Should I pursue a career?


#1

Hi,

I am single and have a boring job with respectable income. I think about going to law/grad school but I am almost 30, and I want to get married and have kids.

If I meet someone while in school or ight after school, I will have tons of debt, which means I will have to work. If I don’t meet someone ever, I would rather have a career, but I can’t predict the future.

I am thinking I could work as a professor and still be a mom, but could I really pull it off with a large family?

Kendy


#2

I see you making a lot of assumptions that I think you need to think about.

“I want to get married and have kids.” It’s fine to want that, but you don’t know that you will get married and you don’t know that you’ll have kids. So you need to think about the possibilities either way. What if you never marry? What if you don’t have children? I have several friends struggling with infertility so “wanting” doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen. What if you end up being the financial support for your family? If you are a stay-at-home mom, what happens when the children grow up?

“I will have tons of debt…” That’s not necessarily true though it’s a possibility. I went through grad school with full tuition and a stipend that was large enough to cover my expenses such as housing and books. You don’t know what options there may be until you explore them further.

You mention law or grad school. Which is it? And what do you actually want to do? You mention being a professor but is that your actual goal? If so, and if your interest is in a research university, I hear from friends that the period leading up to tenure is intense. Spending time at home with a baby may not leave enough time to do the research and publishing needed for promotion. It may be different in a non-research institution or community college.

If I wanted to start a career in a certain field I would pursue the education to make that possible. There’s a constant level of discernment involved in any course of action, so changing course part of the way through isn’t necessarily a problem.


#3

I am not making any assumptions. My preference is to be a mom, but I don’t want to end up 40 and single in a dull job while waiting for Mr. Right.

If plan A doesn’t workout, I would like to get on plan B, career as a law professor or public policy professor ASAp, but I don’t want to get on that train, find myself in debt (law school is expensive) and then pregnant.

Hence, my state of constant confusion. :confused:


#4

There’s something missing in the OP.

I see that you’re having difficulty deciding what you want to do. Have you asked God what He wants you to do?

I was where you are now at 35 (with a college degree). I was working in my field and not satisified. I badly wanted to get married and have kids but no Mr. Right. Finally, a holy priest asked me to ask God what He wanted me to do. It took two years after that before he started to show me. Little by little. That was 10 years ago. He’s still showing me.

I went back and got another degree, then was flat broke, in a lot of debt and still in a crummy job. I finally got a job I love and I paid off all my debt last month. I’m still not married, but am closer to God and Jesus. I’m where I’m supposed to be.

Pray, ask Him, then be patient …


#5

I have been asking…for years!!! No answer. :frowning: Just confusion!


#6

Kendy, after lots of prayer and meditation, I would examine my life very carefully to see what you might possibly do for God and His kingdom. Perhaps there is some way you could use your education for the glory of God? I don’t know what your educational background is, but you sound well-educated…:slight_smile:
Also, use this time to prepare to be the wife and mother you want to be someday, is my advice.


#7

Don’t even think about one of those corporate law firms if you want to have a family (I currently work 10-12 hours for a pay that doesn’t suddenly look so great when you consider the hours - and the treatment is awful). You’ll likely be better off getting promoted in your current line of work than going through 2-4 years of law school and at least 7 years (sometimes 9, sometimes even 11) as an associate before “making partner”.

You need to be very, very and I mean very careful before making the decision to start the life of a junior associate. It’s already hard when you’re of the typical age and I imagine it must be awful when you’re of an age (say, 35) which you’d think demands some respect. Had I known earlier, I’d have chosen a different line of work. I could be an archaeologist, doing what I like doing, instead of pursuing the law which interested me, but again, not as much. I liked arguing and knowing the rules.

Unless of course you can be a lawyer at your current work, or say, combine your work with attorney practice rights.


#8

And yet you will be 40, single, and in a dull job unless you change something.

What are you doing to meet potential husbands? Have you considered one of the Catholic singles sites as a way of meeting people?

