I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Upcoming Interview Jitters

So, I have an interview coming up with a large downtown law firm. By "downtown" law firm, I Mean a 1,000 lawyer firm based out of Chicago.

The first question I ask myself is, "Why am I doing this?" I lead a really cushy life right about now. No big deal. Easy. Show up to work, go for 10, 11 hours, go home. Nothing too stressful, no one yelling. Laid back. And I get paid very, VERY well for someone who rarely has to go in on the weekends.

Why am I looking to trade this? After all, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? I (generally) like my job, and generally I like my co-workers, even if they are a bit chatty sometimes.

We'll see. I just got a creepy vibe off the Firm's webpage. I guess that means nothing, after all, I've read through hundreds of big-firm webpages in the past, and none of them are cuddly, charming or friendly.

On the plus side, this really doesn't count. If I (I won't) get offered a position, I'll really have to think about it. I will absolutely break six figures, but is that pay increase going to be worth selling my soul? And if/when I do end up selling my soul, will I promptly start looking for an even fancier place on the beach, thus locking myself into a pair of golden handcuffs?

The plus side is, I finally get to interview THEM. It's not like when I was desperately salivating for a job, panic stricken that I would never find one.

Now I'm the one who gets to evaluate whether they make me feel warm and gushy inside, as much as they get to evaluate whether they can wring me through the presses like a juicy, and slightly experienced orange.

We'll see. Right now, it seems like a lot of work, for a payout that, while generous, will really press the limits of my ADHD.

So, I guess it's time to start studying up on biographies once again, and learning my "suckup" information, even though I could give two shits. Time to haul out the old black folder, and the "fake it like you care" smile. And time to dust off the old "Thank you letter" stationary...

I'm not unhappy about this, and I'm not nervous, really; not for the interviews anyway. I'm more nervous that I'll be offered the job there (I won't, but hypothetically...) and have to make a REALLY life-altering decision. I mean, if I blow the interviews, I look stupid in front of two people who won't remember me from Adam in two weeks. If I don't, though, I will give serious consideration to giving up a LOT of autonomy and independence in my legal career. I'm doing stuff now that people in big firms don't get to do for YEARS. I sort of like it. I actually sort of ...know...what is happening. Sometimes.

I'll keep you posted.


Blogger Laura said...

As someone who opted for the big fish in a small pond choice career-wise, I say stay where you are. There's a lot to be said for getting better experience in a smaller environment. If I had been stuck doing what most straight out of college accountants were doing for the first two years, I would have gone crazy! Instead I got a lot of really good experience during that period and I don't think, at this point, my pay is significantly different than a "Big 4" accountant's. I could be wrong, but at least I'm only working 55 hours a week and not 70.

With that said, interviewing is a skill that atrophies with lack of use, so go to your interview, get the job offer, and have the satisfaction of turning down a firm that probably hardly ever gets turned down (trust me, it's a fantastic feeling).

8:12 PM

Blogger Sweet Daddio said...

After spending 16 years with large manufacturing firms (the last 9 with a global fortune 500 corp), I finally decided to try the small(er) family owned route. My job is going to be keeping the place running for Generation 3. Salary is somewhat higher, but cost of living is much lower (we bought 3400 sq ft of house for what we sold 1800 sq ft in Old town). I've only been here 1.5 years but thus far I like the smaller corporate structure.

I agree with Laura on interviews. Even when I was quite content with my job I continued to interview. There was some comfort in knowing I could get another job if I wanted it. That helped prevent some of my more obnoxious bosses from being able to intimidate me. Never let them get the feeling they have you handcuffed. It also helps to know what your "fair market value" is when negotiating raises.

5:55 AM


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