I switched law firms at the end of October – taking a great, big leap into the unknown. Prior to the switch, I had been back at Cutler, Trainor & Cutler, LLP for about a year and a half, before that – two years with ilovekickboxing.com – and then for almost 12 years prior to that, I was at Cutler, Trainor & Cutler, LLP. So, overall, I spent 13.5 years at one law firm, fully entrenched in its routine, movement patterns, and inner politics.
Working at the Cutler firm was very easy for me and sometimes that easiness made the job boring. Leave it to the clients though to swoop right on in with some crazy story or scenario and that would make the day interesting. I knew the people very well; knew what I could and couldn’t say, how far to press an issue and when to drop it. I am a very good judge of personalities and moods, so I found comfort in knowing what to expect. Waters I was comfortable navigating. Leaving and going to a different, 3x as large firm felt risky to me but it also felt like the right choice for me and my family. So, I made the move.
It is office policy that reviews are done quarterly with staff. Today was my first one and it was neither good nor bad. It was neutral – “blah”, as I called it. What I really wanted was to be told how fucking amazingly awesome I am and how, despite that, I could do better in the areas of x, y, and z.
But that didn’t happen. They are still getting a feeling for my work and are ready to shift some more stuff to me so that I don’t have such big gaps in my work flow. Going from a general practice firm to a firm where I am specialized is an adjustment for me because I feel like there are times of plenty and times of twiddling thumbs (almost) ~ waiting to hear back from people and Court systems. I expressed a willingness to be cross-trained into other things so that I can keep moving, but was told that the work flow would be accessed and re-delegated. I think I will be much happier once I am given more responsibilities. I like feeling busy and productive.
I did get a tidbit of advice though from the founding partner, Lou Pierro ~ it was:
Cue: That’s what she said.
Seriously though, I have been chewing on the “go deeper, not wider” comment all damned day. I was considering if it was some sort of insult; like maybe I don’t know what I’m really doing at all and they’ve CAUGHT ON…and I’m just quickly swiping off surface stains – not actually affecting the fabric of my work. Simply doing admin work on a paralegal salary. An honest look at that assessment is maybe that is what I am doing unconsciously.
Hear me out:
I love trying new things and learning how to do things. But I do quickly move from one thing to the next, before I’ve even “mastered” my first task. A perfect example would be my Etsy shop. I am continuing to learn how to market that on social medias in a smart, productive way. I am learning what I can do with glass bottles and how I can create something pretty odd and unique using remnants of this and that. I have not mastered having an Etsy shop yet (I’m only a little over a month in with one sale), nor have I achieved any sort of overnight success with my social media marketing. Both of these things take time and consistent effort every day for likely a substantial period of time. I’ve been working steadily every single day so far this year on this task.
YET – I found myself digging the other night through a baggie vintage jewelry that I purchased a while ago, looking up brands and Olympic collector pins on Google to see if I have anything worth value so I can OPEN A GODDAMNED EBAY STORE FOR VINTAGE/COSTUME JEWELRY!?
This is what I’m talking about. Picking up other projects instead of continuing to work on mastering one. It’s so me. It’s what I do. I pride myself on being a multi-tasker but chronic multi-tasking means nothing gets completely done. It means a lot of projects hang out in various stages of done-ness until I get a bug up my ass to finish it. Or don’t. Or re-think it and take it all apart and start something new again.
I may just take the “go deeper, not wider” as a challenge to really hone in on my craft ~ at work and at home ~ because I imagine there is a huge sense of pride when you finally do master what it is you’ve been working so hard at every single day. I may be willing to find out, actually. Why not? What do I have to lose?