lawyer quit and open up a health food or juice business?

Sure it would take a lot of work, but I knew these things were possible. My coworker did not, because he had stopped dreaming. If you no longer think anything more is possible for you, run from the job you’re at before it sucks you in like quicksand and keeps you locked in forever.

9. Vacationless Vacations.

You don’t take any vacations. Or, if you do take one, you work the whole time you are away.  Another thing that might happen if you are one of the few people who takes his or her vacation is that your coworkers might make you feel guilty about that vacation.  You can try to combat this by implementing some of my advice on how to take a vacation the right way.

Vacations are benefits of a job and if you can’t take one or feel extremely guilty taking one, neither is a healthy environment to work in. Get out of there.

10. Missed Moments.

You’ve missed an important event such as a wedding of a sibling, even though you gave ample notice to your job of your upcoming commitment. This one is as simple and black and white as it gets.

Nothing at work is possibly as important as a milestone life event, so if you have missed one, even if you have convinced yourself that it was only that one time and only because you were invaluable to a certain project and they just could not have gone on without you (trust me, they could have), it’s time to move on.

*Biglaw Bonus*

Lastly, here is a bonus one just for the Biglaw associates out there.  It perfectly sums up the crazy world that is Biglaw. If you can relate to more of the memes in this Buzzfeed list than you care to admit, then run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit and don’t look back: 21 Signs It’s Time to Quit Your Biglaw Job.

Which of these, if any, can you relate to?  Can you think of any additional signs that hint (sometimes in glowing neon letters) that you should quit your job or even your career? Let me know in the comments below! 

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