February 1, 2009

Starting from scratch

You have just been laid off from work or you have just graduated from a university or a college with a scroll in hand. What do you do? Prepare a resume telling people of how you can fill the void left by it's former employee and receive the paltry sum that most employers are willing to pay these past few years. Or start a business by being your own boss without having a safety net to fall back?

In my earlier business life, I have chosen the latter. I have decided to jump into the bandwagon of owning my own business albeit by looking for an established lawyer who need another lawyer as his or her partner. I found my former partner offering his business alone after quitting his Deputy Public Prosecutor post on his own 6 months before I met him but with experience rivalling anyone who has been a lawyer for quite sometime. He was offering his service as a criminal and divorce lawyer. He actually takes on any job that comes his way and when I offer to freelance for him, he said yes. Imagine that, a fresh graduate who just got his license supposing to help him on cases which may send the client to the gallows if not done properly.

Although during the year I started my practice was not the year of doom and gloom such as now, I actually have no idea what I was doing. None in my family is or was a lawyer. Distant relatives are just lawyers who work for people who don't really know how to run a legal firm. I was as clueless as anyone who just been hired on his first job. So, I actually went around asking people whether what I did was wise or just plain stupid and whether it is too soon. I parted ways with most of those who I asked for advice to ensure to keep me with my feet on theground and to slap me on the face once in a while to ensure as such.
I can say that starting from scratch without guidance is not easy. I had to follow all the lead that I got without fear or favour and sometimes it lead to nothing. I followed one of my uncle, travelling with him on road trips which he liked to take, which is a disguise for his escapade with his mistress, and covered for him with my auntie. As he was a developer that particular time, he promised to give me legal jobs. Did I get it? Nope, just  a whole lesson on how to travel to southern Thailand without a passport and even a warning from my auntie that she knows what I was up to.
But, the advice that my uncle said to me still stick to my mind until this day. He told me to keep all my friends I knew along the year close and to remember that these friends may be my ticket to wealth as I have still along way to go especially when these friends get to certain positions in their line of work. Thanks to this particular advice, I do get jobs from my friends who became head of department and even successful businesspersons on their own.
Maybe, those trips are not so useless after all...

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