No. of Recommendations: 7
Sounds like you and utrecht5 are facing the same issues in different settings. My post to his poll probably equally applies to your situation as well. I did my career in the L. A. D. A.'s Office, which employs about 1,000 lawyers [insert favorite lawyer joke here.] Of course, there, the financial rewards for them are significantly less than in private practice. Many of the happiest seemed to be those doing the day to day grunt work of trial lawyers - trials and trial prep. And there are probably an equal number that are happy to be away from the courtroom and dealing solely with administrative matters.

Regardless of the specific work/job/career, I think it really depends on how you define your self-worth and self-esteem. Some seek the recognition, benefits and accolades - on the job and to the world outside - that attach to promotions, advancement, the status of management, formal rewards. It's based on a “validation” by others. They're successful at working within and mastering the system.

Others seem to define self-worth and value on a more private, personal level that does not place as much importance on the recognition of others. They strive to achieve their definition of success and a high level of personal and job satisfaction, regardless of status in the organization.

The tone of your post is that you highly value the work environment you now enjoy, which seemingly is satisfying your personal and financial needs. The question is whether leaving the relative comfort of the current situation for the real and perceived benefits of partnership will be worth the costs - demands on time and a significant change in the type of work you'll do, etc.

If FI/RE is a definite goal, your decision depends to some extent on how far way that is. Also, this “job” is not your whole life, but the different possible levels of status, pay, benefits, time commitment and importance to the firm can influence your ability and willingness to respond to other unrelated events that will occur over the years. How many of us factored in the pervasiveness of the events and aftermath of the Sep. 11 attack? We will probably all experience lesser events of similar or greater significance in our own lives. Where does work fit in at that point?

Primarily, the decision you and utrecht5 face is less about the specifics of the change and more about what your life is all about, where you're headed, and a balancing of new challenges vs. the possible negative and/or positive benefits. I think a lot of serious introspection is more valuable than crunching numbers for financials and work hours.

Partner? You'll have to trade that Honda for a Lexus.
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