Legal Career

Don’t Even Care…

…except I do. A LOT. Too much, in fact.

My job is demanding. I’m required to know at least a little bit of everything – from layoffs, to how Professional Problem Committees are formed, to how flex days are paid out. Without knowing details about each of these areas, you might think, aren’t some of these things more of a Payroll or Human Resource function? Yes, you’d be right, but since Unions can grieve anything in the collective bargaining agreement (and practice and policy), I’m required to know things that would normally be handled by a completely different department. My office has its hand in so many different projects and issues. I have to make sure I’m seeing the forest for the trees but know when to focus on details, too. On top of all of that, as the most tech-savvy millennial in my group, I’ve also been tasked with figuring out tech issues, too.

I love that I’m learning so much all the time, but the responsibilities can be scary and overwhelming, too. Sometimes I feel like crawling under my desk with a bottle of wine and just let it out.

I’m human, and like everyone else, I make mistakes. When I make mistakes, I immediately feel awful. Rather then dusting myself off and getting on, I obsess over the mistake. I’ve destroyed whole weekends worrying over tiny mistakes that I’ve made huge in my mind.

The reality is, everyone makes mistakes. It’s how you deal with them that really matters. The first step in backing up from the cliff is recognizing that I’m not perfect. I am so critical of myself. I don’t need any help from anyone in making myself feel miserable after realizing I made a mistake or didn’t live up to what I think people expected from me. This overly-critical state of mind has caused me to burst into tears in a journalism professor’s office after he failed me on an article where I misspelled someone’s name. (Damn right I came back from that though). It’s also caused me to drive Dan insane by talking about things over and over and over again. I’m so rarely kind in the words I say to myself – failure, screw-up, what were you thinking!? I’m learning to stop myself. Instead, I pray about it, or distract myself to distance myself for a little.

I put a ton of pressure on myself to live up to what I think others expect of me. I’ve worked so hard to get to where I am, and I want to be that great person everyone is relying on me to be. What I really need to do is remember to work for God and to be kind to myself. Working out has helped me vent a lot of my frustrations, and my husband and friends always think I’m fantastic even when I don’t feel like it. Surrounding myself in love and positivity has helped me overcome the paralysis I used to feel when I made a mistake. Now, to learn from the mistake and totally let go….

Until Next Time,

Jen

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