This post is dedicated to my accountant (who I generally resist contacting because after all, I’m smart and I should be able to figure this stuff out myself!)
The other day, I was struggling with a tax question. I knew there was probably an easy answer, so I decided to run some computations myself. As I grew increasingly frustrated and anxious (the phrase “interest and penalties” scares me), I decided that it was time to turn to an expert (i.e. my accountant). In two quick e-mail exchanges, I got my answer and quickly noted that my blood pressure had dropped considerably.
There is a moral to this story. As I get more senior in my career, I am allowing myself to ask for help with much greater frequency. It is a lesson that lawyers are not really taught. In college and in law school, we are rewarded for individual achievement. As we try to advance our careers, this belief carries forward (i.e. that success comes from working hard and figuring it all out on your own).
While success generally does require hard work and individual action, along the way, there are a lot of people who help us to achieve success (parents, siblings, mentors, friends and sometimes, other paid professionals). So work hard and take responsibility for your own achievements. But don’t forget to ask for help along the way. Law is a challenging profession (and don’t think for a minute that anyone at the top made it all on their own!)