Recently I took a podcasting class at the Made in NY Media Center in Brooklyn, an incubator that focuses on storytelling across every medium.

I often ask my clients (and myself) to pay attention to our internal stories.

What story AM I telling myself?
What other story COULD I tell myself?

Chatting with someone from the class on the way, home I had a huge ah-ha…

For women trying to leave big law, their story does not happen in isolation.

They exist within a story too.

Law firms have their narratives of prestige and power. If you are in a big firm, you live within this story.

The story often goes, (and I’m being crude here in my generalizations) … “We are so smart, big and important. This is the most prestigious place to work. If you leave here, you’ve failed.”

If you are surrounded by a “big and important” story, that’s another narrative to notice.  Ask yourself “Is this true?”

AND… what other story is also true?
  • Working here is NOT the only definition of success.
  • There are lots of smart people in the world.
  • Outside the firm, people aren’t impressed by what’s valued inside.
  • What else…?

It can be hard to feel like you have any power, when you are a character in someone else’s story. Draw a truth from Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.  Know in your heart you have the power to leaveto return home.

Ask: Do I want to remain a character in the firm’s story, or be the hero of my own?

Write yourself out of their story.  Project yourself three years into the future.

Begin with this:  Three years ago, I was working at Great & Powerful LLP and then I…

Let your imagination fly and your pen (or fingers) rip!

Write your way home. 

 

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