Lawyers, Your Job Should Not Make You Cry

Have you found yourself crying in your office, or on the way to the office, or when working at home?

Your Job Should Not Make You Cry

Crying because of your job is weirdly normalized in the legal profession.

In episode 042 of the podcast, I share why your job should not make you cry.

Mentioned in this episode:

TFLP 042: Your Job Should Not Make You Cry


Hi, and welcome to The Former Lawyer Podcast. I'm your host, Sarah Cottrell, and on this show I interview former lawyers to hear their inspiring stories about how they left the law behind to find careers and lives that they love. Let's get right to the show. 


Hello, everyone!

Okay, this week on the podcast, we're going to talk about something that I have very strong feelings about, and that is that if you cry regularly because of your job, that means something. Something is wrong. 

And I feel like this sounds super obvious, but I cannot tell you the number of people who I know who have experienced crying in the office, crying on the way to the office. This was back, you know, before coronavirus days when we were still commuting to offices. 

And it's so normalized in the legal profession, that people almost think that it doesn't mean anything. You know, I know for me, when I was working at a law firm, I definitely would cry somewhat regularly. And I didn't really realize that, you know, maybe that should indicate something to me. In fact, if anything, I sort of thought, you know, “oh, there's something wrong with me because I’m not liking this enough that I'm crying.” This is sort of touching on what we talked about last week

And so, I'm here to say that if you are in that position, if you are regularly crying because of your job, that means something and that probably means that is not the job for you. And that's not a judgment. That's not like, you know, “oh, you can't hack it.” That's just like, “that job sucks!” Any job that's making you cry regularly is crap, and you should get out of that job! 

And look, I get it. Like sometimes, that's not a thing that you can do right away. Totally been there. But I really want to encourage you that if you are someone who is having this experience of crying in the office, because of your job outside of the office, etc., you don't have to live like that. 

You have so many options and you're allowed to want a job that doesn't make you cry. You're allowed to decide that your job is the problem, that you are not the problem. You are not the problem because your job causes you to cry. Your job is the problem because what kind of job is that? 

Anyway, I see a lot of lawyers (and I've been there myself) who don't take these really obvious signs—from their body, from their nervous system, from their experience—that's telling them “this is not right for me,” because they think it doesn't matter. And it does matter. Your feelings matter, the way your environment makes you feel matters, and you should not be crying because of your job. 

So that's what I wanted to share this week. 

If you're a woman in Biglaw or Midlaw and you're having this experience, I strongly encourage you to come join us inside The Former Lawyer Collaborative. In the Collaborative, you will have the opportunity to connect with women who are in the same position that you are, who are looking to make a change, either to get out of their firm or to get out of the law entirely. We have a whole framework that helps you walk through the steps that you need to take to figure out what you want to do next to get clear and get out. And I would love to help you do that. 

So if you are interested, go to Our next cohort starts next week, June 1, and I'd love for you to join us. 

That's all for me for this week. I will talk to you next week.


Thanks so much for listening today. I absolutely love getting to share these stories with you. If you haven't yet, subscribe to the show, and come on over to to get even more support and resources in your journey out of the law. Until next time, have a great week!

Your Job Should Not Make You Cry, Part 2

Update: This episode of the podcast has been one of my most popular to date!

So, I decided to revisit this topic and share more about it in the video below. Click play to hear what I’ve learned since releasing the podcast episode.

To watch this video on YouTube (and to see other Former Lawyer videos), click here!