Being a new lawyer is stressful. You emerge from law school with a lot of theoretical knowledge, but not much practical knowledge of how to accomplish results for clients. The first two years are critical for establishing your reputation, building good practice habits, and developing key relationships. Coaching can help accelerate your learning process, enhance your relationship-building skills, and increase your value as a lawyer more quickly.
You've established yourself by developing strong legal skills, acquiring substantive expertise, and providing outstanding client service. Now, it's time to become a leader and trusted advisor. Whether you aspire to become a partner in a law firm, a supervisor in a legal department, or a successful sole practitioner, you will need a new set of skills. Coaching can help you define the outcome you want, grow the skills and knowledge you'll need, and reach the goals you've set for yourself.
As an associate, you were valued for producing great legal work. As a partner, your firm needs more. While continuing to produce great work, you must now generate clients, manage relationships, lead teams, develop talent, perform administrative duties, and run a profitable practice. Coaching can help you set and reach targeted goals for contributing in your areas of greatest strength while building skills in new areas.
In the post-recession era, firms must be nimble and client-focused to stay profitable. Efficiency and responsiveness are key as firms adapt to changes in their clients' industries, operations, and needs. In law firms, as in private industry, the lifetime employment model is gone. Promotions cannot be taken for granted. To ensure ongoing progression, you must stay tuned in to your firm's needs and develop strategically so you can meet them.
Constant change is the new status quo. In this environment, resilience and adaptability can bring a sense of stability to your career. Resilience can be developed through conscious effort. Maintaining a sense of optimism, finding meaning and purpose, and taking responsibility for your career can help you stay strong in the face of setbacks.
While solid internal relationships can be critical to short-term success, do not neglect to build portable, external relationships that provide a solid foundation for your entire career. While true job security is a thing of the past, you can create 'employability security' by nurturing external relationships and building portable skills.
In addition to deep subject-matter knowledge, today's professionals need portable skills that can apply in a variety of business settings. Proficiency in problem solving, persuading others, project management, and communication skills can make the difference between a 'good enough' career and a deeply satisfying journey.
Building a professional career today rarely involves climbing a well-established ladder. Newly-created positions, changing business demands, and reorganizations may be challenging, but they can also offer new opportunities to develop your career. In the absence of a clear upward path, consider 'sidestep,' 'backstep' and 'slingshot' strategies to sustain career growth.
Things will not always go the way you expected, no matter how carefully you plan. When life throws you a curve ball, let go of rigid expectations. Recognize opportunities to unlearn habitual behaviors that no longer work, experiment with saying yes more often, and take informed risks from time to time. Those can be pivotal moments in our lives, the ones that help to build our true identity.
Why do you get out of bed in the morning? What motivates you? What do you believe is your purpose in life? Take the time to understand why you do what you do. Understanding your 'why' can lead you to fulfillment in making your next career move, whether that move is up the ladder, over to another area, or out of the organization.
Investing in your career development may seem like a long and daunting process. Day after day, deadline-driven tasks take over while longer-term "important but not urgent" projects get sidelined. Do not give up control of your career by operating on autopilot. Take the first step and e-mail us today.