A Faustian plot: your soul for worldly adventures

Date: 28 October.

Location: Cumulus Inc. for its fabulous eponymous breakfast.

And sweep me into iridescent life.

Oh, came a magic cloak into my hands

To carry me to distant lands,

I should not trade it for the choicest gown,

Nor for the cloak and garments of the crown.

― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust: First Part

Dawn suggested the other day that a move to London would, if nothing else, 'make my blog more interesting'.

I've spared you from too many stories about the gruelling, self-esteem-rolling ordeal that has been the process of interviewing for positions in London.

One very conservative Oxbridge-populated Magic Circle law firm hated me so much they waited scarcely fifteen minutes after the interview before contacting my recruiter with a definitive 'no, thank you'. A much dreaded interview with an American biglaw firm (the one that inspired the TV show Suits) turned out into a cozy chat about traveling Nepal with a partner who used a few choice 4-letter words when describing aforementioned Magic Circle firm. Interview questions varied wildly: Why did you quit to travel? Why do you want to move to London? For how long? Tell me about your worst experience as a lawyer. Describe a management incentive strategy you've seen. Talk me through good leaver/bad leaver provisions. Mark up this shareholders agreement term sheet. What did you like about India? Why do you do yoga? Do you have ethical issues about working for a private health insurance company? Do you have questions for us?

Overwhelmingly, my answer was 'umm…'

However, as interviews progressed — with varying levels of succes — I learned to polish my impulse answers, curb the truth and to deliver a neat little soundbite that cast me in a fabulous light.

And the result?

A job in London with one of its most prestigious firms, starting in January. I strongly suspect I've made a deal with the devil: the concept of having any such thing as 'spare time', in exchange for living on the Monopoly board, the ability to take a train to Paris, working out what the big deal about Pret A Manger is and living The London Life for real. And, 'As one lawyer says, there may be “pathetic chances of making partner”, but “junior lawyers here make more than the prime minister”'. So, there's that too.

If nothing else, my blog will become a little more interesting.





2 responses to “A Faustian plot: your soul for worldly adventures

  1. I haven’t 100% decided between the UK Evil Empire named after A Big Red Dog, and the trendy American upstart/sweatshop …

    It’s much of a Mephistophelean muchness?

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