[00:00:00] This presentation today is an interesting one. And and it's a personal one from the perspective that I'm trying to, give everyone a little bit of insight into. Mistakes that people make both in their careers and also in relationships.
[00:00:15] And I think that one of the reasons I think this topic is so important is because a lot of times people will, go into relationships and make the same sort of mistakes over and over again, and they'll do the same things in their careers. And so a lot of the stuff that I talk about, and a lot of my presentations in the past have always been about, how to get a job and so forth.
[00:00:36] And this is more about how to have. A really good career and and guidelines that I've noticed that people that they follow in their careers and lives tend to work the best for them. And in some respects, I was looking at this right before I started, and it's almost like a comedy.
[00:00:53] And the events that I'm talking about here took place well over 20 years ago. And so I don't [00:01:00] think I'm offending anybody, certainly by talking about them at this point. And they all happened when I was young, but at the same time I might, I do feel they're interesting. And and the lessons that I gained from them are lessons that I think apply to everyone's careers and giant mistakes that I see people making in their careers.
[00:01:17] And I've seen over and over again. So when I was in my first year of law school I met someone I liked and in a bar and, and ended up falling in love and connecting with a person and a very strong way. And and for both of us, it seemed like we had everything that we have around it.
[00:01:35]We spent I spent the most of my first year of law school with her and and then I spent the summer with her that summer. And then I lived with her the following year. After we moved in together in our, and I guess it would have been the beginning of my second year of law school.
[00:01:49] I went to a party and I noticed that she was, seemed very interested in in someone there. And I couldn't believe it cause we'd been very close for several months and and I thought she might've been [00:02:00] drunk. I didn't know what was going on. And we had an argument about it and it was an adolescent type thing, it happens in your early.
[00:02:06] Twenties, and, but anyway, so by the winter of that year our relationship was such that I realized she was actually involved with the same guy and had been for a little at a time. And it was a good, not a good relationship. Ended up moving out and and that was but then by the end of the school year we were back together again and and moved back together in the summer.
[00:02:27] And had a great summer. But then I decided to get engaged after that summer and on the night of my engagement she told me she had been involved with the same guy the entire year. Including when we'd gotten back together. And I was upset, continued with the engagement as well, my third year of law school then and and you might be wondering, of course, was I happily ever after a few months into my third year after getting engaged, engaged.
[00:02:52]I realized she was with the same guy again. So she moved out and and then by the spring time she was back [00:03:00] we ended up getting engaged again. We spent a year in Michigan while I was clerking together. And then the summer break before my clerkship ended, actually we're scheduled to be married in August.
[00:03:10]She took a trip with her family to the East coast and met someone else and who was married and broke off the engagement. And then I moved to Los Angeles after the clerkship and and that was it for where they say let me just go back here. Give me one second.
[00:03:25] And this is all very funny, I think let me see here. Anyway, so after I moved to Los Angeles, she started traveling to Los Angeles on her own several times and and wanted to get back together. So we ended up getting back together and then within a year we plan another wedding and scheduled getting married again.
[00:03:43] And a year or so later we were married. It was a weird wedding because I, it was just, just didn't seem right. There was just something off about it. I had a little bit too much to drink probably because I was confused and conflicted, which was crazy.
[00:03:56]And then we were married about six months into the marriage. [00:04:00] She started spending a lot of time with a guy that she was working for worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Monday I left for work, came home because she I'd forgotten something, heard her talking on the phone and that she was involved with the sky.
[00:04:12]She denied it man a few months after this. It was at the office and a process server shut up and I was divorced. So this is just, years and years of drama. It's actually fairly funny, but it's just crazy looking back a few weeks after this she called me on the phone and begged me to take her back.
[00:04:30]Suddenly life wasn't worth living without May-ish and she was doing I called one of our family members told them I was worried and they told me she spent the weekend with the first guy from law school. And it hadn't worked out and she was unhappy. So at that point I moved on found someone else in the whole thing.
[00:04:47]And this is a mistake that I made for, seven years over and over again, I made the same mistake and I realized, in retrospect how crazy the saw was. And and it was [00:05:00] crazy and it's crazy to think that. Someone would spend seven years of their life going back and forth with someone and and and making those sort of mistakes.
[00:05:08] But, people do make mistakes to make them in their personal life. They also make them in their careers. They make them and those mistakes can have major impacts into, the sorts of lives will be leave and and how happy we are. And if you understand the States you making and and what kind of lessons of this particular thing offers that I went through it can be very happy for your loss.
