A recent survey of 2,500 lawyers has found that despite their high pay there is widespread unhappiness at the poor work-life balance and 1 in 4 lawyers want to leave the profession because of stress.

From the outside lawyers have a great life – high income, great home, holidays and possessions, but for a significant number it’s not enough.

Career choice for high earners

Leaving a high income job is not an easy choice. For many new career paths there could be a significant drop in income, so what can people do?

Let me share stories from some of my clients.

Glen worked for a consultancy company and was on a 6 figure salary, but the constant travel and lack of fulfilment resulted in him seeking careers coaching. Through our work together his passion for work with young people became clear and through research a career as a teacher would be a great new career but how was he going to make the move with a drop in salary of over 75%.

Through a couple of further discussions he had a plan. He’d continue for a further 2-3 years. During this time he’d clear a significant amount of his mortgage and prepare to downsize his commitments. He also researched and got involved with coaching a Sunday football team of under 11s. 3 years on he was happy in his role as a country primary school. A different lifestyle, but much happier.

Stan was another high earner and MD of an engineering company but his passion had gone. As we discussed what he wanted to move away from, and his passions and interests it was to develop his artistic side but there was unlikely to be much money in this. In his late 50s his decision was to disengage from the job, to ensure he had the time for cultural hobbies and time at weekends to begin to paint again.

Matthew was finance director for a NHS Trust. When we talked about his career history. He said that he’d always wanted to be an archaeologist but his father had encouraged him to take on a more sensible job and to follow the family tradition of accountancy. At 41 he felt that he’d wasted his life and he’d hated Mondays and the bureaucracy of the role. At a life crisis point, he was recently divorced; he carefully discussed the option of a radical career choice and was accepted to study Archaeology at University.

You can make a radical change when you are on a high salary but it may involve some planning and sacrifice.

What you’ll decide to do will depend on what is of most importance to you and this is where help from an external coach or counsellor can really help.

Author's Bio: 

Brought to you by Denise Taylor, Chartered Occupational Psychologist. Denise is a careers expert who specialises in helping individuals achieve career satisfaction and to take a systematic approach to job search. Do you need help with job search? Whether it’s CV preparation, interview practice, increasing your profile or self marketing, let Denise guide you though the maze so you get a job quicker, make more money & have fun while you do it. http://www.amazingpeople.co.uk