If you're in your mid-twenties, and making solid progress on a professional career path that may (or may not) give you the potential to have some positive impact later on in your career, should you stick on that path or jump off and try to start something new that may enable you to have an impact sooner?
I'm 27 years old and about to become a barrister in the UK, having studied physics, chemistry and philosophy at a very good university before converting to law. I am not interested in big money commercial law, but am going into employment law/human rights/public law/judicial review. I know that being a lawyer is generally seen as a terrible EA choice (and rightly so - there is an unbelievable amount of wasteful paper pushing) but I also know that successful lawyers in the later stages of their career are in high demand for positions that can have a lot of impact. For instance, top lawyers are regularly sought after to be execs and non-execs on boards; many enter politics; some become influential political advisors; and some become highly sought-after advisors to NGOs, companies, charities, and educational institutions.
I feel I'm now approaching my last chance to jump off the professional treadmill. If I continue to the Bar, my expectation is that I will still be there in my early forties. The large majority of good barristers don't leave the Bar before then and there's no reason for me to think that I'm that different from them.
So, my question is: should I stick at my current job or not?
I hope that provides some food for thought. Any advice and thoughts are most welcome.