If you want to go back to school, have you taken any preliminary steps? Have you investigated which schools have what you want? Have you taken the LSAT? Have you checked into what kinds of grants or scholarships you qualify for?


#9

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I have a lot of friends 35+ who want to be married with children and can’t find the right person. They are beautiful women of God and for whatever reason, he hasn’t granted them that desire. I think it’s best to examine your gifts and move forward with developing them. At the same time, practice spiritual motherhood. When God does bring you a spouse, you’ll have many more gifts to bring into your marriage and family.

In my life I’ve found that when I take risks and move forward in life, God grants many more desires of my heart. Be smart, but don’t presume. We have to live in the present.

You sound like a smart girl and I’m sure you’ll find your way.


#10

You will need a Ph.D. to have a shot at a career in higher education. There is money available for tuition and living expenses from many schools. The problem is time. It is late in the season to apply for admission and aid for the fall. Expect about 4 to 6 years of course work if you get aid as a teaching or research assistant. Maybe another 1-3 years for the dissertation. And, the academic job market in the policy area and political science is quite competitive. That said, I have known people in your situation who did this and have gotten academic jobs. My point is that you have to be **really committed **to your field to do this. Law school is expensive but it is only (!) a 3 year full time commitment (part time programs are available). And, I know many lawyers who wish they were in some other area. Have you thought about changing jobs and relocating to another part of the country to break out of your current situation?


#11

I say, go to school! Education is never a wasted endeavor. You mention having debt when you get out of school, but perhaps your future husband will help you pay it off. Also, being a lawyer could make you a more “marketbale” spouse. Men (the ones often worth marrying) like self-motivated and intelligent women. :slight_smile:


#12

I want job flexibility and time for family and community. :frowning:


#13

I am not on any singles website since I feel like there are things I need to work out before finding a mate.

As for tests, I took the GRE years ago and did very well, need to take LSAT, I have looked into which law schools, but generally I am undecisive because I don’t want to start this process and be married a few years into it, but I don’t want to not do anything and wait for Mr. Right in vain. :frowning:


#14

Thanks :slight_smile:


#15

Well, I have thought about everything, but mostly, I end of paralyzed by the choices, and I am afraid of making the wrong decisions. Everytime, I think about it, I imagie myself 35, husbandless, childless, and that’s the most scary thing.

Kendy


#16

On Catholic Radio the other evening, I heard something that really struck me. The speaker said that God does not micormanage our lives - He gives us reason and brains for a reason. Many times we need to just step out on Faith and begin walking.

Perhaps you should find a good retreat - a good mentor and spirtual advisor. Put a plan together and move with it.

Remember, the ultimate goal is to get to Heaven and bring as many people with us as we can. What will best make that happen for you?

What is your passion? What gifts has God given you? Write them out - begin thinking about what God has in mind for your life? Have you ever thought about a vocation to the Religious life? There are many ways to serve God - do not be paralyzed by fear - step out of the boat and keep your eyes on Jesus.


#17

Kendy, I understand you! I am 27, and unmarried. Last year I had a lot of free time, a little cash in the bank, and no boyfriend or likely future romantic prospects, so I enrolled in a Master’s degree program. The program was online, so I was able to continue my full-time job as I was studying. I immediately met the love of my life, :rolleyes: not two months after I started. He is encouraging me to continue with those dreams, even though we’d both dearly love to get married and try for children right away.

I am glad I’m doing this degree, even though I may become a SAHM and never use it. If the time should come to pass that I’ll need to support my family or myself, I’ll be able to use it and have job satisfaction as well as a paycheque. If I need to get a part-time job to pay for my children’s schooling, I can get a job that pays better and feels rewarding, instead of bagging groceries or answering telephones. (Okay, I’m sure there are better jobs out there than that, but you get my drift.)

