What’s life in retirement like for a retired lawyer? And what does a career change for lawyers look like after years in practice? In this episode of our retirement podcast, we talk with retired attorney Mark Shaiken, about his book And… Just Like That: Essays on a life before, during, and after the law, about his story and his advice on second careers for lawyers (and non-lawyers as well).
- How he decided to become a lawyer
- His replacement word for retirement – and what his afterlife is like as a retired lawyer
- What his transition to retirement was like
- How a teacher may have put his interest in art on hold – and what it’s like working in a creative field today
- What he’s learned about himself in his life as a retired lawyer
- How lawyers can use their skill-set in other ways in second careers for lawyers
- His advice for those considering a career change for lawyers – or a career change or non-lawyers as well.
Mark joins us from Denver, Colorado.
Forty-one years in the law and then one day, no more law, just like that.
After retirement, Mark Shaiken authored: And… Just Like That: Essays on a life before, during, and after the law.
Mark is a survivor of a decades-long career in the corporate bankruptcy trenches. He sat for 10 years on his law firm’s board of directors and was a member of its strategic planning committee. He holds his B.A. from Haverford College and received his J.D. from Washburn University. He is a graduate of the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts’ Leadership Arts program. He holds seats on Art Boards, sits on Habitat for Humanity, Metro Denver’s audit and finance committee, and is a member of the Downtown Denver Partnership’s Mobility and Housing Councils. He now measures his life by what he gives and enjoys that immensely. Mark has now started his next book “Fresh Start,” a bankruptcy novel.
On Transitioning to Retirement
“I think that I am correct that lawyers go through this process of why did I become a lawyer? Was this really the thing I should have done perhaps more than other professions? Because I think I hit a chord that resonated with the readers about that path. And I sure spend an awful lot of time during my career, trying to think of other things to do, maybe dreaming of other things to do, and certainly negotiating with myself as to how much longer I would hang on as an attorney. But I finally found my path out and I took it. And now I’m in the not-for-profit world where I feel like I get to ask every day at the end of the day, what I gave and I’m, I enjoy that immensely. That’s quite different than what you find in the law firm world, where you, you tend to be measuring your career by what you get. And I certainly did some of that during my career, but now I get to measure my life by what I’m giving. And that makes me really happy.”
On the Non-linearity of Life
“I don’t think there’s much about life that’s linear – even if it’s somebody that’s always known what they wanted to do. And then, [once you decide to do something different] there’s nothing about life that’s linear, which makes it kind of interesting. The ups and the downs can be scary, but that’s what living on Planet Earth is. So nothing that I have ever done has been linear, including in this afterlife. I’ve learned a lot of things, post my law career, but I didn’t know about myself. That makes even what I’m doing now, not particularly linear, but I’m used to that at this point. And so it doesn’t scare me as much as it might have when I was, you know, 25 or 30.”
For More on Mark Shaiken
Mark Shaiken’s book on Amazon: And… Just Like That: Essays on a life before, during, and after the law.
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