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FI out of a job (long vent).

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#1 Pazoop

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    Posted 05 May 2008 - 01:04 PM

    OK, so he would kill me if he knew I was posting this but I am sitting here at work all day and completely freaking out and stressed – and I’ve been stressed for the last four days. On Friday, we found out that my FI was not hired back after articling. This basically means that in 4 weeks he will be out of a job. It’s not exactly like being fired. It’s more like not being asked back. In TO, after law school you have this 10 month period where you have to article before you officially become a lawyer and start as an associate (different from in the States – it’s like this mini-apprenticeship). During articles, you bust your ass all hours of the day and night everyday all week long and most weekends, presuming that if you have excellent performance reviews then the law firm will hire you back for the following year as an associate.

    Well, these past 10 months he’s been working like a maniac, getting excellent performance reviews, even having some of the lawyers do that “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” we would love to have you back in our practice section next year thing…so needless to say he was feeling relatively confident that things would work out and that he had done all he could to secure a position. The hireback rates are typically pretty good unless you’ve actually screwed up something or slacked off through out the year. It was never a sure thing, but everyone, including his colleagues and some of the partners thought he was a shoe-in.

    Well, on Friday they made the announcements and he was one of only three people not hired back. He was told he didn’t “fit” with the firm’s culture and wasn’t a good “match”. Not that he did bad work or didn’t work hard enough (and apparently there were others who definitely put in less time and effort) – just that he didn’t fit. In other words – they made up a BS answer. Because not matching and fitting is the precise opposite of what he had been told all along.

    So he’s out of a job. And I have no idea how he begins to go about finding a new one, and I am FREAKING OUT! We just signed on for our lease for another year in our apartment downtown, and we have the wedding coming up…my salary is hardly enough to support two people when we have student loans to pay and the wedding and rent that’s now beyond our pay scale…I refuse to take financial help from his mother (that’s a whole other long story, but to sum it up – it’s NOT an option), and my parents are not in a position to offer much help. I know he will land on his feet eventually but I have no idea where he goes from here. I do know that it may take many, many months for it to finally come together and in the mean time, what do we do? My understanding is that firms hire their articling students and if your not hired back, well…you S.O.L. And when he does find a job, will the salary be enough to cover the wedding/student loans/additional accumulated debt? I’m already looking into finding additional casual work on weekends (picking up contract work to make some extra money), but there’s only so much I can do.

    I’m trying to control my anxiety in front of him but it’s through the roof. I seem to be able to get a grip most of the time but when I’m alone I feel like I can’t breath and I break down into tears. I’m scared but I’m also really angry for all the work he put in and all the time we spent apart this year so he could put in long working hours and it’s come to nothing. I’m afraid that he’ll have an impossible time finding a job, and overwhelmed with the financial demands of everything coming up. And the worst is that right now it’s so hard to see him so upset too and there’s nothing I can do to make him feel better.

    I want to talk to our friends about it but I know he'd be upset. He would hate for anyone to have sympathy or pity for him. So I give the standard -"Oh yes it'll all be fine", "When a door closes, somewhere a window opens" - responses to everyone who asks. But I just needed to write this all out because I didn’t know how to make heads or tails of everything that’s happened. It’s like the carpet has been swept out from under my feet and I’m still shaking my head trying to reorient myself.

    (RE. the quotes in the siggy…being a social worker, I have lots friends who are in the business of “professional problem solving” and “life coaching” – they’ve been encouraging me to turn the whole thing on it’s side, head, what have you…that’s what’s with the inspirational quotes…I’m hoping if I read and see them enough and repeat different ones in my head, I’ll find a silver lining in here somewhere sooner rather than later).

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    #2 Karen

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      Posted 05 May 2008 - 01:10 PM

      Wow! I'm so sorry you and your FI have to deal with this. I'm a social worker and an optimist too. I truly believe even the saddest darkest events can be a blessing in some way. I always try to find the bless in the mess. I really hope everything works out for you guys. Your FI sounds like a smart guy. I'm sure he will find a wonderful position. Good Luck!
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      #3 becks



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      Posted 05 May 2008 - 01:35 PM

      Ugh!!! I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this!!

      He's a lawyer? I know that here in the US, firms sometimes hire people temporarily to assist with discovery reviews and so forth. Maybe in the short run he could pursue something like that while he looks for a longer-term position?

