4 Signs You Are Ready To Hire A Mentor
Let’s face it, the lawyer lifestyle is a bit ridiculous. It is often described as crazy, busy, and stressful. In other words, our roles can be described as the one who is serving everyone’s wants and we are happy to and want to help. But how do you balance the needs of the many with our own needs?
Have you ever thought to yourself, “ I’m taking care of so many people, who’s taking care of me? or at least, watching out for me?
The truth is, as hardworking lawyers, we carry an extra 10-15lbs from stress eating while our Pelotons collect dust, we hand the kiddos a tablet to distract them while we finish emails, and we promise to make time for our partners and then make excuses instead.
But do you want to know something? It doesn’t have to be this way! Here’s the thing, the Lawyer Lifestyle is not set in stone. It is in fact possible to work hard during the day, have flex time, AND take the evenings off to be with the one’s you love. I’ve been an advocate for this change for month’s now, responding to questions, calls and pleas from other desperate lawyers who need a break, who need hope to know that this is not the end. This is not what we worked so hard to achieve.
To be honest, my work-life balance as a practicing lawyer running my own firm and a single mother is still not perfect. But in the same breathe- I have grown leaps and bounds from where I was even one year ago- being able to take a week off to go on vacation with my boyfriend, or block time in my day for shopping or to pick up my son from school. I don’t bring work home with me, and I am not up at the crack of dawn opening files.
So, what helped me find more balance and direct my career to this point? Hiring a Mentor.
I think I resisted the urge to ask for help for so long, but looking back, it is the best decision I made. From my own experience, here are 4 Signs You Are READY to Hire a Mentor
1. Your career is at a standstill.
You are working around the clock, billing all the hours, but your days are repetitive, and there is no plan for change. You know, or have an idea of where you want your career to go, but you have no idea what your next step is. It’s that same feeling of treading water- doing all of this work but not moving in any direction.
A great mentor can help you navigate your career into a direction you wanted to go. If you have no idea what your next step is, your mentor will be there for you to help you clarify and take action.
2. You are burnt out. I almost feel like this is an over-used term, so before I elaborate about why this is a tell-tale sign that you are ready for a mentor, let me first define what I mean by burnout.
Burnout is the very real feeling of not managing your time well, constantly doing, not very present to how you are feeling, and if you were, you would realize that you are tired, miserable, unhappy, unhealthy, and in major need of some self-care.
A mentor can help you prioritize your time, wellness and help you understand how taking care of yourself is the best way that you can take care of your clients, your family, and everyone you love. 3. You feel nobody understands what you are going through.
I will admit, I have felt like I didn't have anyone in my personal life or even professional life who could fathom the pressure of what I was going through every single day. Non-lawyers just don't understand, and I don’t say that to be malicious, but a mentor has been there, experiences your struggles, and can help unlike those who have not. Here, let me give you an example.
One day I was talking with my friend who owns a donut shop. He is not the baker, donut maker or even the one who opens the doors at 5 am to serve the early birds. Instead, he handles the business, management, schedules, payroll, marketing, budget, ordering, etc. Now, what if that owner, who is pretty busy working away, was told that he also needed to make the donuts? WHY? Because his donuts that he bakes are the best AND people are coming from far and wide to only get his donuts.
I know what you’re thinking- what a good problem to have. BUT, that donut shop owner is also a people pleaser and wants to make the Donuts. So he starts waking up early, rushing to make his donuts, falls behind on his management duties, stays at work a little later, rushes diner with his family, and then spends his evening trying to catch up on managing.
A mentor would tell that donut shop owner that he needs BOUNDARIES, just like they would tell you the same thing. Actually, I think this is reason number 4. Mentors help you enforce boundaries. Are you a pushover? People pleaser? Perfectionist? I get it, and your mentor will too. What they will do is help you become self-aware and help you understand yourself better so that you can stand up for yourself when the time comes, making it that much more likely that you will end up exactly where YOU want to be.
So, how do you know this is the right time to hire a mentor? The fact that you are reading this right now means that it is time. The fact that you were drawn to this post and have read all the way down to the bottom means it is the right time. If you nodded along while reading this, and finally feel seen, heard, and understood, then it is the right time to hire a mentor. Click Here to get the details about my current mentorship program for lawyers who are ready to ditch the hustle, and find more balance and joy in their lives. Sincerely,
Lauren M. Angle B.A. (Hons) J.D. President of Angle Law Inc. Legal Mentor