Misery Loves Company, But I Have Work to Do


I spend an unfortunate amount of time waiting for court to start. As a result, I sometimes find myself sitting around in groups of attorneys, kibitzing about anything under the sun. And inevitably, every month or so, one of these attorneys is complaining about his job. The attorney will lament some recent client interaction or overdue bill. Then the conversation will turn to why the attorney wishes he had done something else with his life. I’m serious. As the young lawyer, I’m then regularly given “advice” to “get out while I can.”

Don’t Drag Me Into Your Unhappiness

When attorneys tell me they wish they could change their career, they have no plans of doing so. They want me to know that they aren’t happy, and that I won’t be happy when I practice for fifteen or twenty years. The attorneys tell me that if they could do it all over again, they would choose a different career.

First of all, if you’re not happy, do something about it. And don’t drag me into it. You may be miserable, but I’m not. I love my job. I love helping people, and I love being my own boss. I won’t commiserate in your unhapiness. I may nod along with your whining, but it’s just for show.

Instead of Regretting the Past, Change the Future

Looking backward will only help you walk into things. If you’re not happy, change something. That’s what my partner and I did. We were tired of the idea of seeing sub-par attorneys represent clients ineffectively. We were tired of working for other people. And we were tired of sitting around complaining about our jobs.

Of course, not everyone is in a position to leave their jobs. There are families, mortgages, student loans, and myriad other things to worry about. But that doesn’t mean tomorrow can’t be a better day. If you’re not happy, find a way to be happy. Start writing a blog or participating in a league sport.


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  • Katie

    Here, here!

    I’m a law student, and I can’t tell you the number of people who have told me to quit–lawyers and non-lawyers alike. I made the choice. I am here. I am committed.

    • It’s “hear, hear,” smartypants.

  • Tanya

    Loved that!

  • John

    Just a little nit: kibbitzing is usually used to mean “looking over someone’s shoulder and giving them unwanted advice”, while kvetching is a yiddish synonym for “carping”, which is what I think you meant.
    We kibbitz a bridge game, and kvetch about the results.