Thursday, March 28, 2013

IF YOU'RE HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT:  According to a CareerBliss.Com survey, the happiest workers?  Real estate agents.  The least happy?  "Associate attorneys."  I'm sure we have some folks who will weigh in on that.

14 comments:

  1. Three comments:

    1. Overall, not surprising re: BigLaw associate, considering the subjectivity of the survey.
    2. That said: Being a BigLaw associate was not awesome, but "soul-crushing ennui" definitely didn't describe my experience.
    3. Does this author know what it's like to be a law clerk? Because that's actually (in my experience anyway) an awesome job.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I read the related piece in ATL (http://abovethelaw.com/2013/03/unhappiest-job-in-america-take-a-guess/) and had three reactions:


    1. Overall, not surprising re: associate, especially given the subjectivity of the test.
    2. That said: Being a BigLaw associate was not awesome, but "soul-crushing ennui" definitely didn't describe my experience.
    3. Does this author know what it's like to be a law clerk? Because that's actually (in my experience anyway) an awesome job.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sorry, the link picked up the closing parenthetical and thus does not work. Here it is: http://abovethelaw.com/2013/03/unhappiest-job-in-america-take-a-guess/

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Pathetic Earthling3:05 PM

    My problem when I was an associate -- and why Big Law never really agreed with me -- was that I found my moods completely bipolar. If I was working on something interesting with good people, I did very well, got more work and was generally well regarded. If I was working on something dull or with awful people, my work and attitude suffered. The promise of getting back to the good stuff was never enough to tie me over.


    Now, before anyone raises the point: "Well, that's what they frakking pay you money for!" I agree and I do not blame my mixed success as an associate on anyone but myself. But I was constitutionally incapable of weaving gold into a tolerable attitude when confronted with shit work or assholes. And I'm very very glad that chapter of my life is irrevocably behind me.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My guess is "law clerk" there is used to mean "paralegal"/"Process server"/"attorney not yet admitted to the bar" as opposed "clerk for Federal Judge."

    ReplyDelete
  6. SHIT YES.


    I'll say that I was more unhappy as an associate, but more satisfied than as a contract attorney, if that made any sense. The nature of the profession has changed so much that if I graduated law school now versus 2005, I'd have a more considered plan than "go to a big firm, learn stuff, and figure out what I really want to do, mostly because it's what everyone else is doing." The economics of law school also drives many people who don't belong at firms to them, contributing to the unhappiness, I'm sure, as does the complete disconnect between the intellectual atmosphere of law schools to the realities of junior associate practice (on most days). Lawyers are also whiny, but not without justification in this case.


    I was in a position this summer because of NO POLITICS to give advice to a large number of new college graduates considering law school, and I tried to be very frank that they should only go if they want to be a lawyer and are prepared to be firm associates if that's what the debt load requires; but those who do want to be lawyers shouldn't be discouraged by the fact that other people either entered the profession or made decisions along the way that weren't right for them, me included.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I wonder which way the causality here goes (no doubt, it's in part both ways, but which predominates?). For me, being a real estate agent would be completely intolerable; I just couldn't stand that direct, retail client-facing interaction all day. I admire people that can do that, and they seem to be generally happy, upbeat people to begin with. Is it that happy people go into real estate, or that real estate sales is an inherently happy-generating profession? And vice versa for associates at law firms?

    ReplyDelete
  8. They never seem to include entertainment industry careers in these types of surveys. I want to be reassured that my peers are miserable, too!

    ReplyDelete
  9. MidwestAndrew7:22 PM

    I am frankly surprised that "Newspaper anything" is not listed. Reporters, editors, photographers, etc. — It's a brutal time in our world, with cutbacks, undocumented overtime, high pressure, companies in threat of bankruptcy, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Mr. Cosmo8:42 PM

    OK, bizarre aside. Who owns the copyright for law school musicals?

    ReplyDelete
  11. As a general rule, copyright rests in the author unless there's an agreement to the contrary. It gets tricky on songs, which are normally parodies of existing songs, so arguably, copyright there would be co-owned by the writer of the original song and the new material.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Please. All they'd had to do was give me a beer and ask me about "the industry."

    ReplyDelete
  13. Right. Think Gil from The Simpsons.

    ReplyDelete