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      #4 Nrvsbride

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        Posted 05 May 2008 - 01:43 PM

        Uggh Julia I am so sorry. I'm an attorney too and I know how stressful it can be to try to find a job. There is so much politics involved in these law firms, its completely unfair!

        I was going to mention what Becks mentioned which is to do document review temporarily. Sometimes those temp jobs last for 10 to 12 months. Do they have stuff like that in Toronto?

        Another option is to look through legal recruiting agencies. I'm not sure I understand all the logistics but does this mean that your FI has to do the articling (not sure I'm pronouncing that right) again at another firm before he can be hired? Or does the articling he did at this firm count towards a job somewhere else?

        Additionally, just b/c your a lawyer doesn't mean you have to work in that capacity. Could he apply for a business job like in legal compliance at a corporation? A lot of people here also work for auto insurance companies as insurance adjusters. Maybe that's an option for him.

        I am going to keep my fingers crossed that something comes his way. I imagine that you are super stressed but hopefully things will turn around for him and everything will work out.

        #5 Hartyt509

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          Posted 05 May 2008 - 01:51 PM

          It may be different in Canada as to the UK but I get the feeling its similar. The way it works here is you have 2 years as an article clerk, you take exams during that time and then you are a qualified solicitor. Its probably very similar.

          Lots of law firms don't take on the article clerks usually down to cost and because a lot of the partners are arseholes (I know I'm a lawyer before anyone shouts at me lol)

          He shouldn't have to do the articles again and i have known loads and i mean loads of newly qualified that have gone on to get amazing jobs shortly thereafter.

          Its easy for me to say don't worry but if he has worked that hard for 10 months he will work equally hard to get a better job and it'll be for a much better firm.

          Have faith it WILL work out xx

          #6 jajajaja

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            Posted 05 May 2008 - 02:13 PM

            I'm so sorry to hear this. I don't really have advice to offer, but I just wanted to say that truly at moments like this you are tested. This struggle will make your relationship stronger and you guys will know that you can handle any financial problems- considering financial issues is one of the main problems in relationships. I have faith you can work it out!

            Try to remain posititve- negativity certianly doesn't help anything but make it worse! I'm sure your man will know what to do and it will all turn out ok. :)
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            #7 Celina

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              Posted 05 May 2008 - 02:18 PM

              Wow - I don't know what to say, but that I am wishing and praying for you guys and that something will come through. I am so sorry you are going through this.
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              #8 TammyWright


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              Posted 05 May 2008 - 02:57 PM

              what a horrible time for this to happen...i truly believe that things happen for a reason so try not to stress too much right now...big hugs girl!

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              #9 MissyR

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                Posted 05 May 2008 - 03:04 PM

                Coming from someone who has been through the exact process you described I know how frustrating and scary it is. I worked myself to the bone for articling here in TOronto only to find out that I wasn't being hired back.

                While in hindsight it was the best thing that ever happened to me - I know that at the time I was devasted and scared that there would be nothing else out there.

                What type of law does he practice? If you PM me a little more information I may have some connections I can put him in contact with. The other option is to go to a few of the mentors at his firm that he has/had a good relationship with and see if they have any other contacts.

                He should also check out the Ontario Reports (weekly journal with tons of jobs).

                #10 Pazoop

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                  Posted 05 May 2008 - 03:41 PM

                  You girls are bringing me to tears, but good tears! I just feel very overwhelmed and not being able to express it to friends we know because I know he wants to avoid the sympathy, "oh we're so sorry", type thing...

                  I know that it's true that we'll get through this -- the financial stuff can be trying but we'll work it out. Part of me has realized even more so over the last few days just how much I love him and how deeply proud of him I am. I know he has the resiliency to bounce back from this.

                  Missy - thank you so much for sharing with me about your articling/not being hired back. I've had that thought these past few days that maybe at some point he'll look back and realize this was the best thing to ever happen to him -- so I'm glad to hear it from someone first hand whose been through it! I'll PM you about the rest.

                  I keep telling myself better for this test to have come now than a few years down the road when might have a mortgage or a baby or other responsibilities. Right now it's the two of us and we can handle making some sacrifices and downsizing to accomodate this little bend in the road.

                  Las Caletas Wedding and TTD Slideshow
                  Photos by the awesome Nathaniel Thompson

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