Browsing Category 'career success in the law’ RSS

Living on Candidate Time

Date October 19, 2018 Comment Comments Off on Living on Candidate Time

Living on Candidate Time

clockIf you are in a job search, time can seem to stand still.  You send out resumes and hear nothing.  Or you get an initial response indicating that the employer would like to invite you in for an interview.  They say they will get back to you to schedule a time to meet; but weeks go by and you don’t hear anything.  And then there is the lag time after you actually have the first meeting.  You have a good first round of interviews, you connect with the interviewers, you send out thank you notes and you wait.

While it is a good idea to do periodic follow up during these lulls, it is also important not to be overly persistent.  You want the employer to know that you remain interested. But you don’t want to project an air of desperation.  If you don’t hear anything after an interview, wait at least a few days before following up again.

If you are working with a search firm, often your recruiter can be the squeaky wheel that helps keep the process moving forward.

The reality is that by the time an employer is looking to hire, they are already busy.   That is why they need to hire.  So their sense of urgency and your desire to have some closure may be in conflict (at least in the short term).

From the candidate’s perspective, you have had the interview and you are ready to move to the next step. Your job search is at the top or near the top of your priority list.  While employers are interviewing because they have a staffing need, the day to day demands of the business make it hard for the employer to move quickly.  In a law firm, for example, there may be several partners and associates involved in the search.  Each one of them may have client demands that make it hard to focus on the new hire.

Sometimes, the hiring process can be hampered by the schedules of other candidates.  You are in the mix, but in an attempt to be thorough, the firm wants to interview a number of candidates.  Each of these candidates may have their own scheduling conflicts.

I call this phenomenon “living on candidate time”.  Be aware that in all likelihood, if you are actively interviewing, your sense of time may be different than the employer’s sense of time.  The employer is likely to move more slowly than you would like.

If you remind yourself of this, then it may be easier to deal with the stress of not knowing.  You may still end up waiting a lot; but at least you’ll know that delay is not necessarily a reflection on your candidacy.  It’s just the reality when you are living on employer time.

Success Strategies for Women in Law

Date April 16, 2018 Comment Comments Off on Success Strategies for Women in Law

Success Strategies for Women in Law

laurn_rikleenIn my latest podcast, I speak with Lauren Stiller Rikleen. Lauren is a nationally recognized expert on developing a thriving, diverse and multi-generational workforce.  She shares some great advice for women who are looking to advance in the practice of law.  Her wisdom is also very relevant to men.

Going Solo With Matt Yospin

Date April 1, 2018 Comment Comments Off on Going Solo With Matt Yospin

Thinking about starting a solo practice? That’s what Matt Yospin did six years ago after spending his first two years at a large Boston firm. He has some great advice for anyone thinking about doing the same. See show notes for a lot more resources on starting a law practice.

Nailing the Job Interview

Date March 19, 2018 Comment Comments Off on Nailing the Job Interview

My colleague Amy Levine has some great tips for nailing your next job interview. In the program notes, I also mention my own interviewing tips which can be found here.

Advancing Your Law Firm Career

Date March 19, 2018 Comment Comments Off on Advancing Your Law Firm Career

What does it take to advance your career as an associate in a law firm? What should you be thinking about as you move up the ranks from new associate to mid-level associate? In my latest podcast, Carlynn Sweeney offers some great advice for ambitious lawyers who want to plan the next steps in their careers.

Trying to Make a Difficult Change? Tell Everyone!

Date January 7, 2018 Comment Comments Off on Trying to Make a Difficult Change? Tell Everyone!

Trying to Make a Difficult Change?  Tell Everyone!

smallerThe New Year has just passed and if you are like most professionals, you probably made a few New Year’s resolutions.  Maybe you decided to make some personal changes in your life (lose weight, get in shape, visit your parents more often); or maybe you have some new professional goals (do a better job of meeting deadlines; give better feedback to junior associates, paralegals and support staff; start looking for an in-house job; or spend more time marketing your practice.)

Whatever new goals you have established, now the hard work comes:  sticking to your stated goals.

