Ever feel like you’re just pretending to be someone you’re not? And that any minute now, someone will discover who you really are and expose you? I’m talking about work. Sometimes I feel like I don’t belong or don’t fit in my work environment. Most of the time I really don’t know what I’m doing and I’m just coasting along. Like I’m just play-acting and one day, someone will notice that I’m not really a lawyer and point out that I don’t know jack-shit.
I’m been ‘practicing’ since October 2003. (It’s funny how attorneys use the term ‘practice’ to describe their years in the trade.) Well, in this field, I am definitely a rookie. I know it’ll take time in order to be more seasoned. Sometimes I wish I can just fast forward to a time where I’ll already have about 8-10 years experience under my belt. I always go to someone with more experience to get advice and run my ideas. (Hm...on that note, I think my supervisors are sick of answering my questions and probably think I'm a dunce). Sometimes though, I’m just overwhelmed at the idea that I’m responsible for a single case. My colleagues tell me that I shouldn’t take things so personal, but I do sometimes. And when I do, that’s when I get the overwhelming feeling of responsibility. I guess I just have to learn how to balance it all.
I went to law school out of default –as in I didn’t really put much thought into it. I graduated from college and wanted to work for a year or so. My parents were the ones who insisted I just go to law school right away, and for lack of a reason not to (that and I needed to renew my student visa) I just went. But I always knew that I wanted a job in the non-profit and public service sector. So during law school, my experience involved working for government agencies. Job-wise, my only two choices were either to be a prosecutor or a public defender. I knew that corporate law was not for me (although that’s where the money is, as most people pointed out to me.)
Well I was lucky enough to land my job. And here I am questioning my ability. Well I know I’m not stupid. I know I am smart and cultured. I’m also very sincere. But in this game, you also need to be confident, articulate, and know how to sell yourself. I need to hone my skills in that area and learn how to be cocky. I need to learn how to play the game, essentially. Right now, I’m tired of attorneys referring to me as a “young lady” who needs to speak to her supervisor all the time. I want to emote a sense of authority.
Can I do it? Do I do it now? Sure. Sometimes. I mean, I know what I’m doing on a day-to-day basis of course. There are even days when I’m mighty proud of myself. I shoot down counter-offers and argue to get my way. I’ve won several bench trials already. But I still need to learn the lawyer swagger that I see in some of my adversaries. I just want to be comfortable in my lawyer skin and have years of experience already. I hate feeling unsure of my self when something comes up. I don’t want to feel like I’m just pretending to be who I’m not. In due time I guess.
Song of the Day:
New Hampshire by Sonic Youth (yes, same as yesterday!)