Last spring we had the opportunity to meet Mandy Gray; a smart, conscientious and courageous woman who decided to make a career change in the middle of a very successful career working in her family’s business. She decided to pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer.
Mandy’s powerful decision resonated with many of you who have considered life altering courses.
Mandy has provided three critical questions you should ask yourself if you are having thoughts about a possible career change in the middle of your already successfully career.
If you missed Mandy’s original article,
You can read it here: http://drgiasblog.com/?p=477#comments
We caught up with Mandy to see how she is doing.
DR. GIA: Our audience had the opportunity to meet you in July of 2014. You announced that you were courageously leaving a very successful and lucrative job to pursue your dream of becoming a lawyer. We received many positive responses about your article. You inspired a lot of people to start thinking about their dreams again. What has happened since then?
MANDY: Well, I started attending law school full time in August, 2014. At that time, I was still working almost full time at my job training my replacement. It was a big undertaking as I was beginning my career transition. Shortly after that, I learned that as a full time student, I was not allowed to work more than 20 hours a week. Needless to say, I had to make some adjustments.
DR GIA: What unexpected challenges have you faced?
MANDY: My biggest challenge has been managing the transition from work to school. As I mentioned, training my replacement has been a big job, because there is a lot of ground to cover as the office administrator. Happily, the person who was hired is wonderful, very intelligent, very sharp, and working out very well. The challenge was to find a way to make my school schedule work with my training schedule, as well as the duties I was still responsible for during the transition. Since I was working for my family’s business, it was very important to me that my replacement be thoroughly trained. Fortunately, I was able to make my own schedule to accommodate the training time; there were times I would be training in the evenings, on Saturdays, or Sunday afternoons. I wanted to be sure to give my full attention to my studies, but I also have a loyalty to my family to see that the right person is properly prepared for her job.
DR. GIA: What has been the most rewarding part of this experience?
MANDY: The most rewarding part of my schooling is when I have the opportunity to turn in assignments and homework, and then receive my grades. This is where I get to see the actual results for all of the hard work I am putting in to my studies. So far, my favorite result has been my Oral Argument. Oral Arguments for first year law students have been known to be stressful and scary to say the least. But, I say my Oral Argument was my favorite because not only did I do well, but when it was over, I was surprised at how much I genuinely enjoyed it. I loved that particular feeling of accomplishment. All of the readings, homework, cases, projects, assignments, and arguments take up a lot of time, attention, focus, and energy- emotional, mental, and physical energy. But, when they’re all completed and turned in, and I see my grades, I receive that extra surge I need to get me to the next point. I describe it as putting gas in my gas tank! The feedback gives me the fuel I need to continue on.
DR. GIA: So what’s next?
MANDY: Now that classes are out for the summer, I am working a full time internship as a Law Clerk in the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, Chicago. I work 40 hours a week. It’s where I want to be. I work on behalf of the State of Illinois in the Government Representation division. Once classes resume in the fall, I will be working an externship with the Chicago Legal Aid Clinic.
DR. GIA: Is there anything else you would like to add?
MANDY: Yes, I would like to encourage anyone who is taking on a challenge. Whether you may think your challenge is relatively easy, or extremely hard, whatever you may encounter, take on your challenge entirely– no matter what! This means, to fully take on a challenge, you need to decide to take it on. Deciding is not just a simple “I’m going to do such and such,” it is an active decision, made consciously and subconsciously on a daily basis, regarding everything, such that you are constantly propelled toward your goal. I find it interesting that the question I get asked most often is “Is it hard?” To which I have to answer “Yes!”, but I expected it to be hard. And, even if I didn’t expect it to be hard, and the difficulty comes along, it wouldn’t make a difference because it would be all in the path toward my goal- something I would be forced to decide to take on and overcome. So no matter what I may have to face, I will rise to the challenge – because I choose to rise to the challenge- no matter what.
DR. GIA: Mandy, you are such an inspiration. Thanks so much for allowing us to catch up with you. Many people talk about following their dreams. You made your dreams come true!
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