When it comes to your career only one thing matters: passion

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  • The finance lawyer will be back in a few years complaining that she's burnt out, sick of her customers and financially bankrupt. She will tell you her passion is now to be a helicopter pilot. She was probably passionate about being a lawyer too before she started.

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  • Hmm, the very definition of cynicism! Though I do take the point; it may be that she was passionate about being a lawyer before the reality of it hit home.

    My experience is that most people don't really spend enough time working out what really does it for them, and tend to get railroaded into things or simply fall into a rut and find it difficult to get out of that rut. I think if more people did, then more would be doing things they really wanted to do, and perhaps we'd all be better off as a result.

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  • I'm not really one to comment on articles, but I felt compelled to in this case, not least because I wonder if I am the lawyer in your anecdote (if not, I have a doppelgänger somewhere). If I am, I wanted you to know that I did follow my passion for cake. A year ago, I left my Corporate Finance job behind after 11 years in the profession to start my bespoke cake design business, and I've not looked back since. In my first year, I've won awards for my designs, displayed at international exhibitions, and had cake designs featured in national magazines and on the BBC website. It is beyond satisfying to not only turn your passion into a career but to see the business that I have built on my own grow and flourish. I will always value my career in law as it's given me some very valuable skills, not to mention some wonderful friends; and I retain my links with the legal profession, including at grass roots level (undergraduate/LPC).
    In response to the anonymous commenter above - turning your passion into a business is not a smooth perfect path and there are of course challenges and bad days, like in any career; it would be naive to suppose otherwise. The difference however is that if it is a true passion, the upsides will more than compensate for this, and this is my experience so far. When I left my legal job behind, many of my peers commented on how brave I was to step into the unknown, but my view is the opposite - it would have been cowardly not to have at least tried! As you say, people want to work with you if you are passionate about your work - it's infectious. A client wants you to be interested in what you are providing to them, whether it's a wedding cake or legal advice on matters that are important to them. I therefore thought your article hit the nail on the head.
    You can find a selection of my work online at www.NoMoreTiers.co.uk.
    P.S. I still have the ashen circles around the eyes, although these days it's usually from clouds of flour and icing sugar!

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  • Great comment Fiona! And thanks for underlining my point...off to check your website right now!

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  • Anonymous Naysayer, don't you for one minute think Mr Brandon is wrong in what he's saying. I spent 20 years in private practice, culminating in law firm leadership. Had the moon on a stick by any orthodox test of 'success' but absolutely hated it. Why? Because I didn't believe in the business. I clocked in every day to make some cash. Nothing more. I now do several different things with my life, including consulting with corporates to give them the service the legal profession should be supplying. I'm not making anything like the money I once did, but I've never been happier. Just do whatever will let you look back in your last moments and be happy with your life. Anything else isn't actually success. It's just achievement, and that's not enough.

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