No Regrets

I’m essentially at the 1.5 year mark since leaving Hong Kong, and the more I get into New York life, the less I blog.  But I felt inclined to write this note after a close friend of mine from law school asked if I had any regrets leaving Hong Kong, given the extremely positive professional experience I had there.

I noted how two colleagues of mine had made partner this year at my firm in HK, and I do believe that I would have eventually walked that path at some point too.  I had an incredibly supportive senior partner behind me, wonderful work, positive relationships with clients, etc. etc.  Most importantly, there was also a logical promotion process in place in my office.  Why shouldn’t I have believed that I would get that holy grail eventually?

So do I regret leaving that behind for New York, where my firm is your typical  NYC BigLaw hot mess? In a word – no.

Though I may now lament my current professional situation out loud frequently, I don’t regret leaving Hong Kong to come to New York.  I’m home now. Being near family and friends has indeed filled my heart to the point that I’m able to forget many of the other every day woes.  It’s worth it.

I’ve gotten to visit/be visited by some of my further away friends a number of times as well, and that means a lot to me too.  I don’t feel rushed to do things at home, and yet I can cherish time with family all the same.  It’s amazing and it fills my heart.

When I contrast to time in HK, so often I just felt inexplicably lonesome, no matter how fulfilling my work was, how incredible my HK-based friends were, or how much fun I was having in my travels or experiences.  Something about my family is just so integral to my whole existence, I had to leave – no matter what I was leaving behind.

I guess I want to say – find what fills your heart.  It will never be just one thing, but there are some things that do it better than others.  Be near the people and things that make you feel full, and then you don’t need to worry about ever being hungry.

Happy holidays everyone!

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4 responses to “No Regrets

  1. Hi there! Not sure if this is the correct post this ask this question, but I figured I would just go ahead.

    I am due to qualify as an English solicitor in the future, and I am considering to move to work in Hong Kong upon NQ/PQE1. HK is a lovely city, and despite having never lived in HK (nor having any family in HK), I would love to experience work there!

    I speak native level Mandarin, but I do not speak Cantonese. Academically wise, I have been a top student from a great university. I will be gaining my pre-qualification experience with a Silver Circle international firm based in London. What do you think my chances are to secure a job with UK/US firms in Hong Kong as a NQ English solicitor?

    Your advice will be deeply, deeply, appreciated. Thanks!

    • Hi Taylor – I think that if could qualify at your firm and then ask them to transfer you, that might be the best way to get over there. Then you can hope to get the leeway to gain the 2 years PQE to qualify for the OLQE. You might want to express an interest early to gauge their response. If you have strong Chinese (including reading and writing), a firm would like to have you.

  2. I chanced upon your blog while looking at one of the other entries. Thanks for this – facing a similar dilemma, and the post rings so true.

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