I came out late.
I was 27 years old and working at a day center for homeless and runaway kids. Most were queer. It was a very gay space.
I remember when my boss John interviewed me, he asked, “What’s your deal? Are you gay or straight?”
I blushed and immediately shot back, “You aren’t allowed to ask me that question!”
He said, “Yeah, you’re right. I can’t legally. But if you work here, the kids will be asking you. If you don’t have a convincing answer, they will sniff it out.”
I had been wondering the answer to that question myself.
While I had dated men until that time, I had thoughts about being with women.
I did get the job and the kids did ask me.
I also met a woman who I fell in love with for the first time.
But I wasn’t ready to fully come out yet.
That June, during Pride weekend (it used to just be a weekend!), I went camping with a bunch of my straight friends. On the way back to the city, we stopped for a hike across the river. It was a beautiful day, and I remember feeling the pull of the parade. I felt I was in the wrong place, with the wrong (though lovely) people, doing the wrong thing.
Can you relate to this feeling?
Coming out about wanting to leave (big) law can feel similar.
The people you work with are (mostly) nice. But you’ve got a pull from somewhere in your center to be somewhere else, doing something else.
WILL members often talk about feeling inauthentic. A fraud. Like they are pretending or going through the motions.
That level of public deception takes A LOT of energy. Add that onto a demanding, draining job, and you’ve got a recipe for depletion.
Instead, take a moment to imagine what would make you feel…
- Proud of yourself
- Happy to talk about your work when you meet new people
- Good and satisfied at the end of the day
If it’s not continuing in (big) law, we’ve got to talk!
Book your complimentary consultation here.
With love, pride and acceptance for ALL of who you are,
Recent WILL Member “Prouds”
P.S. This week I had a coaching session with a member who credits her work in WILL with helping her leave big law and land an in-house role at a cryptocurrency startup.
She wanted to celebrate all the things she’s proud of. More pride!
I am proud that I…
- Set boundaries with the firm and created the space for this opportunity to come in. If it had come a month before, and if I hadn’t been doing WILL, I would have passed it by.
- Have time to get on my Peloton and work out. I put it on my calendar and get to my workouts about 75% of the time!
- Broke with the law firm gaslighting that I’m not “good enough”. I’ve broken the story that I am “a dime a dozen”, not a good enough lawyer, and not good enough to be a leader.
- Am taking a “roller coaster road trip” with my family on vacation this August.
- Can take guilt free vacations! I now work somewhere where they respect your PTO. Plus, I do not feel like I have to make up the time later.
- Am in a role where my family is happier too.
- Created space to dream.