Recently, the legal blogosphere has been actively discussing the work-life issues in the legal profession. The Dreams of a Solo blog offers insights on how baby boomers and Gen X and Y differ in their approaches to work-life balance. Natasha Sarkisian writes about the “new legal lifestyle” and “the attitudes of a generation that isn’t willing to sacrifice itself on the altar of work” in the article “Who says being a lawyer has to suck?” for San Francisco magazine. What would baby boomers say of “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss? Visit his site to find out your LQ (Lifestyle Quotient).
In light of this debate, you may want to listen to the podcast “Engaging the Generations” Pt 1 and Pt 2 from The Engaging Brand. This podcast contains a two-part interview with Tamara Erickson, the co-author of “Workforce Crisis.” She talks about the characteristics of various generations of workers and the challenges that the management faces in attracting talented employees who want different things from their work environment. Younger people, for example, are more comfortable with project-based engagements similar to the Hollywood model where actors, writers, directors come together to create a movie for a limited period of time and then move on to new projects with a new team. This model offers a variety of experiences and a greater degree of flexibility.
As a lawyer, I would ponder the following questions: What types of clients will I have in 3, 5, 10 years? How their lifestyle design will affect mine? How can I be better positioned to serve their unique needs? Clients are the puppeteers of lawyers’ work habits. Who will be writing your scripts?