In 1995, I started my second job as federal prosecutor for the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) in Washington DC.
My first job was as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia. I went to court several days per week. My job was meaningful (trust me, back in the day, those who someone managed to wind up in criminal court in Philadelphia were pretty much all guilty!). My job was exciting – not exactly what you see in the movies – but reasonably close. My colleagues were fantastic. Three are still among my closest friends.
I left the job because my wife (married in 1994) and I (both Georgetown grads) had an amazing community and social life in DC. I loved Philadelphia. She did not know it well enough to like or love but did not know a soul in the area.
I thought I would like the job: I was going after financial white collar bad guys. But… after prosecuting murderers, it was not that exciting to go after insider traders.
Indeed, the work was boring.
I’m pretty upbeat by nature, was a happy newlywed and our combined friends in DC made for a vibrant social life. So I was happy… and then… after a few months… I noticed my mood start to shift. “I’m doing great!” I would reflexively say when asked. But Monday-Friday, I was not doing great. I didn’t like my work. I was not engaged. I felt like I was wasting time. I also started realizing that I didn’t really like practicing law.
I remember my parents’ bewilderment when I finally blurted out: “I don’t think I want to practice law.” But I couldn’t pretend any longer.
But I stayed in the law far longer than I should have, finally leaving in 2000.
So began my quest to help others…. happy to help you.