Episode 60: Dan Shulman Talks Mid-Life Career Transitions

Intellectual property attorney Dan Shulman of the firm Vedder Price joins this episode to talk about navigating various career and life transitions in our 40s and 50s, specifically when this tends to be the time we hit our career peak.

Dan also shares his tips for dealing with an empty nest, information about the mid-life issues he sees crop up with his clients, how to create more capacity for better work-life balance, and the impact of retirement on attorneys and their families. Dan also shares about his career journey and lessons learned, as well as influences on his career. He also shares about what was particularly helpful for him during times of change and more. The opening segment features career-related news stories from the last few days and the show concludes with the weekly “Reignition Recommendation” career tip.

Show Notes:

[00:27] Welcome to Reigniting You® where we talk all things career transition for those age 40+. Great to be here with you today and our producer, Eric.

[01:28] Industrial production gains in October.

[02:27] Boise, Idaho now the second most expensive housing market in the U.S. and Canada.

[03:22] Eric and Lisa discuss these two news stories.

[06:55] Rivian Automotive IPO.

[08:01] Job gains in October with positive adjustments for August and September.

[09:09] Eric and Lisa discuss these two news stories.

[17:04] Welcome back to Reigniting You® the show that focuses on all aspects of making mid-late career transitions.

[17:33] Happy to introduce today’s guest, Dan Shulman. Welcome to the show!

[18:25] Lisa asks Dan to share his career path – stems from a mock trial activity in fourth grade; took 15 years to decide to go to law school after trying to be a physicist.

[20:06] What’s a lesson or two that stands from your career? Dan – don’t burn bridges; trust yourself; be open to learning – never stop learning.

[21:34] What was the process like for you to learn to trust yourself? Dan – always had confidence; if you put in the work, you can do it and overcome challenges.

[24:03] What was particularly helpful that got you through times of change in your career (whether actions you took, decision points, skills you developed, and/or people who supported you)? Dan – having eye on what to be in life as a person; understanding lifestyle desired; being tethered.

[27:28] Was there ever a time you had a regret about a career decision? Dan – news about a physics discovery would cause wondering what if; been fortunate to have good timing for career moves.

[28:52] What recommendations do you have for someone who’s going through a time of change and transition to stay positive and persevere/stay motivated? Dan – come back to what you’re doing it for and being able to balance what’s most important to you; know what makes you most proud of yourself.

[30:44] Who has had a big influence on your life or career? Dan – dad, grandfather, kids.

[34:44] Visit https://yournewaspect.com to sign up for career tips and take a free Career Transition Readiness Quiz or to contact Lisa.

[35:09] For many of us in our 40s and 50s who are starting to think about empty nests and what winding down in our careers could look like, it can be the most pressure-packed time in our careers. What’s your advice for how we can get through this time period successfully since we don’t necessarily have the energy we did in our 20s and 30s? Dan – what you lack in energy you make up for with wisdom and clarity; need to do the work around who you were and who you are now – transition is growth.

[38:36] What are some issues you see crop up with your clients, colleagues, or friends in midlife that are different from those in our younger days and how do you see these issues impacting our careers? Dan – divorce and aging parents are the two biggest issues.

[43:26] As you entered your 40s with your law career, what changes did you make in your life, as well as changes that happened to you, to create the capacity with hitting the peak years of your career? Dan – saw was in a rut; made a point to build personal brand; did things in role to set up for next challenge.

[46:11] What recommendations do you have for those who are experiencing empty nests for how they can adapt and grow since life isn’t necessarily quite as centralized on the kids? Dan – always do the things that reinforce what makes you proud of yourself; find out what other things you can do.

[49:32] There’s a perception out there that attorneys, like many other high-stress professions, have a tough time retiring and exiting the profession. Do you see this, and if so, what impact do you think it has on attorneys and their families? Dan – for sure, although sometimes the job has a way of retiring you; law firms can be unforgiving; have to continue mentoring younger lawyers so you can ease out.

[52:46] How can people find you? Dan – website; LinkedIn; email.

[53:29] Reignition Recommendation – act on your gratitude.

[54:15] Visit https://yournewaspect.com to sign up for career tips and take a free Career Transition Readiness Quiz or to contact Lisa.

[54:46] Join us next week when my guest will be author and certified financial transition coach and advisor Judi Snyder.

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