Saturday, September 11, 2010

First week of work

As you may recall, last week I was dreading having to start work, because of the monotonous tasks that lay ahead. Surprisingly, work hasn't been that bad at all! The firm specialises in wide areas of law, and this week I've been working on a few of the areas.

It hasn't been all admin tasks..I have done some filing and faxing, however, a lot of the work was legal. On my first day, a solicitor asked me to attend a property settlement, acting for the purchasers, by myself! Talk about being thrown in the deep end; I was overwhelmed but it was interesting and relevant to my degree. I managed to get it done. I attended another property settlement on Friday.

I've learnt how to file documents in court, and have been preparing court documents and barrister's briefs. All in all it's been a lot more interesting than I had previously thought, and time goes by quickly.

In my last post, I mentioned applying for positions at legal centres. I received a call from one on Monday, and went to the interview on Tuesday during my lunch break. I was successful, and only had Wednesday to make my decision. My dilemma was that I enjoyed what I was doing now, the work is varied, time goes by fast, and I was actually doing tasks that helped people; on the other hand the legal centre is a lot more relaxed, the hours are shorter (by 1 hour), and I would have a 1hr lunch break as opposed to half an hour. The legal centre specialises in one area, and I thought I might be limited in terms of learning.

I sought advice from friends and family but they felt the decision lay with me. I didn't take the position; I didn't want to risk a position that was a lot better than my expectations for the unknown.

I went indoor rock climbing on Wednesday night - this is not a bright idea in your first week of work when you are exhausted just from being at work. My arms felt like jelly by the end of a few walls. I climbed half as many walls as I would have on a weekend.

The cake I made for Father's Day turned out well! It was gone within two days. I baked a mudcake yesterday and am yet to taste it! I've been told that the Father's Day cake was better than this one.

Yesterday, I also went to my first Zumba class! It's enjoyable, the movements are easy to pick up, and it's freestyle in the sense that people do variations of the moves, so as long as you move in time with the music, you won't look like an idiot.

I also went out to dinner with some friends, 2 of whom I hadn't seen in a year! It was good to catch up.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

End of one chapter, start of a new chapter

A lot has happened since I last blogged. I had my final set of exams this week and finished on Friday - no more studying! (Unless if I decide to start a Masters degree or other study). After 19 years of study, I will be starting full-time work on Monday. I'll finally be a 'normal' working person and it has taken a lot of years of study to get here!

I'm starting work at a private law firm but I am not sure this is what I want. I can already tell it's going to be long hours on end, having to put up with cut-throat attitudes of co-workers and even worse, arrogant behaviour by seniors who will look down on me, starting off by doing monotonous tasks such as photocopying or editing drafts. All this to be at the whim of a few greedy executives at top levels, assisting them to achieve their goal of gaining profitability, the bulk of which goes back to them, in order to satisfy their never-ending materalistic wants. I will arrive home extremely tired, irritated, feeling dirty and grumpy, having no this really the life I want to go into?

In the last two weeks I have been thinking this through, and the answer is no. Community Legal Centres, which help disadvantaged persons in need of legal aid but cannot afford it, appealed far more to me. My time and effort would actually go towards helping those truly in need. The hours would be a lot better, the workplace would understand the meaning of work/life balance, and co-workers would treat each other with respect and dignity. So I applied to a few of these Centres. I attended an interview last week, but unfortunately have not heard back from any of them.

Taking the rest of the year off to go overseas and do some volunteer work was another option. I would gain numerous and varied experiences, from helping the needy, to experiencing a different culture, to learning more about myself without the pressures of life in Sydney. Most of all, this opportunity would allow me to reflect on the person I am now and improve my thinking and relations with others, so that I would become a better person; truly living "life" as it should be. However, the realities of having to earn money in order to live (ironic) and disapproval from parents preclude this.

So for now, a balance has to be acheived. I will have to go to work on Monday, but at the same time if it becomes absolutely unbearable, going overseas to volunteer is what I will do. Unfortunately this balance has to be struck now; I have not yet found a way to truly "live".

Also, on Friday my boyfriend and I broke up. Right after my last assignments were handed in. I went to the apartment and packed everything that belonged to me, it took a good 2 hours. Of course it's painful when you part from someone, and when they ened things, part of the sadness stems from the rejection. I normally take break ups quite badly, but over the years I have matured. I know who I'm looking for, and over the break I realised he wasn't it. My friends and family have been extremely supportive of me. This made packing up, having to see him, and handing back the keys a lot easier. I always though moving out because of a break up would be the hardest thing, but I handled it quite well, by realising it was not going to work. I only cried for 10 minutes after he told me it wasn't going to work out!

I chose to have the talk and move my things on Friday because I had planned to go out with some friends who I'd met through my course, the same night. As I was looking forward to spending time with them after the pressure of exams was lifted, this made things a lot easier. I had a great night, laughed until I cried over a pair of white non-slip kitchen shoes, met Brett Lee and Michael Clarke (famous cricketers), and stayed out for a long time.

On Saturday, I met a friend for coffee, and during coffee I got invited to a dinner party that night. I spent the evening at my friends' apartment overlooking the Harbour Bridge. It was awkward when I stepped in and saw it was 3 couples Luckily, everyone knew each other and none of them just stayed around their partners. They were great company. I received an unexpected but welcoming call from one of my best friends late that night when I got home, and we chatted for a while.

Today is Father's Day and I plan to make a cake for my dad..I'm not sure what cake yet, I will have to think about that. I'm meeting with a high school friend for shopping and dinner.

So one chapter has ended, but the start of this new chapter has been perfect! I hope that is a sign of good things to come, although I'm not looking forward to work tomorrow. I'll take things one day at a time and see how it goes.