How do you know when you’ve reached your breaking point? It can be difficult.
I think a lot of us big firm associates have developed a high threshold for pain. Like a wet branch. When a branch is dry, it’s pretty easy to snap. When it’s wet, you can bend it again and again until it’s limp.
I hate to say it, but last week was a good week for me. I left early most days, went on a few lunchtime excursions with co-workers and was given a pat on the head at the end of the week for doing some high-quality work at the last minute. I like pressure in small doses. Positive feedback is good too.
Except I know it is fleeting. Last week was the exception. I need to focus on the big picture so I don’t get caught in the emotional back and forth of working at a big law firm.
The only way to escape is to (1) be mentally prepared to leave and (2) have a viable plan for the future.