By Liz Vaysman • October 30, 2014•Careers, Other Career Issues, Law School, Choosing a Career and Landing a Job, Issues, Other Issues
Before heading to college, my best friend's dad gave us some advice. He said you will succeed as long as you follow the 8/8/8 rule - 8 hours of school, 8 hours of play, and 8 hours of sleep. I followed these rules to a "T" in college and it paid off. I was able to balance academic productivity with health and maintain a social life. Of course sometimes I strayed off course, but for the most part, this worked.
Now, 8 years after starting college, I'm realizing that I need to set some similar guidelines for myself. I've been in a strange limbo for the past several months. I graduated from a decent law school in a city filled with lawyers and also with one of the highest growing job markets in the country. I studied and sat for the bar, then began applying and networking as much as possible. I maintained a part time job, loaned money from my family, and even did some freelance work. Now, months later, I found out that I did not pass the bar and I also still do not have a full time career.
As you can imagine, I have found it hard to control certain aspects of my life that are quite deterring. However, being incredibly stubborn has paid off. I definitely get upset and sleep more than ever, but for the most part, I am still happy and highly motivated. I finally have the time to give back to my body, which I rarely had in law school, exercising and eating healthy, and am able to be there for my family as much as I can.
I know I am not alone in this position and that it is not unusual, but I refuse to continue to let the areas that I can't control overshadow those which I can. I'm realizing it is time to make a change, and a tangible one that I can see. Moving forward, I am going to follow a new 8/8/8 rule. Every day I will make 8 moves towards my career, 8 towards my health, and 8 towards stability. I will list them out each day, at least through the end of this year, with the idea that such actions will become part of my daily routine. Yes there is already a spreadsheet involved.
Career examples include job applications, informational interviews, reaching out to friends for help, and attending seminars. Health examples include fitness, sleep, eating healthy, and also omitting some things maybe I should not be doing. Stability examples include everything from helping others, paying my credit card and balancing my loans, de-cluttering my closet, and maintaining a connection and grasp with my family and friends.
I'm not sure if this will work, but I know it will show me tangible steps that I am taking moving forward. I will be able to see a list of moves I have made every day for a few months towards bettering a not-so-good situation. In our profession and in my position there are often many unknowns and uncontrollable forces. By making small and even seemingly minute changes everyday, I hope to regain control where possible and create my own “knowns” moving forward.
Please share any advice or tactics that have worked for you. Only positive thoughts please!