Soon after becoming a fourth-year corporate associate, Steve lateraled from a large regional firm in the Southwest to a big law firm in New York City. Steve was originally from the Northeast, and he moved to the New York area to be closer to friends and family. Steve went to a top ten law school, considered himself a good lawyer, and was initially excited at the prospect of this relocation. During the first week at his new firm, he received an orientation by HR, some of the partners in the corporate department dropped by to introduce themselves and he was soon put on a couple of transactions.

As his first year at this new firm progressed, however, Steve’s work performance began to decline and his hopes about the new job gradually dimmed. It took more and more effort for Steve to get out of bed and head to work each morning, and he began to dread the elevator ride to his floor, the walk down the long corridor to his office, and the long hours he spent every day alone in his office before the computer. Steve wanted to engage with other associates, but he also felt increasingly alienated and sluggish, and as a result, he tended to avoid contact with others.