It’s been a while since I’ve posted, especially as September is nearly over and September means anniversary time – I am officially in my third year of HK!
Year 2, not unlike year 1, brought in a lot of changes. The biggest change was my first full-time job in Hong Kong, which was also my return to full-time work in almost two years. I was lucky enough to join a start-up of sorts, opening the Asia branch office for a well-known New York-based litigation boutique. It was exciting, being the first firm of its type in HK.
In the same year, I passed my qualification exams and became admitted as a HK solicitor (a topic that seems to draw in many of this blog’s readers!), which again changed my professional outlook in HK.
And personally, I’d been in a serious, long-term relationship over the course of the year, another first for me in HK and a first for me in a long time generally! So lots of changes!
My perspective on my purpose in HK, as well as life overall, was greatly impacted by these three things. Going back to work, I realized how much I missed being a lawyer, oddly enough. Being the firm’s inaugural year, there was a lot of administrative work to get through, and not necessarily as much in terms of legal work. I was also brought on to wear a variety of hats, including a business development hat and a knowledge management hat. It was a good way to get reacquainted with the industry, learn a few new things, and slowly remember how to do the usual law firm things — like accounting for every 6 minutes of my time.
From underneath all those hats, I yearned most to practice law again, which was the greatest lesson I took away from my year working again. Also, with my new dual qualification, I began to explore the job market in a new way. In year 1, I was really grasping at just about anything, and was really more focused on informational interviewing and networking, but now I was able to narrow my focus with a much better idea of what I wanted. I hope to spend some time in future posts about this experience.
This whole professional overload, while adapting socially to a very different kind of lifestyle with a new personal relationship, just spun me off in a whole new direction for year 3 of HK. I tendered notice in September and am happy to say that I will be joining one of HK’s longer-established international law firms, well reputed in my practice area, where I am sure to put my newest qualification to good use!
For me, this is the most remarkable change — and I still cannot believe that just 2 years ago, I landed at HKG jobless, having just left an ailing US economy (which is still ailing), and am now about to join one of the best regarded firms in my practice area. How is that? I guess those who encouraged me to stay in Hong Kong were right — it’s a place where you can take risks and do great things. I took my chances with this brand new venture of HK, throwing myself fully into it, including efforts to get locally qualified, and I am grateful this firm decided to take its chances on me!