Although today is technically our first full day of classes, last Monday felt the part since we make such a big deal out of welcoming new students. On that day, I arrived at work at 6:34am and noticed that I was the ninth car in the parking lot. How early do I have to be to be the first one here? When I got out of the car and donned a suit jacket, I noticed Professor Baker running around (literally running, and literally around) the law school complex. I yelled a morning greeting, and he responded, “I’m on a prayer run!”
(If you are unfamiliar, a prayer run (or walk) involves circling a place and praying for the big things that may occur there later on—as opposed to my version of a prayer run, which is praying while I run that I won’t end up in the hospital from said run.)
I then walked into the building and saw Abby and Connie at the front desk, already prepared to welcome our new students. Sure, it was possibly 6:37am by this point, but still. Music was playing over the speakers, and I looked down into the atrium to see our events manager, Suzanne, actually dancing. It may have been 6:38am by this point, so of course everyone should be dancing by then.
I write this to say that my colleagues have diagnosable problems and need professional help.
Well, not really. Instead, I was struck by the privilege to work with such amazing people.
Larry Krieger is a Clinical Professor at the Florida State University College of Law and is well known in legal education for his scholarship on “law student and lawyer health and satisfaction.” I had the honor of hosting a panel that featured Professor Krieger last January where he discussed his brand new article on lawyer happiness, but many law schools have featured his booklets on stress and career choices for years.
In his booklet on career choices, Professor Krieger argued that two things can lead to job satisfaction: (i) actually enjoying what you do; and/or (ii) work that is meaningful to you. If just one of those is true, you can be happy at work. If neither is true, no amount of money, perks, or benefits can produce job satisfaction.
If you have both, you are blessed.
I am blessed.
I recognize that much of the world lives (and much of world history lived) in conditions where “career choice” is oxymoronic, but if you live in a land and time where it is not, choose your target wisely.