I stand in front of the mirror, staring at the reflection. I know this woman. We used to be quite close, but I haven’t seen her for a long time now. And yet, she’s so familiar. Her business suit, high heels, pearl earrings, carefully pulled back hair and subtle makeup. I have to say, she’s looking good.
I stand there a few more moments and decide it’s good enough: I’m off to my first job interview in six years. On the drive over I start to get nervous. The last time I interviewed it hardly even counted. I was interviewing for a summer associate position at a big law firm and I had several firms to choose from. It was 2005: the economy was good and firms were hiring like crazy. I didn’t have anything to worry about. And more than that, I was young and over-confident. I was sure that the job I was interviewing for was exactly what I wanted to do with my life. Everything seemed clear and simple.
Now everything feels complicated. Do I really want to go back to work? Do I really want to practice law? If I don’t get this job, will I be stuck with something much worse? Is anyone even hiring right now?? What if I can’t even manage to have an intelligent conversation with this woman because my mind is so addled from over a year out of work and home with baby?
Luckily, I managed to talk about something other than diapers and teething. And to be honest, it was pretty wonderful. And here’s the best part: I got the job! Despite my concerns, I think it’s going to be pretty cool. I’ll be working as an independent contractor for an agency doing freelance legal work. My schedule will be incredibly flexible and I won’t be working for a hellish biglaw firm. Now I just need to find some actual work to do. But I’ve taken the first step and, on the whole, I’m feeling pretty positive about it. For now at least.