Job Hunting for 2015 – How’s Your Outlook?

A lot of people either need a job, or want a new job.  During the holidays you’ve probably spent some time thinking about what that job is going to look like.

For today I wanted to give you a wrap up of some things you need to be thinking about, and some resources to help you out when trying to find a job as a lawyer.

The general process is going to be this: write a resume, scatter your name everywhere, accept every job interview.

I’d like to suggest you consider a few different things beyond the obvious though.

Have a Think about Firm Culture

One of the things that we need to consider up front is: what kind of firm are you going to fit in?

There’s no point struggling your way into a workaholic type firm is that is, quite simply, not how you roll.  If you prefer a more relaxed lifestyle, or want some more “work/life balance” then you need to factor that in to your job hunting direction.

After all – if you don’t fit with the firm culture, either you’re going to get fired, or you’ll be back on to Seek within a few weeks anyway, trying to find the next position.

For more detail on this and a few of the primary firm personalities, you can listen to the podcast I did on firm culture.

Consider your Existing Platform

If there is any chance you want to get a new legal job in 2015, you need to give some thought to your existing platform.

Your platform is your voice.  It’s the people who listen to you, that you can call, email or contact in some way who will respond and help you out if they can.

The more people on that list, the better chances you have that, when the time comes, you’ll be able to do something meaningful with your platform.

So who is in your platform?

If you don’t have a platform, you need to start building one – right now!

Don’t Be a Clone

Look around you (metaphorically) – check out your peers.  How are you different?  What is it about you that makes you, you?

You’re all lawyers.

You all studied hard.

You all got good grades.

You all have some work experience.

So what qualities of you give you a unique voice?  Maybe you’re funny.  Maybe you’re ultra smart.  Maybe you have a way with words.

In a sense, this is similar to the idea of thinking about firm culture – unless you are yourself, there’s no way you can fit in to a group.  You’ll be in a constant state of tension, anxiety and stress.

So when the time comes to present yourself for an interview, or express yourself in a CV or covering letter to a prospective employer – don’t hide your personality.

After all – how are you going to be memorable if you look, act and speak the same as every other person?

If you want to learn how to avoid being a clone for job interviews, find out more in my podcast on that topic to help you out when it comes time to do an interview.

Don’t Think Short Term

Getting a job as a lawyer is a long term proposition.  It takes a lot of preparation, and a lot of work to get it right.

So, irrespective of whether you’re looking now, start to position yourself in ways that will benefit you should the need ever arise.

Start to build up your network.

Learn how to write a better CV.

Figure out how you need to use social media in terms of your job prospects.

After all, if law is a journey of a thousand miles, then getting a job is certainly the warm up period, if not the first part of the race itself.

The Job Hunting Series

I’ve collected a bunch more resources about job hunting for lawyers at this page.  If you need more, then start there.

Good Luck!

It’s a tough gig getting a job as a lawyer these days, and nobody is suggesting otherwise.

But position yourself right, find out how you are unique, and present yourself to firms that align with your expectations in terms of culture – and you’ll give yourself a great head start.

Are you looking for a job this year?  What are you looking for?

Happy Lawyering!