Starting a new job after 25 years is a lot like preparing for the arrival of your first child…very exciting but scary!  Behind the excitement of both situations are many “what ifs.”

Have you ever been at a crossroad in your life? You wonder, “What if I stay on the path I’ve known for the past 25 years, or I take a chance and go on the other path full of unknowns?” I was comfortable, but not happy. My days were rushed because I didn’t have a minute to breathe. I went from scurrying around at work, then scurrying around to the next thing after work.

What if I take the chance on a job that I’d never in a million years think I would get hired for? But the timing of this new job always felt right. Don’t get me wrong, this was completely out of my comfort zone, but I was up for the challenge.  With the support of family and friends I followed my heart and took the leap of faith. In doing so I discovered several things.

I never would have thought the dental field and a law office would have so many skills that are needed in common: multitasking, attention to detail, teamwork, time management, prioritizing tasks, not taking things personally, keeping things organized, and empathy.

But also, so many things that are different. Ten things that I have learned in my first month working in a law office.

  1. Missing deadlines can ruin a case.
  2. Discovery is a long and costly, but necessary process.
  3. Understanding the IOLTA account and its function in a law office is important.
  4. Having a franchise attorney review a franchise agreement before signing and knowing exactly what you are getting yourself into is necessary before you purchase a franchise.
  5. The difference between a trademark and a copyright is that trademarks are indicators of where a productor good came from and copyrights protect literacy and artistic works.
  6. The value of estate planning and the importance of answering all the important questions like: Do you need a trust or not? Do you have TODs set up on all of your bank accounts? What about your investment accounts? And your vehicles? Do you have a beneficiary deed on your home?
  7. KPI in a law firm, or any small business, can indicate progress.
  8. SEO and social media can help firms grow.
  9. Put everything in writing- it does not matter who you are dealing with.
  10. The law can be extremely tricky, and it is important to know exactly what you are getting into. Small words make a huge difference.

At the end of the day, this new job has taught me more about life, taking a minute for myself, and slowing down so I can enjoy life more. Work-life balance is key! I can now go to my kids’ school functions without a second thought. I can wake them up in the morning and have that precious time with them without rushing to work, wondering “What is 270 going to be like?”, I can pick them up from school when they’re sick. I believe this was part of God’s plan for me and my family. This time I get with my family is something I can never get back and for that I am grateful for their support in helping me make this leap in a new career.  I learned that 43 is not too old to start a new career and the challenge of learning new things is exciting.

The initial leap was so scary… you can’t put a price on time, and now I feel like the time I have I can enjoy! I am happy again and I have time to breathe. I am glad I took the leap and have not looked back once! Lastly, I will never have a patient cough on me again and I can drive my golf cart to work!

Beth Club, Office Manager at FortmanSpann, LLC