A brand new year offers you a fresh start and an opportunity to improve your life. While you are busy setting resolutions for your personal life, don’t forget to assess and revamp your professional life as well. Below are my top five career resolutions to help you achieve your career goals.
1. Improve Your Business Development Skills
Gone are the days of the service partner and the associate who sits in his or her office cranking out brief after brief or document after document. Law firms are looking for partners who can support themselves and bring revenue to the firm. If you are a junior associate you may think you have several years before you have to bring clients to the firm. The truth is, you need to start developing your networks now and solidifying relationships that can and will lead to business down the road. This is the single most important skill to have as a lawyer in today’s legal market. Study the rainmakers at your firm and take notes - what makes them successful at bringing in business?
2. Get Out of the Office and Network
Networking is important for your career in many ways. It’s crucial for developing business but can also open doors for you career wise, both in the near term or long term. Good networking opportunities include law school or undergraduate alumni events, industry events and conferences or even the popular happy hour spot down the block from your office. When networking with people, think not just about how they can help you but how you can help them – is there a helpful introduction you could make or someone else in your network who would have an interest in meeting this person? Helping others leverage your network is important for creating meaningful relationships.
3. Set Career Goals
Each year, it’s important to take some time away from the daily demands of your job and reflect on what your career goals are for one, three and five years from now. Do you want to make partner? Go in-house? Start your own firm? What do you need to do to accomplish those goals in the timeframe you set forth for them? If you don’t take some time to determine what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it, no one’s going to do it for you. In addition, this goal-setting process will help elucidate the kind of people you should be reaching out to in your networking efforts.
4. Keep your Eye on the Job Market
There’s no downside to keeping track of what’s going on in the job market. You’ll often find that the best opportunities come along when you least expect them or want to make a move. You’ll also find that it’s always easier to find a new job when you already have one that you like or are comfortable in, even if it’s just for now. What’s the best way to do this? It doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on legal job boards, but probably the most important thing you should do is establish a relationship with a recruiter you trust who can keep you posted on opportunities.
5. Make Time for Yourself
While it’s always easier said than done, take some time just for yourself. Take a vacation, go out with friends, hang out with your family, do whatever it is that helps you relax and take your mind off work. The legal industry is a demanding one, and without a break from work from time to time, you’ll soon find yourself burnt out and questioning if you’ll ever (or even want to) achieve the goals your set out for yourself.
About Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is a prominent figure in the legal placement industry, known for his expertise in attorney placements and his extensive knowledge of the legal profession.
With over 25 years of experience, he has established himself as a leading voice in the field and has helped thousands of lawyers and law students find their ideal career paths.
Barnes is a former federal law clerk and associate at Quinn Emanuel and a graduate of the University of Chicago College and the University of Virginia Law School. He was a Rhodes Scholar Finalist at the University of Chicago and a member of the University of Virginia Law Review. Early in his legal career, he enrolled in Stanford Business School but dropped out because he missed legal recruiting too much.
Barnes' approach to the legal industry is rooted in his commitment to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. He believes that the key to success in the legal profession is to be proactive, persistent, and disciplined in one's approach to work and life. He encourages lawyers to take ownership of their careers and to focus on developing their skills and expertise in a way that aligns with their passions and interests.
One of how Barnes provides support to lawyers is through his writing. On his blog, HarrisonBarnes.com, and BCGSearch.com, he regularly shares his insights and advice on a range of topics related to the legal profession. Through his writing, he aims to empower lawyers to control their careers and make informed decisions about their professional development.
One of Barnes's fundamental philosophies in his writing is the importance of networking. He believes that networking is a critical component of career success and that it is essential for lawyers to establish relationships with others in their field. He encourages lawyers to attend events, join organizations, and connect with others in the legal community to build their professional networks.
Another central theme in Barnes' writing is the importance of personal and professional development. He believes that lawyers should continuously strive to improve themselves and develop their skills to succeed in their careers. He encourages lawyers to pursue ongoing education and training actively, read widely, and seek new opportunities for growth and development.
In addition to his work in the legal industry, Barnes is also a fitness and lifestyle enthusiast. He sees fitness and wellness as integral to his personal and professional development and encourages others to adopt a similar mindset. He starts his day at 4:00 am and dedicates several daily hours to running, weightlifting, and pursuing spiritual disciplines.
Finally, Barnes is a strong advocate for community service and giving back. He volunteers for the University of Chicago, where he is the former area chair of Los Angeles for the University of Chicago Admissions Office. He also serves as the President of the Young Presidents Organization's Century City Los Angeles Chapter, where he works to support and connect young business leaders.
In conclusion, Harrison Barnes is a visionary legal industry leader committed to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. Through his work at BCG Attorney Search, writing, and community involvement, he empowers lawyers to take control of their careers, develop their skills continuously, and lead fulfilling and successful lives. His philosophy of being proactive, persistent, and disciplined, combined with his focus on personal and professional development, makes him a valuable resource for anyone looking to succeed in the legal profession.
About BCG Attorney Search
BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive, while achieving results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit www.BCGSearch.com.
Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays
You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts
You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives
Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.
Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.
To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.