The Advisory: Volume 10, Issue 2, April 2012

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Play Your Part in Achieving Personal and Career Satisfaction

By Marian V. De Souza, LL.B., Executive Director, Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society (Assist)

On the issue of retention in the legal profession, let’s say that by analogy, the Law Society is the employer. The Law Society governs who and what it takes to form a company. If we continue the metaphor then, as members, we are the employees.

The Law Society is obtaining feedback from members on the subject. Similar to an employer that conducts an employee satisfaction survey, it is important to understand the different things that motivate each of us. If, on the other hand, systemic issues are identified, hopefully, like companies that make the “Top Employer” list, constructive changes will be implemented to improve retention.

To continue the analogy, the employee also plays a part in his or her career satisfaction. Sometimes, when we think that we need a career change, it could be a personal change or shift in perspective that is needed. Perhaps burnout or a slump is leading to negative thoughts. So what can be done when a job or career change is not the answer, or not an option?

The answer may not necessarily be in the perfect job description, compensation package, matching your work with your values, or even having the best boss or work colleagues. While these are all important factors to retention, not everyone has the stars aligned.

There are things that an individual can do to obtain “the edge” for a legal career that stands the test of time. Personal wellness plays a key role in career satisfaction and longevity. If you are someone who says, “I love my work,” perhaps you already do some of the things that are recommended to achieve balance: exercising, a healthy diet, a hobby or passion outside of work, networking, volunteering, spirituality such meditation and mindfulness. If “love” is too strong a word for some in a career where personal priorities are too often deferred, Assist is there to help improve resilience. Information is available about how best to achieve personal wellness and prepare for a long and satisfying legal career.

For more information, contact Marian De Souza or Carolyn McCartney at 1-877-737-5508 or access resources on-line at

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