Archive for June, 2015


I’m not going to lie, it’s been a bit of a struggle lately. But I’m trying to focus on the positives because there are undoubtedly positives out there, difficult as they may be for me to see at times.

I think you need to have something to look forward to in life. It could be something happening in a week, or a fortnight, or a month, but you’ve got to have something. Otherwise you’re just spinning your wheels, and that’s no fun.

Like a lot of people, right now I’m looking forward to Fridays. Along with all the usual reasons why people look forward to Fridays, I’ve got some special reasons for looking forward to the next three Fridays in particular.

Next Friday, July 3rd, the applications for articling positions will be due. And while that’s a stressful deadline, it also means that after that date I won’t have to continue pumping out cover letters at a ridiculous clip, and that will be a huge relief.

The following Friday, July 10th, I’ve got a long-term investment coming due that will inject my bank account with a significant amount of cash. So that’s pleasant.

And on Friday July 17th it’s Call Day. An incredibly stressful morning regardless of how well (or poorly) it goes, but at least I’ll have a modicum of clarity about my near future after that date.

So yes, there are positives out there. Staying focused on them is easier said than done at times, but that’s life.

Burning At Both Ends

This isn’t easy.

My job demands that I stay in a law office all day and use most of my energy thinking about various legal problems. Now, I can deal with that. Sure, the hours are longer than they’re supposed to be. And sure, that means that anyone who I might want to talk to in GMT is likely to be either asleep or semi-comatose by the time I get home. But I can deal with that because the work itself is generally meaningful and satisfying, and it’s only a 12 week commitment that I’ve made.

What I’m having trouble dealing with is what comes after work.

After spending 8 or 9 or 10 hours in a law office, thinking about law, the last thing I want to do is come home and think about law and law offices for another four hours. But that’s what I’ve had to do for the last two weeks. I wake up, I go to work, I come home, I work on applications for a few hours, and I go to sleep. If I take a break for any length of time, it means falling behind.

I’m exhausted, I really am. And I can’t even console myself with the thought that everyone else in my class is in the same boat, because most aren’t. Most of the people who are applying for jobs right now are doing so because they didn’t get a job for this summer. Unlike me, they’re not limited to working on applications for 4 hours per day after a 10 hour shift. That puts me at a big disadvantage.

The good news is that this is temporary. Applications are due on July 3rd whether I finish them or not. 13 more days of this until I can rest, at least a little.

Back To The Start

OCIs were hell.

I hated almost every minute of that process, from the early mornings I spent preparing applications instead of sleeping beside someone who travelled 3000 miles to see me, to the stressing over who would grant me preliminary interviews, to the 17-minute preliminary interviews, to the stressing over who would offer me second interviews, to that final, crushing morning where no employers called me at all.

I don’t have words to describe just how horrible and stressful the whole process was, and I’m glad I never have to go through anything like that again.

Oh wait.

Welcome to Articling Recruitment, boys and girls! If you thought OCIs were fun, you’re in for a real treat over the next two months!

Once again I’ll be preparing dozens of applications and sending them out to employers who probably won’t even bother to respond to me.

This time, however, the stakes are both higher and lower. They’re higher because we’re playing for keeps this time. If I get an articling job through this process, that job will likely lead to a permanent position with whichever employer hires me. So that’s neat.

The stakes are lower because I’ve theoretically got a job offer for next year already (courtesy of my present employer), so even if I come up empty I’ve still got an option in the bank.

You might be thinking “But Michael, if you’ve already got an offer locked up, why bother subjecting yourself to all this torment again?”

The simple reason is that although I’ve got a job offer, it’s not an ideal one.

On the bright side, continuing to work for my present employer would give me some continuity. I’d already be familiar with all the staff and systems of the place, and so there would be no learning curve next August. I’d also be able to continue living at home (and thus not have to pay rent, allowing me to save the vast majority of my income).

On the not-so-bright side, I’d be paid significantly less than I could be earning. And it means I’d be stuck in Woodbridge until at least June 2017, at which point I’d have to start looking for jobsĀ again if I ever want to get out of here.

Like I said, not ideal. And while staying with my present employer would have some advantages, on the whole I’d rather article downtown. Doing so would allow me to get out of Woodbridge in August 2016 with a fair degree of financial independence. That sounds nice, doesn’t it?

So here we go again. Hopefully this grand game goes a bit better for me this time.