A recent article from the Harvard Business Review: Negotiating Your Next Job urges professionals to think strategically to get ahead.
It’s not exactly what you want but how to get it.
Lawyers are great negotiators, but when it comes to advocating for themselves they tend to be risk adverse. It’s baked into their DNA. Attorneys tend to stress out over negotiating their own compensation.
“Pay and benefits are top priorities for many. COVID has changed the views of many attorneys. They are seeking a work-life balance. It’s not always about getting as much as you can. Define what you want, and go for it. ” – Shari Davidson, President of On Balance Search Consultants.
Important issues include having flexible work times, negotiating case loads and day to day responsibilities. Critical items may be contingent upon location, remote work, and travel requirements.
How to advance your legal career development.
Advancing your career does not always have to be moving up the ladder. Making a lateral move might make you happier. Focus on working in a new practice group, taking on new responsibilities or pursuing skills and activities that will help you achieve your goals. Think outside of the box when identifying your career goals.
1 – Identify key career targets.
What targets that must be met in order to advance your professional development. Consider short and long term goals. Be specific, realistic, and make sure they are achievable. Be mindful how these impact your work-life balance.
Lawyers need to understand that building a book of business starts with leveraging the firm’s processes, finances and marketing. Identify emerging trends and then look for ways to increase your billings.
2 – Think strategically.
Clearly breakdown what needs to happen and how you plan on getting there. Who do you need to help you? What is negotiable?
Critically assess your skill-set, what’s lacking? What areas can you improve on? Tap any and all resources within and outside of your firm to develop the skills necessary to get you to your goals.
Proactively identify trending business practices and pending legislation that will impact business decisions that the legal industry is facing. Anticipate opportunities to develop expertise in those areas.
3 – Prepare and problem solve.
What roadblocks and opportunities lie ahead? Limit any ambiguity and uncertainty. Plan out alternative ways to get past obstacles and ways to take full advantage of any opportunities.
Explore new avenues outside the legal profession to solve problems. Build a more client-centric-practice to achieve your goals ..
4 – Nurture and develop powerful relationships.
Align yourself with mentors, trusted advisor in and outside of your firm. These mentors / trusted advisors can be business leaders, professors, coaches, recruiters and other legal professionals (attorneys and non-attorneys) who can help you achieve your goals. Do not limit yourself to professionals in your own field.
Learn more, read the article from the Harvard Business Review: Negotiating You Next Job. https://hbr.org/2021/01/negotiating-your-next-job
Remember: Stay the course, remain vigilant and have a personal support group that will help you maintain a positive outlook throughout your journey.
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