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  • Writer's pictureZachP

#8. My Full-Time "9 to 5" Job

Updated: Jan 22, 2023

I realized I have not discussed what my full-time job is yet. I have avoided it primarily because I feel I do not have the right to complain. I have a good job and comfortable lifestyle. I know there are many others who are not as lucky as I am. And yes, I do consider myself lucky. I have worked hard to get to where I am, but I am lucky that I was given the opportunity to pursue my dreams.

I grew up wanting to be one of two things. First, don’t make fun, I wanted to play in the NFL above all else. I loved football growing up, and I still love it to this day. Realizing at a young age how unlikely that was to ever happen, I had a backup plan.

My backup plan was to be an attorney. Specifically, what I truly wanted to be was a public defender. I wanted to help fight for people in the criminal justice system who could not afford to fight for themselves. My dad is still an attorney to this day, so I grew up around the law helping my dad with cases. I was drawn towards always fighting for the little guy.

People have their own viewpoint on criminal defense attorneys (which is my job), so I truly hope that this post does not devolve into people talking about the merits of the job.

I still see one of my purposes in life as helping the less fortunate, but I have become more aware that this can be done through many other avenues besides my job. After getting married and now having a family to care for, my priorities have shifted. My main priorities, or “why”, in life changed from my job to now my own health and my family. If someone asked me three years ago, “what do you do for a living?”, I would have quickly said, “I am a criminal defense attorney”. If someone asks me the same question now, my answer is, “I’m a dad”.

My job requires me to not only work the typical “9 to 5”, but it requires me to work practically 24/7. If I am not at the office, I am on call, have my work in a box with me at home EVEN if I never open it because of the security/comfort it provides me, and I am ALWAYS thinking about my cases and clients. I have not figured out how to mentally leave work at the office. This constantly creates feelings of guilt when we are doing activities as a family, and I am thinking about a sentencing hearing or trial I have the following week. This causes me to feel disengaged from my family, and they deserve better.

There may be other healthier ways to do this job, but to do the job to my standard, I do not know any other way to do so. This is the way I was taught, and I believe it provides the best outcomes for our clients. This standard – I want to give the type of representation I would want for my brother, son, etc.

Writing all these posts has me constantly reshaping and honing in on my “why”. I do not mind working. I love our clients and helping them through some of the most difficult times in their lives. I just want the freedom and ability to do the things that make me happy and are good for my long-term health without being mentally “checked out” during those times. Heck, once I reach financial independence, I may keep working and mentally be able to leave work at the office without the stress of the needed paycheck being present.

Time will tell.

I plan to continue the Time Challenge Series in my next post, so thank you for reading this aside.

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