Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Leaving the comfort zone

Last night at about 3:40 a.m. (I know that because I got a text message then that woke me up and got me thinking), I made a decision about my future. I decided that I can't stay in St. Louis next year, that I have to see if I can make it in Chicago or D.C. or someplace else.

I've wanted to stay in St. Louis because its comfortable. I know my way around here - I know where to find the good grocery store, the quick post office, the best sushi. I've got some good friends here, and I can happily drive my little car to work every day, never having to interact with anyone. Yet, when I go out on dates with people who have never left Missouri, never experienced living anywhere else, I am immediately bored. I judge those people, and in that same way, I judge myself. Why not at least try "making it" in a big city? Its not like Chicago would be that big of a risk - my family is there, I have friends there from law school, I kind of know my way around already. I can get advice as to which law firms treat their associates like slaves and which ones respect a work/life balance.

And then there is the money. After talking to my friends here regarding the amount they work, I'm more and more convinced that the hours are little different from midsized firms in Chicago, but the pay - well, that's very different. Since Chicago firms would count my clerkship as credit toward pay and partnership, I would come in as a third year associate up there. Also, I would get a clerkship bonus which these days is not something to sneeze at (down payment on a condo). In St. Louis - I get jack. Plus, the firm I previously worked at is likely merging with another firm to become a mega-firm (600+ attorneys), I don't see how this could possibly be a better "work environment" than most Chicago firms.

So, that was my thought process in the middle of the night. Does it still make sense in the light of day? Possibly, no probably. Now, I just need to take some action.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

I VOTE FOR DC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!