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. 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 the grind of family law litigation does not always spark joy, but a more holistic type of family law practice where I can use all of my gifts does.
Let this be understood: I am not giving up family law litigation – it will remain an essential part of my practice. What I am doing is being even more selective in the cases I take so that my professional focus will 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 book of business and allowed me to create a well-rounded family law practice.
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 – okay, not a plunge but getting my big toe wet – and become trained as a 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.