[00:05:33]Helpful for your long-term happiness and success. And there's a lot of lessons here that. I see even the most successful attorneys not leading and and making part of their life. I'm going to talk a lot about that today and I hope you get a lot of benefit out of it.
[00:05:50]So one of the things that I, the mistakes that a lot of people make. In their careers and they make them wherever they go they make them in law firms. They make them [00:06:00] incorporations and make them in the government. But a lot of times people look at secure stop improving and take the employer or other person for granted.
[00:06:08] And. Once you stop improving that's one of the riskiest things that can happen to you in your career in life, because once you stop improving things kind of start going downhill and you always need to be working on yourself and getting better and better.
[00:06:24] And, I was, it was funny by the time my, my first wife and I got married we both like we're so like, That battered and didn't care so much about this relationship anymore, men would care, but. We did look we gained a lot of weight. We were just, not really trying to make the other person happy and neither of us were, and and that's a sign that, you're in that something is not right.
[00:06:46] It's a sign in your relationships. But it's also a sign. In your job. The best people, whether they're executives or attorneys or whoever are constantly, trying to improve and get better and better. And, [00:07:00] and the people that are the most successful partners and the people who are the most successful associates and so forth are always doing that.
[00:07:06] And it's extremely important. You can never think you're there and you're, you can never Believe that, you're as successful as you can be. And I I was interviewing someone the other day that had been, in-house with a company for 20 years. And and was talking to him about this type of work.
[00:07:24] And it was a very accomplished person and he was interested in this business and yeah. And I was saying to him that, this isn't something where you can sit down and, you're constantly doing it. You're constantly, with placement, for example, you constantly have to be pushed and you constantly have to, improve and you have to find new opportunities for people and go out and meet new people law firms to bring in clients and you have to be on people.
[00:07:47] There's just so much room for improvement. I keep a list of like hundreds of things I need to do to improve and BCG attorney search, for example. And these started the presentations and everything that I do. And that's something that the best [00:08:00] attorneys do, the most successful attorneys out there they keep, huge books of, things that are relevant to what they're doing.
[00:08:06]They'll keep all the clippings of. Cases that they think are interesting or, or in contacts and they're constantly doing whatever they can to get better. And they never think that they've arrived anywhere. People that kind of coast on their degrees or they coast on the type of firm that they're at.
[00:08:21] And they think that they're successful because of that are not, you have to constantly keep approving, you need to improve yourself and really everything you do and, so in this marriage, I. I, as the marriage, which was a very short marriage, but, I stopped taking her out as much.
[00:08:37]I stopped doing things that I normally would do, like putting the dishes away all the time. And she stopped doing things for me. Like I said, I'm pretty soon she stopped even letting me know what time should be home. And, so we stopped making, we took each other for granted.
[00:08:50] There was a. And both sides. There was this kind of thing where, I'll accept you, you accept me. Therefore we don't have to try. Which is not good. An employer that's not pushing you [00:09:00] to, to constantly get better. It's not good. A relationship that you're not pushing yourself to improve and it's not good.
[00:09:06] And, you need to improve in, in your job constantly, because if you're not improving in your job, then something is wrong. You should. Constantly be improving and the best law firms will, constantly they'll always be evaluating people and setting targets and making sure that you're improving and getting better.
[00:09:24] And they do that with our partners and they do that with their associates. But if their associates are making it right after a while, they don't really bother. They're like, okay, this person's not trying. You can never get secure in a job and you can never take the other person for granted and should always push yourself to do as well as you can.
[00:09:38] And that also means, in terms of looking for jobs, when you're looking for jobs, the best careers are people that, they may start out at a smaller firm and then move to a bigger firm and a bigger and bigger, cause they keep improving and employers like to see that employers want to see people that are constantly improving and trying to get better.
[00:09:54] They want to see people. That are doing everything that they can to get better. And that's very attractive. That's one of the [00:10:00] most important things of a job search or career. That advances is the person that is always trying to get better and always improvement and talking with enthusiasm about whatever they do.
[00:10:11]In many employment situations, I've seen lots of people take their jobs for granted. I see it. People would that work with me. I see it with people that. Work in law firms. I've seen it with the people, all sorts of attorneys. They do things like, they'll stop coming in on time or they'll come to work later though.
[00:10:29] The, not do all their assignments. They'll if there's, it's supposed to turn into reports each week, they'll stop turning reports where they're supposed to do it. Each day they won't take it. They won't do it each day. And the problem is when an employer sees, you're taking them for granted.
