I don’t know about anyone else, but lately I feel like Rip Van Winkle. In the last two months, I have been to more in person events than I have been in the last three years. And it has been great to finally see people in person on a regular basis.
What has been particularly enjoyable are the organic connections that I have made at events including:
🎆A Boston Bar Association reception at Greenberg Traurig, LLP for Chinh H. Pham Pham, the incoming president, whose presidency shows how far we’ve come since John Adams was the first president of the BBA
🎆The “Annual Dinner” at Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, Massachusetts —which hasn’t been annual the three years– where I was able to hear in an inspiring talk from Congressman Jamie Raskin who spoke about mental illness in the legal profession (including heart wrenching remarks about his own son who died by suicide less than a month before he led the second impeachment trial)
🎆A great presentation last night at the BBA on the relationship between in-house counsel and outside counsel with insightful comments from Jermaine Kidd, Stephanie Lambert, Esq., James Coughlin, Paul Nightingale, and Yvonne Chan
🎆In person meetings of ProVisors including a fall social, and home group meetings led by Robert Donahoe and Richard Mandel
🎆The annual dinner of the ACLU of Massachusetts with great presentations from civil rights leader and former Ambassador, Andrew Young and from author of the 1619 Project Nikole Hannah-Jones
🎆A presentation I was asked to give last minute to the CLM Alliance (Claims and Litigation Management Alliance) and Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents (thank you Shylah N. Maloney, Esq. for getting me out of my sweatpants)
At each of these events, I had unexpected encounters with contacts old and new.
But what has been truly enjoyable for me is that during the pandemic, I made a big shift in my professional focus. I am largely out of the recruiting business and spending all of my time coaching lawyers on marketing, career transitions, and leadership.
What I’ve noticed is that my interactions feel so much more genuine. Now that I am no longer trying to earn commissions, something which has never felt that comfortable, each encounter I have is a chance to simply try and be helpful or learn something new. That was always my approach even when I was spending 90% of my time recruiting and 10% coaching, but I feel like I am now more able to be authentic.
I no longer have to think strategically about meeting people who I can place or identifying employers who may want to retain me to find in-house counsel. And I credit the pandemic with giving me the chance to get more clarity about what I want from my own career.
So what are you doing to get out and meet your professional network in person? Are you getting out? Has your messaging changed?