There are a lot of things you can do to increase the likelihood that you will stick to your agenda.  Setting aside planning time each day to make sure that you are actively working towards your goals is one good strategy. Putting notes in your calendar is also a good one (this past year, I increased my trips to the gym by one time a week simply by putting in a recurring appointment at 6:00 a.m. every Wednesday.)

One strategy that is particularly effective is to make “public commitments”.  If you want to make changes in your life, tell a lot of people.  The mere act of telling your goals to others is one way to hold yourself more accountable.

This past year, I decided that after thinking about it for 5 years, that I was finally going to launch a podcast.  So I started telling a lot of people.  As a result, I found myself getting a lot more focused on taking the steps I needed to make the podcast a reality.  Five months after I began putting together a guest list, I now have all the equipment and software I need along with theme music and over art!  I announced that the podcast will launch at the end of January and I am well on my way to finishing the first episode. CounseltoCounsel, the podcast, will be ready for “prime time” by the last week in January.

If for some reason I am unable to follow through, I’m not directly accountable to anyone. But by telling many people in my network about the project, I have created a much deeper commitment to achieving my goal.

So whatever your professional or personal goals may be for 2018, tell your colleagues, friends and family.  They won’t make you lose weight or spend more time marketing, but you will feel a greater obligation to follow through on your commitments.  And that can be just the right catalyst you need to achieve those goals.

A Career Audit for Law Firm Associates

Date December 12, 2017 Comment Comments Off on A Career Audit for Law Firm Associates

A Career Audit for Law Firm Associates

38aa58f1-d33c-4d64-9467-806b573db29bLanding a job as an associate in a good law firm was the goal during law school. For those who have achieved this goal, the next step seems much less clear. Do you want to continue on the path to partnership where you are? Are there some things you want to change about your situation? Is it time to start shopping for a new home? Take this audit to help you take stock in your current job. It is not meant to be a substitute for talking to a professional about your career. But it may help you start thinking about the next steps in your career.

Connecting With Your Tribe

Date November 30, 2017 Comment Comments Off on Connecting With Your Tribe

Connecting With  Your Tribe

thetribeLaw is a profession that attracts individuals who enjoy solitude (according to the ABA, as many as 60% of attorneys are introverts.) If you ask most lawyers how they feel about networking, you are likely to get a  lukewarm response.  Getting out and making small talk is simply not a high priority activity for a lot of attorneys.  But as I’ve written on many occasions, leaving your office and meeting other professionals is the best way to advance your career, position yourself for future job opportunities and build your law practice. Read more…

What I’ve Learned as In-House Counsel

Date November 19, 2017 Comment Comments Off on What I’ve Learned as In-House Counsel

What I’ve Learned as In-House Counsel

holygrailSuccessAssociates ask me almost daily to let them know if I hear of any in-house opportunities.  Given the fact that corporate law jobs remain in high demand, I thought it would be useful to put together some of the pros and cons of going in-house. Rather than giving my own two cents on what it takes to be successful on the inside, I wanted to share the voices of lawyers who are actually in the trenches. So, I wrote to about 150 in-house lawyers to ask them the question “What have you learned as in-house counsel?”

I received a lot of thoughtful responses and many were very nuanced.  While career satisfaction remains high amongst the in-house counsel I surveyed (at least the ones who responded!) there are definitely some trade-offs from private practice.  Click here to read the whole article on JD Supra.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Date November 11, 2017 Comment Comments Off on Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Should I Stay? Should I Go? signpost drawn on a blackboard

I make my living by convincing lawyers to consider new career opportunities.  Join Smith & Jones and increase your partnership potential.  Make a lateral move and get the chance to work with cutting edge biotechnology clients.  Change firms and become a bigger fish in a smaller pond.  Get away from unpredictable hours.

While making a lateral move can certainly address core career concerns and help increase career satisfaction, a lateral move is not always the best option.  At the very least, if you are thinking that the grass may be greener somewhere else, it is worth taking the time to look critically at your current job. Are there things you can change about your present situation that will help you increase your career happiness? Read more…