Last week, I spoke at a law conference like no other (it’s called the Retreat – and it’s all about making lawyers’ experiences in LawLand more positive and enjoyable).
I spoke about my experience of thriving in law…. In fact, my talk was called “Thriving in law, a quiet perspective”.
I originally intended to speak about being an introvert in law and the peculiarities or challenges that come with working in a world more or less set up for extroverts. In preparation for my talk, I bought a load of books to read to become an “expert” on being an introvert.
With the many and varied competing demands in my life, I’m sorry to say I didn’t make the time to read them all, and so I felt less than qualified to speak about being an introvert in law, running my own practice. Even though I am one.
Instead, I spoke about how I’ve established my practice, why I established it and how I make it work for my family and I – because for me, the decision was all about family.
Part of what I spoke about was why I chose to step out on my own almost 4 years ago, and how valuable it has been identifying and defining what my idea of success is.
I won’t tell you, you don’t need to know because you probably have a different idea of success.
We all do – and that’s why it’s important to know what it looks like for you as you move forward.
So – why have I decided to speak about being an introvert in law, anyway? Why now?
Because I am a sole practitioner who is also the marketer, lawyer, admin person, secretary in my office. At home I am the emotional load carrier, the primary parent to three small humans, the primary income earner, the planner, the mother, wife, friend, confidante (thank goodness I am not also the shopper and cook!)
I am a person who, like most other people, wants to give my best to all that I do – at work and home – I also need to take time to myself to consider, contemplate, problem solve.. recharge. And with all those competing priorities – that’s a real challenge.
Many of you are all those things too. And what I’m finding from the conversations I’m having is that it can feel really overwhelming – it doesn’t need to be.
Know who you are – and how and where your energy comes from – times of solitude, or from being around groups of people? That’s the very basic and simple definition of the difference between introverts and extroverts. In coming weeks, I’ll explore this more.
With the benefit of hindsight, I have always been an introvert, but I didn’t realize until our third child arrived and Luke stopped working FIFO (having always worked four out of five weeks away).
And then we were all together all.the.time.
I have always needed to mentally prepare myself to attend some functions, and take the time to recover afterwards. Before having children, it was just what I did – there was a lot of time alone because that’s what I enjoyed.
I had always enjoyed having my own space to work (don’t talk to me about open plan office environments!), and truth be told, my favourite time to work is in the late hours of the day when the world is sleeping.
But I didn’t realize that made me an introvert.
And so I have realized, that perhaps many others don’t realize either.
Sole practice is perfect in many ways for introverts – you can purposefully arrange your day and week to suit you – create your own targets to achieve. Choose what functions you’ll attend without the pressure of the hierarchy not-so-subtly directing you to go.
To be honest, it can be a challenge too, depending on the type of work you do.
What I hope to be able to do is help those lawyers and other professionals, sole practitioners, mumpreneurs, who are introverts, find ways to thrive in their own practices and still maintain their sanity.
I want to help people discover what is really important to them, and then help them find the courage and wisdom to build their life around your answer.
I’m excited to share with you the things I have found useful over the coming months – step two will be in the next article.
I’m always happy to chat about these things, so reach out if I can help at all!
Megan has worked with families who are experiencing separation and divorce for over 10 years. She is committed to assisting her clients find respectful outcomes to their separation, away from the Court process and with a focus on having a healthy future.
If you or someone you know needs assistance during divorce you can organise a complimentary 15 minute phone appointment with Megan here.
You may wish to clear your browsing history now if you are reading this article on your phone or computer and you are considering separation, but have not yet separated; or you otherwise want to maintain your privacy.