Finishing law school is no small accomplishment. I know I don’t need to tell you that as you’ve lived it daily.
Your Incredible Opportunity
You are about to enter an amazing part of your lives where you get to put all of your knowledge, drive, personality, and dreams together to help others while making a living doing it. That is a huge gift and an incredible opportunity!
There are many who can speak to the nuances of becoming a lawyer, meaning the day-in and day-out. I have two pieces of advice for you to help set you up for success.
Two Pieces of Advice for You
My recommendations for you are:
1) Think like an owner/partner, &
2) Become a very smart and productive networker
Think Like An Owner/Partner
First, think like an owner/partner. Even if you are years away from having those titles, is important because these are the people you are going to be hired by, will report to, and whose lives depend on your work.
Be cautious about expecting firms and employers to mold schedules and accommodations to you and your style. Employers are still adapting to the changes thrust upon them during COVID.
In many cases, it has stressed their cultural and financial situations. Most are doing the best they can, changing to adapt to a “new” work style that incorporates more of a digital presence while trying to figure out how to stay profitable while serving clients and colleagues.
Owners and other leaders have to speak to their internal and external clients, investors, and shareholders, so they have to create an environment that speaks to all parties they are responsible to and for.
Think about putting that puzzle together, not just once a year or quarter, but every day. This is nothing short of a Herculean effort.
Smart and productive networker
Second, become a very smart and productive networker. I want you to network as if your livelihood depends on it because it does!
Even if you haven’t been comfortable so far getting to know people you identify as important to your career, you need to move past that trepidation to find a way to get to know them and to find ways to become known to them.
Being strategic about networking will have a major impact on your career and your practice because you will rely on others for referrals, promotions, positive reviews, mentions of and links to you in articles and blog posts, for your education, and much more.
Trust and Connection Are Required
This never stops. Putting yourself in the shoes of those you will be serving your entire career and life is a skill that will serve you well. Some call it empathy.
Also, networking is now an official part of your job search, your job, and your career. You will have a difficult time earning the trust of employers and clients if they don’t know anything about you, or if they don’t feel any connection to you.
It’s time to connect.
You can do this!
Congratulations and the best of everything to you!