[00:10:43]They get resentful and and when they see this I had an experience once that was interesting. It was I was talking to a guy that was running a telephone answering service. And and it was the recession of maybe 2002. It was one of the first, recessions. And I [00:11:00] said, wow, with this recession, your business must actually be going down.
[00:11:03] And he said, no, it's going up. And I said, why is it going up? And he said because people will walk out and they're, recessionary and they'll see their receptionist filing their nails or whatever, and networking hard and get anything done. And they'll think this is just a waste of money.
[00:11:16] So they'll hire me. And I thought that was interesting because. He was saying that during the recession, they, the people in the, that he felt that the employees that felt like they were being taken for the employer, for the employers, he felt that the employees I'm sorry, he felt were taking them for granted where, getting, losing their jobs and employers want to have people around them.
[00:11:38] Don't take them for granted and appreciate them in the work and will work hard. They want people that, want their jobs and appreciate their jobs and they want people motivated to improve. And get better and better at their jobs. And that alone is one of the most important lessons you can ever learn, because most people are not trying to improve.
[00:11:55] Most people are just, coasting. And when you start coasting, it's, you're not [00:12:00] doing yourself any favors because you're not advancing and you're going to stay where you're at and you're not going to improve. A lot of people, for example, don't like working for the government because the government will pay you.
[00:12:11]It's very simple. There's not a lot of motivation sometimes to improve and legal jobs in the government. Certainly not simple, but a lot of government jobs can be like that, especially in military branches. And and you want to get better and better at your job. It's very important.
[00:12:25] So in relationships it's the same thing. You always want to, and this isn't a relationship, presentation, but it's related to relationships in the sense that, your job is, you want to always make your relationship stronger and create a better bond.
[00:12:39] And you don't, you shouldn't assume you can treat another person poorly not to pay attention to them without consequences, and you need to constantly value. Your partner and your friends and other people, and you can't do the same and you can't do the same thing with the job. You can't take a job for granted.
[00:12:53] It's a very important lesson and something, you need to understand because the second you stop taking something for granted [00:13:00] is the second you're we need to check out. That's when you start losing your job and that's when you start having problems and people lay people off and let people go that cake, their jobs for granted and they advanced people and they keep people that don't.
[00:13:13]In terms of my ex-wife, I, I'm not. Sure. Why you, she enjoyed having other people notice her, make her feel attractive, I'm sure it had a lot to do with the fact that I was taking her for granted and and so she wanted to be with someone that.
[00:13:26]Made her feel good about herself. And and so I'm certainly, to blame for, even though a lot of her behavior may look horrible a lot of it in no relationship just like no jobs. A lot of times, there's 50, 50 to blame, but you just can't expect. You can't take anyone for granted for an extended period of time and expect to have a fulfilling relationship.
[00:13:44] And employers also shouldn't take you for granted but you should also take, not take employers for granted. And almost every bad relationship I've seen, I've been in it's ended a run in trouble because one person took the other person for granted. We didn't spend time together.
[00:13:58]We assume maybe the other [00:14:00] person would tolerate our lack of attention. We didn't do things to make the relationship stronger. And and because of that things went, went South and the truth is that everyone is valuable and and has valuable characteristics to make them useful.
[00:14:16] And every job has a value. There's. Can it be redeeming characteristics in almost every job. And you just need to realize that no one needs to be taken for granted. And there's always going to be people out there for relationship purposes. That won't take you for granted. If you're in a bad relationship, for example, you may realize you should understand that you're probably someone's dream mate and vice versa.
[00:14:39] And and you can be with someone you won't take for granted and vice versa. So you need to, understand that and. But the thing, same thing goes with legal jobs. There's all these people that are climbing away. And I see it in my job because I'm looking at, hundreds of resumes attack.
[00:14:55] There's all these people that are climbing away or trying to get better legal jobs and trying to do much [00:15:00] better. And a lot of people dream of having the exact same sort of legal career that you have, or have had in the past and would like nothing more to have what you want. And if they're hired they're not gonna take the job for granted and they're going to give it.
[00:15:13]Everything that they have. And one thing that I've always noticed is, if you come out of a really good law school or you do really well, wherever you went to law school and you get into you get a really good legal job, that the person that's going to follow you in most cases, when you leave, if you leave after a couple of years or you leave after four or five years is going to be a person that probably is not as good of a firm that you're at, but it's going to be hungry.
