I didn't really get Linked In at first (and still kind of don't). Is it like Facebook for professionals? Minus the drunk pictures and wall posts and birthday announcements? I started out with zero connections, and it was daunting. So I started off by "friending," or "linking," my husband, and going through all of his connections to see who I knew.
Turns out, I knew a lot of people, mostly from law school. And then, instead of building my own Linked In account, I got caught in the wormhole of looking at all of my former classmates' profiles. Like Facebook spying, only looking at resumes instead of baby photos.
Let me tell you, I am humbled. Hugely.
I know I graduated from law school seven years ago, and seven years is a long time professionally. But still, I think back to my law school classmates and imagine them sipping margaritas at Mad Mex, walking around in cut off jeans, and smoking
But they aren't just like me. They aren't even what I would have been had I not quit my job (aka, a senior associate at a big law firm). Well, some of them are. But some are in-house counsel at E! and NBC and a bunch of investment firms I've never heard of. Some are law school deans and professors and lobbyists and writers and VPs of important companies and oh my god, was I feeling bad about myself.
I hate Linked In, damn it.
It's weird. It's not that I'm jealous per se - I don't necessarily want those jobs, and I certainly wouldn't have wanted to work the hours necessary to get those jobs, with two kids in tow. It just is a reminder of what could have been - of possibilities. REAL possibilities. Possibilities that I never even considered for myself when I was working in biglaw. Actually, as I write that, I see that's the heart of it. Even before I had kids, I was stuck in a biglaw bubble. I couldn't see beyond it. And there is SO much beyond it - so many other options. Why didn't I ever see that? Why didn't I go for it?
Anyway, enough with regrets, hindsight, and what if's. It doesn't matter now. I'm in a good place - better than I've been in a long time. I am comfortable being home, I am loving being with my kids, and I am embarking on an exciting new career I believe in.
But damn, the Penn Law Class of 2005 has some pretty impressive graduates. Congrats, guys.