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Career Center: A New Year’s Resolution for 2012 – Tips for a Better Legal Career

Eat healthy, workout, stop procrastinating, learn Spanish — it’s 2012 and time to make your New Year’s resolutions. One big resolution you should add to your list is to improve your legal career. Lucky for you, the recruiting professionals at Lateral Link have written articles that will help you with your career resolutions.

If you are clueless about your career goals and lack direction at work, you are not alone. For most, life at a Biglaw firm is not panning out as expected. There are ridiculous deadlines, inconsiderate co-workers, useless politicking, and no clear path towards professional nirvana. With the start of the new year, now is the time to define your career plan and outline your professional goals….

First, you should identify your ultimate end-goal to help you outline what steps you will need to take to get there. Like using the navigation system of a car, you will not get to the final destination without inputting your end-point. Once you know where you are going, assess your current location and see what the necessary turns are that you need to take to get to your career goal. Check out this article for some tips on internal networking as a means to obtaining better work assignments and increasing your chances at making partner.

Nothing elicits more groans from attorneys than the big N-word: Networking. For most, it is a necessary evil that seems both time consuming and pointless; however, as explained in this article, networking can be very beneficial for your career and be relatively painless at the same time. Networking should not be reserved at the last minute — when you need a job or a project — but instead, networking should be continuous and without expectation. There is truth to the axiom that a watched pot never boils. Be sure to add networking to your list for improvement in 2012.

In addition to enhancing your professional self, another worthwhile new year goal is obtaining balance between your work life and your life outside the office. The economy has made it difficult for associates to feel comfortable about taking vacation time or leaving the office at a reasonable hour. If achieving a decent work/life balance is impossible at your current firm, be sure to review this article before venturing out for a new “lifestyle” firm. For parents, this article provides good insight on maintaining sanity both at home and at the office. For the attorney who is not planning on leaving his or her firm in the near term, this article offers several practicable pointers on what the busy associate can do to make time for living life.

Worried about getting fired? Upset about your bonus due to lack of billable hours? Want to improve your chances at making partner? You may feel like a faceless cog at your Biglaw firm, but it is possible for you outshine your contemporaries, and keep yourself from ever being considered for termination. Read this article, and consider the tips on making yourself indispensable to your employer. Firms appreciate the associate that will take the initiative to improve the firm while improving themselves.

Finally, for those tired of working at their firm, or sick of the practice of law altogether, 2012 might be the year that quitting should become your New Year’s resolution. Above the Law is full of stories of partners and associates that leave firms or the legal practice entirely, but don’t become a post on the site for the wrong reasons. This article offers a great checklist of items you should consider when resigning from your current position. You never know if you may want to go (or grovel) back to your former employer, so avoid burning bridges on your way out. Only you will know if you have the financial ability or wherewithal to pick up and leave your job.

A toast to you, your family, and your career! Feel free to contact any of the recruiting professionals at Lateral Link about job opportunities to make your 2012 even better than 2011. For additional career tips, check out the Career Center, powered by Lateral Link.