[00:15:38] For the type of opportunity that you've left and it could be, even if regardless of the firm, you're at a lot of times, because employers are always trying to bring in people that aren't taking the job for granted that are enthusiastic and have a lot of drive and want to do very well there and and are excited about the job and will give it everything that they have.
[00:15:58] And it's very important. And [00:16:00] that's something they're looking for. That's one reason why. A lot of times you can get into, a better employer than you're working at. If you seem, if you have that enthusiasm and you, and they believe that you won't take it for granted, because a lot of times the employer will have all these people around them that have taken the job for granted, and they want those people out and they want to bring fresh blood in, that's part of the reason that also that there's probably.
[00:16:23]A little bit of, age discrimination and certain employers, because they want people that are not going to take them for granted and are excited about it and are constantly improving. So most employers, by the way, can find people for any job that they have. And in order to do that, yeah, they need to have get rid of existing people.
[00:16:42] And the people that they want to keep around are the people that are trying to improve constantly, that aren't taking the job for granted and are developing and just everything that they do. They're getting better at whether if they're a litigator, becoming more effective in their depositions, in their writing's getting tighter and better in [00:17:00] there.
[00:17:00]Coming up with better arguments and they're, surrounding themselves and bringing it in your new cases and writing articles and giving talks and doing things, that other people aren't, because they're not taking the job for granted. And, the most secure people who value themselves the most are only going to keep people around that don't keep, take them for granted.
[00:17:18]The larger, the law firm, typically the more. Ways that they have to determine if you're taking them for granted or not, they'll look at your hours or look at your business. So look at your outside activities. So look at how you're getting along with people in your attitude.
[00:17:30] They're going to look at all these things. And a lot of it is made to make sure that people that are taking them for granted are not there. And the people that aren't are putting this pressure on the organization to make it better print organizations that survive. Have that built in and if they don't have that.
[00:17:48] Built in then there's always, a lot of times going to be problems and it's going to be an organization where it's not going to grow and get better and better. I've seen for example, a lot of law firms, that are just really, [00:18:00] hungry and they're able to maintain that by just churning people constantly.
[00:18:04] And yeah. Until they get this kind of quality of people in this culture where everything is very effective, so it's also a two-way street though. And it's important to understand that. Employers will a lot of times often, take the people that work there for granted.
[00:18:19] And it's especially true with, very high pain, legal employers. They believe that because they're paying you a lot of money. They can give you as much work as they want. They can, treat you poorly. They can your job is, you're not, they can always replace you.
[00:18:35]And that sort of thing. And, it's important, and to understand that it's not just you taking the employment for granted, it's employers taking you for granted. And if you're taking for granted the long enough and you realize that there's no advantage to being treated that way you're likely to be banned on the employment relationship.
[00:18:51] And one thing that I noticed is. Attorneys that go to a lot of times, very large law firms will feel very sad. [00:19:00] And disillusion with the idea of working in a law firm, they just don't want to do it because they don't feel, they feel so taken for granted so abused and they don't.
[00:19:08] They don't feel like there's any room for them to succeed and be themselves. And and that's not good. So you need to make sure that you realize that you can always go to places that won't take you for granted. And and that's important. Yeah, as well. But the thing is that, in any position you really can never get secure and it doesn't matter if you're going to work at a law firm or an employer that's may not have the same caliber of people as you.
[00:19:35] It doesn't matter wherever you are, because the second you, you start taking an employer for granted, you run into problems you can't. Just to expect to get a paycheck from a law firm forever, you're going to need to bring in business at some point, and you're going to need to build them a lot of hours.
[00:19:49] And you can't just expect to, coast and and not produce the best legal work you can, you need to constantly be improving and you need to constantly go look for work. You can't just [00:20:00] go sit down someplace and. And say, Hey, I'm right here. Ready for work. You have to actually go out and make, network inside of a law firm and form relationships.
[00:20:08] And in order to improve your legal skills, because those people are going to give you work, you need to search it out. And just because you want to work, doesn't mean you're going to get work and do your best. And you need to constantly question how you can do better and improve. You need to be, looking at every aspect of your.
[00:20:25] Performance and what are you doing, right? What are you doing wrong? And you need to seek out iPads and, advice, you need to be aware of your weaknesses and work on them and you need to reinforce your strengths. The things you're good at, you need to get more of and do well at.
