Life After the OLQE, Part I: A Full Time Job!

The OLQE had taken over my life since returning from New York last July.  My prep course began the week I got back (with just one day off due to a Signal 8 typhoon), and what was 7 hours of class a week quickly grew to 11.   But since the OLQE ended, life has suddenly gone into the fast lane — it’s insane what a difference a year can make.  Just one year ago this time, I was getting acquainted to a brand new country, figuring my way around, making new friends (many I still know today, and similarly many whom I have no idea as to their whereabouts).  Not only was I living in a serviced apartment that felt very temporary, but I had no idea as to how to pursue work here.

Questions that I needed to resolve were – what can I do here with my current skills? What additional skills should I be building to get a job here? How should I go about finding a job here? Do I really want to work in Hong Kong?  What is it like working here?  How will I bear being so far from friends and family?

I’m not sure if I can wholeheartedly answer any of those questions, but after a year of pusuing those answers, here I am, a little over a week at the office!  I officially began my job in late September, but the office had not been built out yet, and with the two OLQE heads I had to take in late Oct and early Nov, I was rather preoccupied, especially while I was on my official 2-week study leave.

The Monday after my last exam, the physical office space officially opened for our use, and here we are, a week and a half later!  I am enjoying the people I work with and learning a lot in my multi-faceted role which mixes up administrative duties with business development and legal research/lawyering.  I’m happy to not jump straight into legal work after such a long break, and am contemplating a future outside of that of lawyer per se.  The start-up nature of my job also leads me to wonder about starting up my own business some day as well. 

Overall, I’m learning quite a lot in a positive working environment with some very smart and nice people.  In many senses, this is precisely the sort of thing I was looking for in life after all that turbulence and instability.

There’s still lots to get used to of course — funny how a day job can feel like such a time suck after being a so-called lady of leisure for so long.  I am trying to rebuild my work wardrobe within budget while suiting what appears to be a higher standard of business attire in Hong Kong.  I haven’t really cooked in an eon pre- and post- OLQE and still unsure as to how to fit in regular gym time — so I’m afraid my body must hate me now!  By the weekend, I am pretty much feeling spent and wondering where all the time goes for me to take care of my household chores.  Oh the working life!

But the good definitely has outweighed the bad — and best news of all — I’ll be back in beloved New York in a few short weeks!! The firm is flying all of the Hong Kong office to New York for the firm holiday party! I’ve arranged to work from the New York headquarters the week of, and am so excited to see friends and family much earlier than anticipated. 

What more — my trip coincides with my friends Jeremy and Katherine’s baby shower!  J&K are my first “primary tier” friends having children (yes, children — twins!!), and since hearing the news a few months ago, have been very excited.  Wow, we’re all growing up for real now, huh?

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