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Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Small town paralegal in the city. Once ran a law office, now being run by one. Med mal defense litigation. I think it's growing on me.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Changing Tides

Well fine legal pals, I've been looking through some of my past posts, and I realize that they could be considered prophetic. After five years as a litigation paralegal, with relatively no notice, I have jumped onto an entirely different career track.

A few weeks ago, a co-worker of mine met a friendly CEO exuding passion for his company in the elevator of the building we work in. He told her his office was looking for a new office manager/executive assistant/paralegal to work with the CEO, CFO, and a company lawyer, and offered to interview her for the position. Jump ahead two days and I randomly ended up in a surprise interview talking on level with three executives of that very company. And the next day I was accepting the job, much to my surprise and (a little) confusion.

Don't think that I didn't deliberate. I did. I made a calculated decision to (mostly) leave the legal field, but I did so quite unexpectedly and in great haste. Every day it looks like a better and better decision. Not the leaving my job as a paralegal, but the moving on to something different, new, challenging. I am still performing some legal tasks, but they are corporate-legal, which is a different, somewhat tamer, beast than litigation. In a small company, everyone plays a large role. So I am the accounts payable department, webmaster, sales coordinator, legal assistant, investor relations, receptionist, office manager, marketing assistant, and more. Every day I get to wear a different hat, and it reminds me a lot of my first few years wearing several hats in smalltown Alabama working with the Boss.

I'm remembering the things that I loved about that smalltown law firm job, too, and realizing that it is not the nature of the work but the work atmosphere that I enjoyed the most. Don't get me wrong - I love the law. But the most satisfying parts of my job with the Boss were the fast pace, the interaction with people, the different roles I had to play, the team-oriented experience, the chance to learn something new every day, the feeling that I was a part of making a difference, and the impression that I was a respected and well-regarded professional. I love that feeling! After four weeks at my new job, I can easily say that I get to feel that way nearly every day. In fact, my bosses seem to be striving to make sure I feel excited and interested in my new role. I forgot how it feels to be a part of a team, the give and take of ideas, the ease of collaboration, and the fun of learning new skills.

If I sound pumped up, I am. And on top of that, some crazy ladies in MLSA decided they want me as their Vice President this year! So, yeah, between a job that I am certain to love, my new position with MLSA, a summer marketing class, and planning for a quickly-approaching wedding, I'm going to be one busy girl for the next several months.