Am I just settling (career-related)?
I was always one of the “smart ones” in school. School was easy for me and I got out of high school with a GPA over 4.0 (thanks to AP and honors courses). I went to college and graduated with a 3.8 GPA, president’s/dean’s list, cum laude, all that good stuff.
I initially planned on being a nurse, but realized about halfway through my program that the nursing field is not for me. I ended up graduating with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice, with plans to become a probation/parole agent. When I graduated, there were no jobs at the agency I wanted to work for, so I decided to look into jobs as a legal assistant to see what they had to offer. I ended up landing a job before I even graduated with a fantastic firm making nearly $10K more annually than I would as a probation/parole agent.
I’ve been at this firm for about four months and I love it. I’m good at what I do here and it’s no hardship getting up for work in the morning. My husband and I are enjoying our dual income, no kids life for now, but plan to try to get pregnant toward the end of the year.
I’ve noticed that, while there are older ladies that are still legal assistants and satisfied with that, the younger employees (runners, file clerks, other legal assistants) all have their hearts set on law school. We’re actually losing 3–4 people in August because they’re going off to become lawyers. I’m not going to say I’m smarter than these people, because that’s ridiculous, but I do have a better academic record than many of them. I’ve always been told that I have a good head on my shoulders and I can do whatever I’d like to do with my life.
I really have no interest in being a lawyer at this point. However, I know that being in my thirties with a couple of kids will make it less likely that I’ll ever go to law school. I’ve also looked into other graduate programs to see if I’d be interested in any of that, and I can’t really find anything. I’m not going to go back to school (and add to my student loan debt) unless I really want to, but I can’t help this nagging feeling that I’m just going to settle into some low-end job instead of actually making something of myself.
Any thoughts on this? It’s easy for me to say, “Well, if I don’t want to go back to school and I like my job, then who cares what anyone else might think?” but I also don’t want to end up some old lady that regrets settling into a job as a legal assistant.