Now, since it is the new year, I guess we should have some resolutions. I would encourage each of you to do something at least once a week to further your career. This may be small steps, or bigger steps. You've heard me say this before, and I will say it again: you need to own your career. No one is going to guide it for you. Here's some suggestions for things we can all do:
1. Start to learn a new specialty or sub-specialty. There's tons of new laws and regulations out there at the federal and state levels. This is a huge opportunity for younger as well as more experienced lawyers. You can become well-versed in something new and perhaps be heard as the "expert" -- remember, someone practicing in the general area for 20 years also has to learn the new law or regulation...so go ahead and jump right in. You may love the fact that you know X inside and out. But what if the need for knowledge of X goes away? Don't get stuck in a very limited knowledge base. I've stayed busy (and employed!) by being able to adapt.
2. Continue to build your network. Do not just lunch with your office mates. Get out there. Call up old law school friends, people you met through bar activities, etc. You never know when these people will, say, move in house -- and it does happen. In addition to getting out of the office and clearing your head for a little while, you are expanding your base.
3. Don't forget to tend to your existing network. Did you see an Internet article or blurb that might be of interest to a contact, forward it with a short note; go ahead and wish them a Happy New Year; perhaps invite them to lunch or to an event your firm or organization is hosting (assuming you are allowed)
4. At the end of each week -- ask yourself -- what have I done to further my career this week? Make some notes about what you will do the following week.
3. If you are thinking of making a move, let your close friends (outside of firm or organization) who are discreet know that you may be open to opportunities. I know so many people who have found great positions through referrals from friends.
2. If you can help a friend, former colleague, etc., who may be "on the street" with suggestions for new situations, go ahead. Send them job listings you see, if you know of an opening at a client that may be right for your friend, let your friend know.
1. Don't burn bridges. If you act like an a-hole, people will not help you. This seems pretty obvious but you would be shocked at some of the behavior. Stay away from office cliques, treat all people with common courtesy and respect, deliver what you promise, be tough, but be fair.