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Beating Burn-Out and the In-House Blues

By William Vogeler, Esq. on August 01, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

'They call it stormy Monday, and Tuesday's just as bad.'

'Wednesday's worse, and Thursday's oh so sad.' So sang bluesman Buddy Guy.

In another life, he could have been an attorney and still sung the same song. That's because the blues can stretch out and even burn out corporate counsel, too.

So here's a cue from the musicians and writers who help us when our hearts aren't in our work anymore. Turn up the speakers and enjoy.

The Rat Race

If you find yourself dragging in to work on Monday, join the club. According to a Gallup survey, two thirds of Americans don't feel engaged in their work.

For lawyers, it could be the long hours, the stress, and the sometimes unsatisfying drone of the work. If there is a rat race to get out of, attorneys are leading the pack.

But like Frankie said, that's life. The key is, when you find yourself flat on your face, you pick yourself up and "get back in the race."

Look Outside Work

We're all headed down the same track, destined for a permanent stop. But wherever that road leads us, Mac Davis said we have to take some time to "stop and smell the roses."

So what if you don't like roses -- or country music? The point is, there is joy in the journey if you take the time to look around.

Get into a sport. Take up a hobby. Indulge a passion outside of work, says the Harvard Business Review. As long as it's legal, we don't want to hear about it. (Disclaimer: not intended as legal advice.)

Take a Joke

Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" probably wasn't a doctor. In any case, it's a good remedy for the corporate counsel blues.

You don't have to repeat tired lawyer jokes, but you should be able to take one. It's about seeing the funny side of life, which is not so hard in the legal trenches.

Remember this copyright lawsuit, with the monkey who took a selfie? You gotta click through the story to see the pic, then ask yourself: Does he look like the CEO?

At the end of the day, probably a Friday, you can beat the workweek blues. Like Buddy says: "Eagle flies on Friday, and Saturday I go out to play. "

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