Category Archives: Your Career

Conference season is here: It’s fun and good for your career

YourCareerFall is upon us, and we know what that means: football tailgating parties, pumpkin-flavored everything and conference season.

We’re into it already, as Mike writes in his blog about the recent Coalition of Women’s Initiative in Law event.

In-house counsel stay busy all year long, and sometimes struggle to find the time to attend conferences—be it industry focused or a legal conference with CLE. But carving out some time throughout the year, especially in the fall when conference season is fully underway, may be an opportunity for career advancement.

Attending legal conferences offers three obvious benefits, among others. These include: More 

References are powerful weapons in your job search arsenal

Most people think of references as a list of three people you hand over to a prospective employer after the company has decided it wants to hire you. But a proactive and strategic reference can help you long before you receive an offer, especially if you might need help getting in the door for an interview.

The power reference (PR) is someone who can make a difference. In rare cases, it will be a star, like a well-known general counsel or, for example, a U.S. Senator. Fame is not a prerequisite, however. The essential ingredient to a power reference is the relationship between the PR and the hiring decision-maker who receives the PR’s call. The relationship between you and the PR does not need to be nearly as strong or in-depth as you think. More 

Guest columnist Sheila Nielsen discusses applying creativity in your job search

nielsen052809Sitting in for Meredith Haydon this issue, we welcome Sheila Nielsen as our guest columnist for Your Career. This is an interesting take on the value of creativity in your networking efforts. Sheila is a believer in making your own luck, a theme that runs throughout her new book, now available at Amazon, titled: “Job Quest for Lawyers: The Essential Guide to Finding and Landing the Job You Want.”

Why Steve Jobs’ Ideas About Creativity Are Important for Your Job Search

“There’s a temptation in our networked age to think that ideas can be developed by email and iChat. That’s crazy. Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say ‘wow’ and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.”

– Walter Issacson quoting Steve Jobs in his biography, Steve Jobs.

Brainstorming is a creative and exciting process. People get together, think about a problem, and come up with ideas and solutions. When it comes to your job search, you want to brainstorm with a lot of people and you want those creative juices flowing. More 

4 Tips for becoming a successful networker

YourCareer-networkNetworking. Many believe it’s essential to building a successful career in any profession. And in law, that sentiment is especially true.

But despite networking’s inarguable value, lawyers often find it to be a challenge—even a downright chore. While effective networking takes time, effort and research, the potential rewards—discovering a mentor, stumbling upon a highly sought after position or simply learning something new and relevant—are invaluable. The reality is, like it or not, getting out there and networking is critical to your success. More 

How to ask for—and get—the raise you want

YourCareer-Jan15-smallIt’s safe to say, the economy is experiencing a real boost. According to Department of Labor statistics, in each month of last year, employers added an average of 246,000 jobs—making 2014 the strongest year for employment since 1999.

As we head into 2015, we do it with the momentum of a growing economy and jobs market at our backs.  It’s the right time to look at your paycheck and ask yourself, “Should I ask for a raise?”

Of course everyone wants a raise and feels deserving of it, but the question really begs a political assessment of your specific question. Don’t jump to requesting a raise if you have reason to believe your position may be insecure, or if your company happens to be struggling.  More 

“Should I stay or should I go?” is much more than a yes or no question

YourCareerDec14Whether you’re looking for a new position or a recruiter unexpectedly reaches out to you with an opportunity, the idea of a new job is consistently both exciting and terrifying.

Taking a new job often comes with huge risks: It means leaving your comfort zone and engaging in the unexpected; it means forming new relationships with new co-workers in a new office; it means working in an unknown corporate culture that may or may not be a good fit. But not seeking out or accepting a new position—particularly for those who have spent several years in the same role—also raises some important questions: Are there better opportunities out there that I may be missing out on? Does my current employer value the work I’m currently doing? Can I do more meaningful work here or somewhere else? Am I being compensated appropriately? More 

Pro bono at work: LCBH offers lawyers an opportunity to give back

YourCareerimageLast month, I discussed why it’s important, when possible, for lawyers to volunteer for pro bono work. In summary, pro bono helps your career in three ways:  it enhances your skill sets, offers opportunities to build relationships within the legal community and beyond, and allows you to demonstrate leadership skills.

Understanding the role pro bono plays in your career is the first step. Finding the right pro bono opportunities for you is the next. No doubt, you will be guided by your individual beliefs and likely target organizations that are doing work you strongly support.   More 

The art of giving: 3 Reasons pro bono work is excellent for your career

YourCareerimageJust because you’re a busy lawyer in a bustling legal department doesn’t mean pro bono work isn’t an option for you.  Pro bono isn’t just for the law firm lawyers.  In fact, quite the opposite is true.

Over the years, I’ve talked to countless in-house counsel who set aside time to take on pro bono projects—and, not coincidentally, these lawyers tend to be the most satisfied (and successful) in their careers.

Sure, pro bono work feels good. Helping people who are unable to afford legal services they may desperately need—such as writing a will, fighting an eviction or foreclosure proceeding, or handling complicated immigration paperwork, to name a few—is something most lawyers enter law school assuming they would do. But when “life happens,” it’s easy to put pro bono work on the back burner. More 

Evers to speak at ACC Kentucky Chapter, Sept 26

If you are a member of the ACC chapter in Kentucky, I look forward to meeting you on Sept. 26 at Churchill Downs.  I will be on the 11:30 panel titled, “Me 2.0:  The Importance of a Digital Profile for Career Development.”

Since this is your “Day at the Races” event, I also hope to show off the handicapping skills I learned from my uncle growing up near The Meadowlands in New Jersey.  Who says we cannot mix business with pleasure?

Thank you to E.M. Lysonge, Vice President of Legal Affairs with Churchill Downs Incorporated, for the speaking invitation.  I look forward to it.  Mike