[00:20:39] And, and you need to constantly question, what are you doing wrong and what could you do better? And and work on those things because that's how. People become successful. They don't become successful by not setting goals. They become successful by, constantly looking at what can you do to improve and the most valuable.
[00:20:57] Time, you probably spend each [00:21:00] week would be, writing down your, what are your long-term goals and then reviewing those goals each week. And then what are your, what are your goals for that week and that month and creating goals? And I'll do a goal setting session soon and thus, but.
[00:21:12]Understanding your goals and what they are, and constantly questioning what you can do to be better and better. It's going to make you really much better at your job. So one of the things is That I think is really interesting is there was someone that worked for us and for about I don't know 18 years and before she worked for me for 18 years, she worked at a previous company for our law firm for eight and for 18 years or for 20 years.
[00:21:37] And. One of the things that she did, that was very cool. I thought is every six months we had a review together and we talked about how she was doing and what our progress was. And but unlike other people, she would just, I'd tell her how she was doing, I thought, and then, but she'd always demand more critiques, more.
[00:21:57]Things that you might not know about that she was doing wrong. And [00:22:00] then she'd bring up things she could do better. And I think that one of the keys to people like doing staying and organizations for the longterm and doing well is, constantly question yourself and having that.
[00:22:13]Internal, an internally and coming up with the reasons, that you should be doing better. And and in finding stuff. And that's also that way with law firms, with know attorneys and law firms, the ones that do the best over the long-term are constantly questioning their performance and what they can do.
[00:22:28] They're aware of their weaknesses, or they work on their weaknesses, and then they reinforce their strengths. And they just keep getting better and better. It's pretty amazing actually, when I look at the people and how well they do. The lesson here is, you can never really take your job for granted.
[00:22:42]You can never take, access to work for granted. You need to constantly be looking for work. And, and bring it, within your firm and your employer, and then you also need to constantly be looking for work outside your employer and and all these things.
[00:22:56]You just can never take anything for granted. So you know, that, [00:23:00] that whole attitude of not taking things for granted being appreciative of what you have, and I'm thankful for what you have is important. And another thing That I've noticed of the best attorneys is, they're thankful for their clients giving them work.
[00:23:14]They're thankful for their firm. They say, thank you. They and because of that people like them and and they give them more things and they keep them around. It's a very powerful lesson. It's one. I hope you, you take, so the next lesson is, committing to an employer or a person.
[00:23:32] And and this is very important because a lot of times people will never, they may be there, but they're. But they're always one foot out the door and, one of the things that people that have a history of kind of bad relationships you know and there are people out there that, have been divorced multiple times or are never able to settle down with anyone.
[00:23:53] Lot of times what's going on in the background is they're not able to commit. They. They think that they can do better or they [00:24:00] don't want to commit or be held down. And and it's the same thing goes in trouble legal careers most of the trouble legal careers that I see are people that have issues committee and and sometimes people never commit and.
[00:24:15] One, when I look at raw resumes and I look at, hundreds of them per day in most instances I don't really pay much attention to where the person went to law school. For example it at that is, is less important than either upward mobility or showing an ability to commit to an employer.
[00:24:35]And and it's it's very important. If you have that, you have the ability to commit to an employer, also a practice area and what you're doing, and, there's really no reason to commit to an employer. If you're going to be undervalued how back, and you're constantly being unhappy and there's no.
[00:24:51]Reason to commit to a person where you're undervalued, how back and unhappy but at the same time to make things work in a [00:25:00] relationship or with with an employer you do need to commit. And and very few people come across as committing.
[00:25:06] And a lot of times, legal employers are don't like it because they. They feel that people won't commit and because they feel they won't commit, they don't give them the training or the mentorship that they would otherwise get. They feel taken for granted and and that sort of thing.
[00:25:22] And no, I was just thinking it was it was an, I don't know how relevant it is, but it was an interesting story. I remember. When I was a summer associate in a law firm, they would take us out to dinner and, you can order whatever you want it. And there was always like, a couple of people that would do things like order the lobster or the most expensive things in the menu.
[00:25:41] And those are the people that didn't get offers in the summer. And I feel like the employers felt like they took them for granted, and so they felt like this is just going to be, a troubling person. And I think anytime an employer thinks that you're taking them for granted.
[00:25:54] Are you all. Then they're not going to like that. And then that was just an idea that I just occurred to me. But one of the [00:26:00] things is, a lot of people will never commit to an employer, a practice area, or even a practice setting. And it's very easy to distract that person and get them to believe they may see lots of things that I call bright, shiny objects in their environment that, that looked better than where they're at.