It’s much easier to upgrade your education now, while you’re young and unattached, than to try to go to school with a child or two depending on you and a husband who needs your time, too. In short, go for it. Education is never wasted, and besides, you can meet a lot of interesting men at school! :smiley:


#18

You won’t find that as a junior associate in a typical corporate law firm. Perhaps as a full associate and later as a senior associate, you will start finding it. In my firm, I know few people below senior associate level who are able to work normal hours. However, at senior associate level, some people are able to shut the door and say they are leaving, without repercussions. Partners generally seem to be workaholics.

However, this is a bit influenced by the pecularities of our local legal system - as much as corporate patterns are all American. For example, in the US, it doesn’t take long to become an attorney after finishing law school. Here, it takes at least four years. As a university graduate, you will be a junior associate. When you become an attorney, generally regardless of your age or years worked, you are a senior associate (senior associates aged 27 happen for this reason, while junior associates aged 26 are plenty and normal). “Full associate” who is not a senior one is one of the most elusive, unspoken and generally slippery thing in the corporate hierarchy. It is typically awarded to long-serving lawyers who are not yet allowed to practice as independent attorneys. Contacting the outside world, junior associates generally use the style of “associate” and the generic word to describe a lawyer who is not a partner (including senior associate, but not a counsel) is “associate”. Therefore, it’s hard to say who is actually a full (non-junior) associate. And it doesn’t matter that much.

As a rule, law firms are natural habitats for lawyers, but this relies on a couple of assumptions. Generally, I can tell you that it’s really hard to survive without exploding when you get ordered around by people who have simply worked longer for the firm, especially when they are not right. Conflicting orders happen. Sometimes you get conflicting orders from one and the same person, which includes getting told off for failing to carry out one set of orders. It is logically possible (though I prefer not to make such presumptions, and give people benefit of doubt), that ambiguous orders are sometimes given on purpose or at least for the sake of not being able to be kept to one’s word. It’s strange.

I’m only guessing that if you’ve had some career and if you’re older than everyone, taking orders from ambitious young people may be very costly emotionally. If you are ever in such a position as to seek employment with a law firm, do all you can to avoid the junior associate position on the basis of your previous career and experience. That or make them give you contractual provisions that you will not be taking orders from younger legal staff. Or at least some kind of strict and defined placing in the chain of command.

Note: I’ve seen economists and ex-civil-servants become full associates regardless of lack of previous experience in a law firm. I remember one economist and law graduate who was a partner regardless of not being an attorney (he’s currently working on it anyway). I even know one senior associate who is a law graduate but not an attorney (his stuff gets signed by a partner). This shows my concers are a bit exaggerated, but law firms aren’t really a great place.

And you may be way better off in a company than in a law firm. Generally, “counsel” is a default rank for in-house attorneys. They probably don’t have to deal with the whole “associate” thing. Generally, their previous experience probably counts more, since they participate in the company’s business-making and internal governance, rather than simply working on clients’ legal matters on a contractual basis.

Also, a Ph.D. in an academic field related to your current experience may be a much better investment.

I would also try to build up and develop on your current education and experience rather than changing. When changing, you sometimes lose your previous investments. You said you had a comfortable income - this means you have a well-appreciated job. That’s another reason not ever to become a junior associate or even a simple associate in a law firm. Just get some additional formal training which gives you a degree or two higher than you have, or some other professional title.

And only ever take on law if you are interested in it. Otherwise there is plenty of better paying, better rewarding, more comfortable and less stressful jobs.

Finally, if you are able to carry out your current job without ethical problems, you’re much better off than a lawyer. Lawyers have various clients. Lawyers often have bossess who… shall we say… do not always exactly do things the same Catholics do. I pray I won’t even have to work for a contraceptive manufacturer, or example, or legalise mobbing, or some such.


#19

THere are some schools offering a dual degree in law/bioethics since many hospitals are hiring such people. You might find more flexiability there.


#20

Thanks for all the advice.

Kendy


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