Run…To Reach Your Career Goals

Reaching Your Career Goals | Special Counsel

Happy National Running Day to all lawyers who are also runners!

As a runner, I understand the time, commitment and discipline required to achieve your ultimate goal (or distance) whether you’re running a 5K (3.1 miles) or a full marathon (26.2 miles).   That same time, commitment and discipline is required to achieve almost any worthy goal in life, including your career goals.

In my previous training for half-marathons (13.1 miles), I created a plan in which I ran a certain distance and number of days per week and gradually increased my distance and endurance over time.  It was a structured schedule that required planning, discipline and focus to achieve certain physical goals in a specific time frame while maintaining a healthy lifestyle and nutrition plan.

It’s important to plan your career in the same manner.  For example, if you’re an associate in a law firm and eventually want to practice law in-house with a company, you should implement a career plan.  Your career plan may resemble your running training schedule, as follows:

Years 1-5+

Practice a specific area of law with a well-respected law firm that is known for that particular practice.

  • Ask for as much hands-on experience and responsibility as possible.
  • Try to gain a lot of client interaction and exposure.
  •  Do not “job hop” – do your best to create stability and longevity with your firm/employer.

Years 4-8

Begin exploring specific industries and companies where might like to work.

  • Get to know your clients and their in-house attorneys.
  • Research the market, including companies and compensation.
  • Establish a relationship with a reputable legal recruiter who has corporate clients and experience placing candidates in-house.
  • Polish your resume.
  • Create a detailed LinkedIn profile that clearly reflects your area of practice, experience and expertise as well as any publications and accolades.
  • Monitor Internet job sites.

Discuss a career change with your spouse or partner, including the possibility of relocation.

Create a list of criteria that is important to you in making a career change – for example:

  • Practice area
  • Industry
  • Compensation
  • Work-life balance/predictable schedule
  • Location
  • Advancement opportunities/career track

Explore, either independently or with the assistance of a qualified legal recruiter, a handful of in-house opportunities that meet the criteria you have pre-identified as important to you and your career.

  • Be selective in your application process.
  • Stay in control of who has your resume and where it is being submitted.

Years 5-10+

Go in-house with a great company that provides all the things that are important to you and your career!

Each lawyer’s plans and goals differ.  However, the key is to create a well-thought plan and strategy and implement it with discipline and commitment to achieve your ultimate goal.

Happy National Runners Day!

Sharon A. McLaughlin, Esq. is a Regional Search Director with Special Counsel in Houston, TX (www.specialcounsel.com).

Attract & Retain Top Talent

With a rapidly changing industry, it's vital to offer the right compensation and set the right expectation. With our 2017 Salary Guide, get detailed job descriptions, industry insights and local salary data to equip your managers with hiring confidence and expertise.

Get your copy »

Get email updates about more content like this!

Comments

| Next articles in The Column blog |

Get the | foundation | you need to hire the best legal talent.

Request your copy of our 2017 Salary Guide »
GO NOW
LOAD MORE
LOAD MORE
LOAD MORE
LOAD MORE
LOAD MORE
LOAD MORE