After eight years of promising myself (and my friends) that I would move to SF, it’s finally happening. It’s hard for me to even write “I’m moving,” since serendipitously, I haven’t had to do much of anything.
Where I Was:
To begin, I had a good job in Los Angeles, working with two highly regarded and dedicated attorneys, who taught me a lot in the three years I worked with them. But the type of law was not my cup of tea and I didn’t feel that there was room for growth, considering their upcoming retirement plans. And I had been in LA for ten years and started feeling stagnant and even depressed.
So if you know me, I’ve been on and off applying to jobs in the Bay Area, only a couple of applications or informational interviews a month. I was adamant that I only leave my prior job for something super super legit. At first, I applied only to non-profits, but unfortunately, after a couple of lowball offers (#loans #SophiesOrganicKibble), I realized I would need to branch out.
But it wasn’t until September or so that I really focused my efforts. I posted my resume on the California Employment Lawyers Association board, updated my LinkedIn and started reaching out to more people for informational interviews.
Evan had been using a legal recruiter for a minute and he put me in touch with two he had worked with. However, usually only defense firms use recruiters because they don’t mind paying the recruiting cost. So I tried my hand at couple of defense firm interviews. Worst. Idea. Ever. I just am not currently suited for the particular environment created by defense firms. I couldn’t wait to NOT be in an interview with a defense firm. I started rejecting any defense firm interview offers, which meant my recruiter hated me and I was still jobless.
At the job I was working, my workload was ramping up, my boss was going through some personal stuff, and I had taken a leadership position with the local chapter of attorneys. I loved my bosses and didn’t mind the job, though sometimes it didn’t feel as challenging or fast paced as I needed it to be. I had sort of abandoned the job search yet again, thinking that with the impending holiday season, there was no point in rushing out any more cover letters.
Then at the beginning of November, I received a call from an attorney up in the Bay who had seen my resume on CELA. She focuses primarily in women’s rights in the workplace (read: No Harvey Weinsteins). We had about a 30 minute conversation and she asked if I would do a mediation brief for her as a try-out (paid of course). I hadn’t written a mediation brief in a minute, but it’s my favorite type of brief to write. These briefs tend to be more of a story, rather than a lot of legalese. And we set up a tentative interview for December 1.
I called Evan immediately, sort of in shock. And he goes, “Omg I meant to tell you, I met her at a potluck last week and mentioned that your resume was up there since she was looking for an associate.” God bless him.
So I write the brief. I freak out. I write it again. I submit it. Freak out again. Think I did terribly. She loves it. Interview ensues.
But I had been down this road before, arriving in SF perfectly coiffed and trussed up, lipstick carefully applied and dog hairs plucked off my peacoat, only to leave with either an unacceptable offer or a squirrel-y rejection.
So I didn’t want to get my hopes up. And if worse comes to worse, I thought, at least I was in town for Evan’s housewarming party.
But the interview went well. And on January 16, I start my new job in San Francisco, doing litigation in sexual harassment, gender discrimination and race harassment and discrimination.
I am so grateful for a lot of things – my family and friends who kept pushing me to bigger things, to my dogs for endless cuddles, for my life in Los Angeles, and for the last eight years. But I am also grateful for my intuition, which simultaneously led me to take risks but also to be patient, and not just settle for another job.
This will definitely be an epic change, with some hiccups (already had some belches in the journey), but I am so excited for what is come. Happy 2018!
PS Would you guys be interested in knowing how I prepared/applied for jobs? Let me know!