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Building a resilient career

Building a resilient career

By Sharon Henderson

Occupations Workplace 


What are the attributes essential to a long and sustainable career in law? Resilience helps a lawyer thrive in their chosen field and build a sustainable career. At Legal People, we have often found lawyers to be particularly resilient. The process of becoming a lawyer presents its own challenges to overcome. In your early career you have to survive law school, deal with rejection and land your first role. You have to figure out how to prosper in an environment where there are more law graduates than roles. In your first role you may have to deal with difficult clients and challenging deadlines. You may even have been thrown in the deep end and have to come up to speed quickly on a matter or head off to court before you think you are ready. Attributes for success We often see candidates several times over the course of their career. A lawyer can continue to build on the resilience developed early in their career by continuing to put their best foot forward. A lawyer stands the best chance of a long and sustainable career if they have these attributes: They put their hand up for additional responsibilities, projects, matters and new or challenging clients They proactively seek out mentors from within the profession and external to it. A mentor could be a lecturer, the solicitor who moved their admission, or industry associate. A successful lawyer will often have more than one mentor and takes the initiative to ask to be mentored. They demonstrate bravery by putting themselves out there for career opportunities. They are self-aware and know when they have reached as far as they can go in their current role. They don’t get stuck in a rut or a comfort zone. They ask lots of questions, are curious and are open to continuous learning.

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