Life is short, and we should be engaged in activities that matter to us. For in-house lawyers, this means being proactive about ensuring we can strike the right balances, argues one legal counsel.
Speaking recently on The Corporate Counsel Show, nbn regulatory adviser Mary Konstantopoulos – who runs sporting advocacy platforms Ladies who League and Ladies who Legspin – said the “key thing” she has learned from observing women in sporting codes across the country is that all of us should “do what you love and chase your purpose”.
“We often talk about how short life is, but I don’t think people really grapple with that concept properly. I know for a lot of lawyers they spend a lot of time in the office and for a lot of lawyers, getting to the top of the legal profession is exactly what they want to be doing,” she said.
“So, spending all those hours perhaps is the best way to achieve that. But if that is not you and you want to be doing something away from the law or doing another project on the side, I would encourage you to chase that purpose because life is short and the thing that you get the most purpose from is the thing that I think you should be pursuing.”
The first thing one should figure out, Ms Konstantopoulos continued, is exactly what one’s purpose outside of work (or at work) might be.
“I consider myself really lucky in that sport is something that I am deeply, deeply passionate about and I know that I’m really lucky to have that passion. So, I guess the first piece of advice is I would find something that you’re passionate about and then make time to pursue that passion away from your work,” she said.
“That passion may be your family. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But I think it’s important to have that conversation with your employer as well and let them know, ‘Hey, this is something that I’m passionate about away from work’, because the reality is, if you have a more well-rounded human being working for you, no doubt they are more loyal to you, they are happier at work and are more balanced human beings.”
When asked about her own balance and sense of purpose, she said: “I actually love the balance I have”.
“I really enjoy my legal work. I love working at nbn. I love my clients and the tricky issues that I get to grapple with there, but I also love that I have something away from work that I’m passionate about that I can spend time doing,” she said.
On the same episode, Ms Konstantopoulos said doing her extracurricular work has “dramatically changed my life”, particularly in developing her professional self-confidence.
“Talking about the work that I do was always something that I struggled with. I’ve not become a self-promoter, but I am proud of the work that I do and proud to share that with other people,” she reflected.
To listen to Jerome’s full conversation with Mary Konstantopoulos, click below: