PHASE 1 of The Unbillable Life: Just Publish Your Posts, Already!
When I decided to start this blog, I wasn’t really sure where I was going to take it. This uncertainty caused me to write a bunch of draft blog posts, but delay ever actually launching the blog and posting the pieces.
I finally bit the bullet and followed the advice I’d heard over and over again: just start where you are and figure it out as you go along.
Even though I wasn’t 100% sure what the purpose of my blog was when I hit publish those first few times, beginning to write and publish allowed me to experiment with various ideas.
My ideas for what I want The Unbillable Life to turn into have evolved, thanks to the simple fact that I just started to write and hit publish!
In this post, I’ve outlined a little bit about the blog’s beginnings and where I plan to take it next.
The Unbillable Life’s Original Core Mission Statement
The original mission statement of the blog is the following:
“Written by a former Biglaw attorney, this blog is here to help you build a life you love during, between and after your time spent working at a law firm or other demanding job. As much time as we spend working at our corporate jobs, when it comes down to it, it is the Unbillable time in life that means the most.”
There are a few aspects to this message, but the core concept I’ve tried to convey is that life is about more than the hours we spend at work, billing our time away to clients. We can’t afford to ignore the time we spend away from work – what I call our “Unbillable time.”
Work, of course, is extremely important, both in that we need it to support ourselves and our families and also because it can be empowering, intellectually challenging, satisfying, and so much more.
But what happens when we spend so much of our lives at work, billing time? What is left for everything else? What if work drains us so much that it leaves us depleted and burned out, so we can’t enjoy the Unbillable time we have?
That’s really what The Unbillable Life was supposed to be about. Making sure we don’t neglect the Unbillable time, whether we are currently at demanding Biglaw jobs (or something similar) or if we’ve left them behind.
Where the Blog Has Been
This blog has been a bit all over the place. At first, I wanted to speak to those who had left Biglaw (like me) and also to those who were still in Biglaw jobs.
I’ve written about burnout, leaving Biglaw and advice on how and why you should leave a demanding job that is sucking the life out of you. But I’ve also written about how to succeed and excel at this very same job. I recognize there’s a bit of a disconnect there.
Are my readers supposed to excel at their Biglaw jobs or are they supposed to flee from them???
I was a little mixed up myself. While I ultimately felt like I had to get out of Biglaw, I also didn’t exactly hate it. There were many aspects of it that I did enjoy. And after having spent so much time at one law firm, I also learned a ton about how firms work and especially about how to succeed as an associate.
Because I had built up all of this knowledge about firm life, I felt compelled to share some of that information on the blog, too. In writing about these topics, you could say that I was keeping one foot (or maybe just one toe) in Biglaw and dangling one foot (plus 4 toes) out.
There were so many tips about law firm life and advice for success that I wanted to share. But instead of publishing endless posts on these topics, I decided to put them all into a book.
Yep, I Wrote a Book!
Coming Out In August 2019!
PHASE 2 of The Unbillable Life: A Book Launch and a Pivot
Because this e-book is all about how to succeed as a Biglaw associate, ahead of the book launch I plan to focus my upcoming few posts on similar topics – advice for law students and Biglaw associates.
Things like how to navigate on-campus interviews to get the Biglaw job; what podcasts I recommend and how to find some sort of balance when you’re working in Biglaw.
Then, in August, my book goes live for sale on Amazon Kindle!
The book is jam packed with everything I wish I had known ahead of starting my Biglaw job. I give my take on how to be a successful associate while also remembering to check in with yourself often to ask whether being a successful associate is what you actually want. If it’s not, it’s ok to leave Biglaw.
Which brings me to where this blog is going in the future…
After the Book Launch
After the book launch, I plan on having continued discussions about becoming the best junior associate you can be. If people are interested, I intend to do some one-on-one career coaching, along with speaking at law schools or law firms.
As this is happening, I’m going to shift the focus of The Unbillable Life away from law firm success tips and law firm career coaching. In a way, I’ll be closing my own Biglaw chapter.
While I won’t ever forget my time in Biglaw, as I venture further away from my time there, my day to day life has become focused on life after the law as opposed to life in the law.
The Pivot: A Focus on Burnout, Career Change and Leaving Biglaw
I know exactly what it’s like to feel burned out and stuck in a job. Feeling trapped because you’ve spend so much time and money on a career you realize you don’t want to have for the next thirty plus years. Feeling lost because you have absolutely no clue what else you could possibly do. Feeling scared because, how will you pay rent?
I felt all of those things, too, but I figured a way out and know that you can, too!
While I included Biglaw associates and topics on law firm success in many of my original posts, the real mission of The Unbillable Life isn’t to serve those who are genuinely happy and satisfied in their Biglaw jobs, who are trying to succeed and have lasting careers there (if that’s you, good for you, but you don’t need this blog!).
The Unbillable Life is for the rest of us (who I would argue outnumber the former group) who want to get out but aren’t sure how.
We’ll have discussions about and interviews with those who have done things differently. Those who have dared to leave law firm life or the law entirely and ventured out to try something new.
The Unbillable Life is going to be filled with advice for those who are feeling burned out. How do you detect burnout, fix it, cure it, and pivot yourself into something satisfying?
As i continue to write and evolve this blog, I’m sure even more changes will come. Any suggestions or feedback on what type of content you’d like more of is always welcome!
The Unbillable Life’s Revamped Core Mission Statement
Stay tuned for The Unbillable Life’s official revamped mission statement. It’s going to be based on what I know to be true: there is so much talent in Biglaw and other corporate jobs. But so much of that talent is unhappy, miserable, burned out and their potential is being wasted. It’s a huge problem, but one that we can fix, together.
This site is for anyone who never wants to bill an hour again. That doesn’t mean you don’t want to work, it just means you know you are meant for something different than a career trapped at a desk and billing hours to a client, doing something that you don’t enjoy.
If it isn’t Biglaw, which I suspect it isn’t, what are you meant to do?