Lawyer Becomes a Barista Not Barrister


The long-term solution to burnout doesn’t usually involve more coffee. But that’s exactly what worked for Henna Choi.

As a busy lawyer, she wasn’t happy about being constantly stressed out. So Choi, 29, from Toronto, Canada, quit the daily grind to pursue her passion for a different form of daily grind, so to speak, by becoming a barista.

Despite the financial anxiety it initially caused, it’s transformed her life.

“I trust myself enough now to know that I will make the right choices when the time comes,” she told Newsweek.

Choi’s story of workplace stress reflects many others, with burnout among women rising.

Burnout is not classed as a medical condition by the World Health Organization, rather a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

“It’s a tale as old as immigrant time,” Choi told Newsweek, “I came to Canada from South Korea when I was three years old and grew up feeling like I had to become a doctor, lawyer or engineer. To be fair, I even convinced myself that I wanted to be a lawyer because I thought I could help people and make the world a better place. I quickly learned though that lawyering really means following and upholding existing rules, no matter how unfair they seem.”

53 percent of women say their stress levels are higher than they were a year ago, according to the Deloitte report “Women @ Work 2022: A Global Outlook,” and almost half feel burned out.

“This burnout is a top factor driving women away from their employers: nearly 40% of women actively looking for a new employer cited it as the main reason,” the report says. “More than half of those surveyed want to leave their employer in the next two years, and only 10% plan to stay with their current employer for more than five years.”

Read full article