The first time I questioned being a lawyer

I didn’t think it would take this long to find a job over here. I am a qualified, soon to graduate, lawyer in my mid 20s — every company’s dream employee right? Well, not so much in Switzerland. The number of hurdles to get past just compounds on itself each day — first there are the immigration laws, then racial perceptions, language barriers and finally self motivation (or lack thereof!) after rejection after rejection. Not to mention the panic surrounding the global financial crisis.

So, what do you do in this situation? That answer is easy, the best you can. You keep trying, against all the negative thoughts you have, you keep going, keep trying to get that ‘dream job’. After every interview you think went well only to hear that you didn’t get it, because you didn’t know enough German or weren’t ‘upbeat’ enough during the interview you keep going! You make new goals, you try harder, you try to fight the disappointment at what has gone before — the money you have spent being in Switzerland, the money you spent to get here, your mounting credit card bills. You try to rationalise your recent ‘comfort spending’ — the products you buy to make yourself feel better, but then realise that your credit card debt gets worse each day.

Then, finally, you try to concentrate on your studies, as you know that if you don’t get the grades you will have an even harder time explaining that at interviews after you graduate and are fully qualified. The self doubt creeps in, the depression gets to you and finally you start to doubt that your friends back home even care about you anymore. BUT you keep going! You act happy for your partner, you do the dishes, the washing, clean the house, try to be the best you can, as you know your permit is limited and if you aren’t married within the year you have to leave and then re-start your life again ‘back home’ or elsewhere. So many new beginnings, so much upheaval, so much uncertainty — your life doesn’t look how you pictured it anymore — BUT you keep going! The worst part of it is all the comments of how your friends back home envy you for ‘living the dream’ — you think some dream, all I do is sit around all day trying to find work, trying to do my studies and getting more depressed by the hour — yeah GREAT life!

(An excerpt from my book ‘Stepping Into Soul’ ~ coming soon!)

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