A very long time ago my first newspaper boss called me into his office and gently told me off for coming into the office at the weekends. I’d put enormous pressure on myself to find page leads from the villages and towns I covered. I’d spent much of my week out and about trying to source stories, which left me little time during the day to file copy. Evenings were often spent sitting in the back of a room, cup of tea in one hand, pen in the other and notepad on lap, watching council meetings. I saw the weekend as a chance to get some stories in the bag so my boss didn’t think I was rubbish. 

The reporters already had to do weekend duty once a month (scan the newspapers, call the police and fire service for any incidents etc). But coming into the office on my weekends off? My editor didn’t want me to start resenting work. And he pointed out that we always managed to fill the pages.

My mind went to that particular conversation after a family lawyer expressed concern on social media about some of the comments that had been posted underneath my article on the findings of a Resolution survey that one in four family specialists are ready to quit the profession. Almost half of those considering leaving the profession were junior practitioners.

‘My generation didn’t have all the benefits of today and I have worked extremely long hours all my life,' said one Gazette commenter. 'Moaning because they might have to do more than eight hours! I regularly do 10 hours, I am always available when on leave. It’s what you do when you are a professional. I despair as to what is going to happen to this country as the next generation coming through just have no resilience at all with anything.’

Firstly, if this particular commenter is expecting a medal for being available when on leave, don’t expect one from me. Secondly, don’t impose the standards you’ve set for yourself on others. Thirdly, the next generation is experiencing challenges the previous generation didn’t. Thank god I didn’t have a smartphone, easy access to the internet and social media, or a global pandemic that forced me to work alone from home when I was starting out.

LawCare’s Elizabeth Rimmer said Resolution’s findings were a catalyst for action to start creating everyday habits in family law that support wellbeing, such as good supervision, training for managers and creating a positive work-life balance’. Based on the above commenter’s remarks, I’d also suggest reverse mentoring wouldn't go amiss. In the meantime, I hope you all have a lovely weekend. I really do.