Thursday, June 01, 2006
How to Build a Successful Law Career
Clearly there are many strategies that help one build a successful career. The following is simply a strategy that has been proven to get results!
Success doesn’t happen by accident. You must PLAN what you want to achieve in your career and in your personal life then determine the best way to go about getting there.
Develop a Vision
Begin your plan by developing a vision for your professional life. Don’t approach the visioning process with the typical lawyer type “worse case scenario” perspective. DREAM BIG! Don’t focus on the “what ifs” or the “how’s” right now.
Your vision will serve as the direction you need to outline specific goals. What is your vision for your professional and personal life? What do you want to achieve? Do you hope to one day have your own practice, become partner, seek a judgeship or go into politics? What type of clients do you want to serve? What type of setting do you want to work in?
Figure out what steps you’ll need to take to fulfill your vision. These steps will serve as your goals.
Divide your goals into short and long term goals.
Once you’re clear on your goals determine what action steps you need to take in order to achieve your goals. Figure out what skills and relationships you’ll need to build in order to achieve your goals. Be sure to incorporate personal goals and aspirations into how you design your plan. Do you want to have a family? What kind of lifestyle do you want to have?
Make sure to include goals that are also important to your employer. This is a critical part of building a great professional reputation. As soon as possible determine your organization’s definition of a successful attorney. For example, if you work for a firm, figure out what the firm’s expectations are for making someone partner… whether you want to make partner or not. Focusing on your organization’s performance expectations will provide you with critical information to build into your plan. Finally build a great reputation by exceeding the expectations of your employer on a regular basis.