Wow, I can't believe that it has been almost a month since I've written. I can't say things are better. In fact, things have deteriorated a bit based on my mood which seems to be affecting everybody around me. Since I know I have a lot to say, I'll break this post into bite-sized parts. This is part I.
Around a month ago, I took a temporary document review job in a law firm that paid almost nothing and had a 5 hour daily commute (around 2 hours each way), but because my wife was on maternity and we lost her salary, I felt that it would be better to work so that we could pay the bills, so I took the job.
The job cut off any free time I had to apply to patent attorney positions, and because I was leaving at 6am and getting home at sometimes 10pm or 11pm, I wasn't spending much time with my wife. Further, we were starting to feel the stress of the job on our relationship because I was tired all the time. Combining all that with the fact that the document review bosses ran the position like a sweatshop, the money didn't seem worth it after a while.
Around the same time I received a job offer as a patent attorney working remotely, where I would be reviewing patent applications and finding prior art to invalidate them. I called it the "dark patent attorney" position because our job as patent attorneys is to write patents and create new patents, not to kill them. This seemed like the evil side of the coin. The only problem is that it didn't pay nearly as much as my temporary position, and it had a very steep learning curve. To become an expert searcher of patents, it would take weeks if not months of work, and the pay would not be good until I got good at it.
After talking to my wife about the fact that the document review position would be over in a few months coupled with the fact that I would be unemployed in a month or so again, we decided that it would be wise to leave the document review position and take the remote patent attorney position.