3 steps to decide what comes next
The Counselpath Team
January 28, 2022
You have a feeling it’s time for a change. Perhaps you have now figured out what type of work you truly love, and you want to pursue it further. Or you have decided to go for partnership and need an environment that gives you the best shot at getting there. Or maybe you have been feeling overwhelmed and keen to improve your work-life balance. Whatever the motivation, deciding on your next step can be daunting. Here are a few no-regret actions you could take to facilitate the process.
1. Pin down your motivations
This is the trickiest part, but also the most critical. Create some space for yourself to reflect on the journey to date. A change of scenery helps to clear your head – get out of town and go somewhere new. Allow yourself some quality time for self-care and self-reflection.
Start with the basics. What drives you? Is it passion for particular type of law? Money? Lifestyle? Learning? Understanding your motivations will be key to building a long-term, sustainable career. Assume nothing and be mindful of how priorities change over time. Something that was a key motivator whilst at university may no longer hold true. Take whatever time it takes to come up with an answer. Don’t allow yourself to be “too busy” and endlessly kicking the can down the road.
2. Get an outside perspective
We don’t mean your work colleagues, their circumstances are likely too similar. Confront your perspective with an outsider. Talk to people who’ve already travelled the trail (e.g. alumni of your university or school, former colleagues who moved on to something else). What lessons have they learned? What advice can they give you?
Even if their motivations were different from your own, they will provide you with food for thought and new ideas. Decide for yourself, but consider the experience of those who’ve been there before.
3. Leverage your online network
Once you get a feel for the kind of opportunities you are after, leverage your online network. It’s bigger than you think. Get on LinkedIn, type company names or role titles into the search box and browse through the results. Chances are, you’ll know somebody who knows somebody who works there. Ask your acquaintance for a warm connection, it works wonders.
Perhaps that person you found working in your dream role shares a common characteristic? Went to the same university, or worked at the same organization as you? Get in touch, mention the connection and propose a 10 minute phone call. Worst that can happen – they will ignore you. But more often than not, they will happily get on the phone and share valuable insights.
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Registration takes 5 minutes and allows you to determine your preferences to tailor the search (for example on practice, minimum salary, industry exposure and more). All from the comfort of your own sofa. Don’t forget to sign up for email notifications on new opportunities, as some roles (for example transactional jobs with US Law Firms) come and go quickly.