For the past few years, I have contemplated my career’s direction and focus. I have sought ways to have it better reflect my ideals and allow me to finish my career doing the type of work that brings me joy and peace. When an organization I belong to took a public stance on an issue that I could not support, it caused me to seriously reflect not only on whether the organization aligns with my values but also on whether it aligns with my future. I have been like Marie Kondo lately in deciding what sparks joy in my life and, more importantly, what does not.
Every personality or career assessment I have taken since high school identified my skills and charisms as service, leadership, and administration. Being an organized helper is in my DNA, so it’s no wonder I like Marie Kondo so much. A different type of assessment I took a while ago identified these same three as my top skills and described them as my “working gifts,” the ones I am using each day. This assessment also identified my other charisms as giving, teaching, wisdom, and helping; these were described as my “gifts in waiting,” the gifts I have but that I am not using fully. Since taking that assessment, I have noted that the work that brings me the most joy is work where I am using all of my gifts. More and more, I find that family law litigation does not spark joy, but a more holistic type of family law practice does.
I am not giving up family law – it will remain an essential part of my practice. What I am doing is being even more selective in the cases I take – but my professional focus will now better align with my calling. I love the help and guidance I provide my clients. Seeing the transformation in their lives “sparks joy.” After 25 years of law practice (and double that in life experience), I have plenty of wisdom to share with people experiencing a family transition, be it by divorce, the death of a spouse, having an empty nest, or having that nest filled back up again.
When I formally added estate planning to my practice several years ago, I had been studying it for years. Before I went public with my estate planning practice, I had practiced litigation-based family law for over fifteen years and was well known for it. I was nervous and questioned whether adding a new practice element would be successful. Fast forward to 2022, and estate planning has become a significant portion of my business.
With some of the same trepidation I felt when taking the first steps to add estate planning to my practice, I am getting ready to take the plunge and become trained as a life coach to add this additional service to my family law practice. Change is scary. Our brains are hardwired against it. By the time I hit “publish” on this post, I will have edited it many times over several days. I will have a few butterflies, but I believe I will feel joy when I go public with my new endeavor.