After negotiating labor contracts, representing a trade union, and arbitration, I decided that maybe divorce mediation was the way for me to go. I was very excited about mediation. I took lots of training, but with no experience, I was looking for words of encouragement. New mediators get very excited about their new career and are looking for people in the business to inspire them, and to say, “Yes, we can!” Remember that?
I had taken a law training at NYU and called one of my law professors who was involved in dispute resolution. I said, “I just have to ask you something. I am very excited about being a new mediator and specializing in divorces. What can you tell me that will kind of put me on the right track?” Her response: “Keep your day job.” I was really taken aback by this. “What do you mean ‘Keep my day job’? I want to be a mediator, make a career of mediation.” She said, “There’s no money in mediation, forget about it. Go find something else to do.“
Well, here I am, I don’t know how many years later, and I’m making a living doing what I love to do, which is being a peacemaker and helping people resolve their differences during separation/divorce.
If you are a new mediator, don’t be discouraged. Like anything else, if you really want to do it, and you put in the time and effort, you can be successful. You don’t have to keep your day job. “Yes, You Can!” be a mediator.
See you at the next conference.