Where are you headed in your career? What are the things you want to achieve? What does “success” mean to you? These are the things you should know without even thinking. Unfortunately, many attorneys get so caught up in the day-to-day stresses of our jobs that we don’t think about our careers. The good news? It’s not too late to really plan where you want to go in the next year, the next five years and beyond.
The first step in figuring out where you want to go is to sit down and think. Pick a quiet time and a quiet place in your house. (Don’t do this at work – you know it isn’t quiet there.) Spend an hour writing down your goals. Make a list of all of the things that are important to you. What do you need to be fulfilled in your career? What type of lifestyle do you want? Do you want to maintain the lifestyle you have or do you want to step it up? What does “success” mean for you?
Once you have a list – leave it for at least 48 hours. Come back to the list and review it. Does your list surprise you? Did you write things that you didn’t realize you wanted? This is very typical! Now, think about your current career with each of the items you listed. How many of the items on your list will be achieved in your current position? If you’re looking at a list that will never happen in your current career, it’s time to start thinking about a move. If most of the things on your list can (and will) be achieved, you’re in the right place. Congratulations!
If you are one of the many who may not be at the position of your dreams, it’s time to start thinking about what will help you meet your goals. Do you need to work fewer hours or bring more business to the firm? Maybe you need to move to a partner position or go to a work-from-home arrangement. Maybe you need to switch firms or switch practice areas. Don’t take anything off the table. Explore your options! You are not stuck. You have the power to make changes in your career.
Choosing your career (instead of having your career choose you) is within your power and is easier than you think. Just completing this exercise is a step in the right direction! Need more help? Contact us. We’re attorneys helping attorneys, and we’d be happy to answer any questions you have.