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Dream job or just a job?

Following up on John Cord’s post about how to get a job, I’d like to pose a question to readers who have already completed the seven (not always easy) steps to get a job: what led you to choose (and I use that term loosely) your job?

Did you decide to become a lawyer first and then choose what practice area you would like to pursue, or did you have a general idea of what exactly you wanted to do from the beginning?

People get jobs for all different reasons: because they know someone close to them in the field; they realized they were good at it; they were recruited into it; they worked their way up from a first job; or they just fell into it. I’m wondering how many of us young lawyers out there are in the job we set out to get, or if we are even setting out to get the position of our dreams anymore.

After three-to-four years of trials and tribulations and — in some cases —  hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, are many of us settling for whatever position we can get, or is the problem that many of us never had a clear idea of what we wanted in the first place?

How many people are going to law school just because they like the idea of pulling their lawyer card? (Which, as we’ve seen in past blog entries and news stories, doesn’t normally work.)

When I was coming to the end of my clerkship and looking for a job, I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do, an idea that hadn’t really changed much throughout law school. And I was lucky enough to end up with a really good job. But I’ll admit I entertained the idea of pretty much anything and everything legal, non-legal or otherwise. I got my job by applying to an ad, something which I think in even the past two years has gotten a great deal harder to do.

So, how did you find your job? Are you on the path you thought you’d be or did you take a detour because of the economy (or some other reason) and hope to get back to what you originally set out to do? Or are you happy having gone down a different path altogether?