January 9, 2008

Career Opportunity

I learned today that I do choose my life over work. I've always said that I am that person, but I've been tested on that statement lately and as of today, I know I am the type of person who chooses her life.

A co-worker of mine approached me a few months ago with a unique travel adventure - 13 days in Morocco this coming May. We'd have our own local guide, our own driver and everything already arranged. All I had to do is show up and have fun. Oh, and belly dance on night on the shores of Morocco by the light of a full moon. It is such an amazing trip I couldn't pass it up, nor could I stop talking about it. As a result, I've recruited three friends to join me on this trip. To take two weeks off work wouldn't be easy, but I knew this trip was at a time where work should not interfere.

A few weeks ago, I learned that the judge assigned to my big, time-consuming case was switching divisions. That meant a new judge for us with his own new schedule. I had no idea when he's have time to fit in our four-week trial set to being in a little over a month. Regardless of the schedule he had, I was certain our previous trial date of Feb. 25 would not stick.

I still don't know when our trial will be, but things are not looking good. Our firm is trying to create a schedule to submit to the judge. It is something unfortunately that will have to accommodate for at least a half dozen people's schedules. We are pushing for an April trial. The other parties said June, so the compromise inevitably will be May when I plan to be in Morocco.

The good thing about my case is I am not the only paralegal on it, so someone can take my place. This is a case I have been on since the first day it came to the firm. It something I have dedicated more time to than I'd ever care to admit, so just giving it away didn't sit well with me. Plus I've been in this profession for about a year and a half now. I know the market right now is in demand for paralegals with few years work experience and some trial experience on their resume. Needless to say, this trial will be a boost for my career.

The moment I thought about backing out though, my friends came to mind. I talked three amazing women into joining me on this trip. They would not be going if it were not for me, and based on a few conversations, I was pretty sure they'd back out if I did. And then if we all did, the number of people on the trip would dwindle from seven to three, and the trip can't go on with less than four people. It was a domino effect I felt weighing on my shoulders the second my mind wandered down that path.

So I had to make a choice - my personal life or my career. And as you know from the beginning of this post, I chose the trip. When talking about my options with a fellow coworker, I was able to boil it down to this: there will be more trials, but this will be my only chance to go to Morocco. The country will be there for a long time obviously, but this trip with these great women, will not happen again and I cannot not imagine not being there.


* A complete side note: I began training for the Shamrock Shuffle today. I ran two miles in 23 minutes. I know that is not fast, but it's also not a bad place to start.

1 comment:

kelsalynn said...

23 minutes is a hella GREAT place to start. You go girl!

As for your decision, I think you made the right one b/c it's obvious that you feel comfortable with it. Once Morocco gets closer, too, I'm sure your excitement will totally outweigh any doubts you have... it just seems like a long time away right now, at least to me!!
Kelsalynn