By Shawn Skillin, Esq., Family Resolution Institute Trainer and Co-Founder
My Previous Life
In my first professional life, I was a nurse. Then I got this crazy idea to go to law school. As a nurse I worked in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, I was certified as a critical care nurse and as a trauma resuscitation nurse. This meant I went to the ER for new trauma’s and went on “Codes” where ever they happened in the hospital. It was the exciting hardcore stuff and I loved it.
When I went to law school, I thought the equivalent of the hardcore stuff would be litigation. I mean how bad could it be, no one would die. Then I started litigating. I liked it, it was exciting, but it took a toll. It wasn’t very predictable, there was no policy and procedure manual. Ask five lawyers (or judges) the same question and I got five different answers.
To make matters worse, I missed the teamwork and camaraderie of the hospital with everyone working together to a common goal. Divorce lawyers didn’t really work that way…
One of my colleagues suggested I would like a mediation career, so I signed up for a training. I instantly felt at home. It felt educational, collaborative, constructive and rewarding to me. I felt much more in control.
A New Mediation Career
So off I went on a new professional adventure in my new mediation career. I was in control of my hours and case load, no more ex parte hearings at the last minute, many fewer client crises. I was educating clients, helping them solve their own problems and I was much happier. As I attended more training and developed my skills, I became a better listener and learned to let go of the “outcomes”, after all, they belonged to my clients. I was in charge of the process, they were in charge of the outcome.
What’s more, my new skills translated into other areas of my life. I was better with my kids, little league and soccer parents and my siblings (a miracle in itself). I tried to see my Husband’s side of things (warning, limited success here.)
If you are looking for a change in your profession, whether you are a lawyer, mental health professional or financial professional, consider giving a mediation career a try.