Earlier this year, I left my high paying, big law firm job and took an attorney job with the state. I did so for a variety of reasons. The hours weren’t great, the work was stressful, and the atmosphere was overall pretty unpleasant. It just wasn’t a great fit for me. I pretty much knew this would be the case going in, but I still needed the job in order to make a big dent in my student loans. As a young lawyer, there really isn’t any other way to make a ton of money except by working at a big law firm.
I ended up paying back my student loans in 2.5 years. With my debt gone, I no longer needed the big paycheck. Since I was free of the student loan burden, money was no longer the primary motivating factor for a job. I could instead look at jobs that I thought would be a better fit for me.