On Monday, 15 March, I will officially be joining the regional legal team of one of the largest and most profitable companies in the world. This will mark the first time in my almost eight years in law practice that I will be employed by a company, and a Fortune 100 company at that, and not by a law firm. Eight years and three law firms after my admission to the Philippine Bar, I have finally discerned that I do not wish to remain in a law firm setting for the rest of my productive professional life. And so, here I am, just two days away from the next phase of my continuing evolution as a legal practitioner.
To say that my new job will entail a huge adjustment on my part is an understatement. The responsibilities will be greater, the workload will be heavier, and the hours will be longer. I expect my schedule to be erratic and unpredictable because I will be working with people located in other time zones. I've also been told that I'll be doing a lot of traveling. And it's not like I'll be away just for days at a time. We're talking weeks here, maybe even months. I knew all of these coming in, and I considered these factors when I decided to pursue the job. I knew all of these, and still, I agreed to take on the job. I can't later on say that I want out because "it's too hard." The legal profession has a term for situations such as this - estoppel.
Although I am very grateful and excited for this new opportunity, I couldn't help but think how it would affect the other aspects of my daily life. I'd like to make it clear, however, that I am not worried about my job having a negative effect on my family life. I know my priorities, and that precisely is the reason why I landed in this situation in the first place. I am confident that, if necessary, I can and I will make time for family. What concerns me more is my new job's potential impact on a now-integral part of my daily life -- my running. For the past year, I have been blessed with a very comfortable work schedule that allowed me to run as often as four to five times a week. If you think that was great, the past two weeks have been even better. I have been on vacation since 26 February and I've been running almost everyday. In a couple of days, however, all these will change. On Monday, I'm going back to reality.
To people who don't know me and/or have not made running an integral part of their way of life, my concern (I refuse to call it apprehension) might seen mundane, petty, trivial, selfish, or even downright silly. For me, however, it is a real and pressing concern because running is one of those things that give me balance. Running does so many things for me -- it relaxes me, keeps me healthy, gives me time to think and reflect, provides me another outlet for my emotions, gives me an added sense of accomplishment, satisfies my craving for competition, keeps me disciplined, gives me an excuse to shop and travel, trains me to wake up early, inspires me to cut down on drinking and smoking -- oh boy, I can go on and on. Still, although I simply can't afford to give up on running, I recognize that I will have to make sacrifices. Despite all the personal benefits I derive from running, I accept (albeit reluctantly) that it does not rank that high in the "hierarchy of things." I know that there are more important matters that I must attend to, such as my family's welfare, my professional and other personal endeavors, and the countless obligations that are inextricably linked with these. And so, as I take on this new challenge, time management will be key -- on the assumption, of course, that I will still be left with some time to manage.
Oh well. I'll probably need a few weeks to figure everything out. Who knows, it might turn out that the schedule is not that bad after all. In the meantime, I have no choice but to go back to being a "chance runner." I will have to always keep a fresh set of running gear in my car, just in case.