[00:26:16]They believe that sometimes a different firm would be better. Maybe working in house as opposed to a law firm maybe working in a big market or a small market as opposed to the market that they're in. Is offered the taking the person would only move firms or do something different.
[00:26:31] And and so people like are motivated by moving because there's something sometimes inside of them that, that some feeling that they need to appease or something to make them feel better. But the problem is if, unless you commit somewhere you're never gonna know. Really what you're capable of and in reality, mostly good jobs are in, especially in law firms are very similar.
[00:26:55] They have the same sets of rules. Some of them have access to bigger clients and [00:27:00] are better reputations and so far, but they're all very similar and, so you need to do whatever you can to commit most times if, if you're capable of it. But the failure, when you think about it to commit is very important because, if you never, if you don't know what you want and you're constantly confused, it's just going to create lots of problems and, back to this Disastrous on and off relationship with my ex wife we actually had a very good relationship when we were together.
[00:27:28]When we were together just the two of us, we had a lot of fun. We were supportive we rarely fought and she wanted to be, a very good girlfriend and later a wife and we did have a good relationship, but, inside of her, just like inside of a lot of people working in.
[00:27:43]Law firms and other, legal environments there was something that was making her, drift away just in something that was, more important to her. Then then whatever that we had or just would constantly, eat at her and it's not it's certainly my fault too, to what happened, but it's [00:28:00] also things that kind of motivated her and, and what.
[00:28:03]She'd grown up poor, but not wealthy. And was able to be sidetracked by people that had a lot of, certainly were, very wealthy and and could provide her, certain type of status or introductions and things that I couldn't. And so it was something I couldn't control and it was something that.
[00:28:20]It was important to her at the time. And and that's just, people have different priorities and it certainly like that with jobs as well. And but the thing is because of her lack of commitment And I saw that I was never fully happy with her. I knew that there was something that was motivating her, that wasn't related to me and I was angry about it.
[00:28:39]And and it need her help back to some extent in her relationship. And I also knew I couldn't trust her. And and I took all sorts of actions to protect myself financially and otherwise that I might not otherwise have taken. And there's the thing with Employers.
[00:28:54] And it's interesting if you worked at too many different places and you go into a new employer, it's going to be very [00:29:00] hard for that. Employer ever to fully trust you. And that lack of trust is not going to help you. It's going to actually hurt you because you're never going to be involved in the inner circle and and seen as someone that's likely to stay around you, you seem more as just an employer employee and yeah.
[00:29:17] I've seen that even when I've hired people, if someone, has been at multiple employers and I've hired them, it's very difficult to trust that person because you just don't know. What's going to happen with them and whether or not they're going to stick around. And in most cases they don't.
[00:29:33]If, if you want to make it become a partner in a law firm, or you want to get a position, a better position, if the employer doesn't believe that they can trust you. And and they think you're going to leave then it's going to be. Very difficult for you to advance many times or to get access to the same sorts of work.
[00:29:51] And because people want to see people that are there and that they trust and are really part of the fabric of the group. And it's important. People are tribal animals and [00:30:00] and it, it's just, they, it's harder for outsiders to get in. If someone has been there for a long time. And there's reasons of course, for not committing to an employer.
[00:30:09]The job could have be a dead end. There can be no way to advance. You could be unhappy and for reasons related to the employer and treated poorly, the work could not be, the type of work you're capable of doing, you could be capable of getting better work. You could be capable of, a lot more, responsibility.
[00:30:25] And I've worked with people and help them move jobs for lots of reasons. And there's definitely. Good reasons for moving jobs, lots of them. But the thing is, very few people ever commit. To a single legal employer, a lot of them won't commit to a practice setting and others won't even commit to a practice area.
[00:30:43] And and when you have a lot of different jobs, we're doing different things. It's going to be very difficult for you to advance professionally. The people that I place are almost always people that are committed to one thing. They do one practice area and they've committed to it.
[00:30:58] And even if they've been at three different [00:31:00] firms in six years, they have that commitment. There's something that's committed, a good commitment on their resume that people can see. That's important and that and they've committed to working in a law firm and not, so that level of commitment to a practice setting, a level of commitment to a practice area and even geographic commitment all.
[00:31:19]Was very important. And if there's any tie in with the more that stuff, vacillates, the harder it's going to be for you to have a good legal career. So it's very important to understand so think of the pain that comes to everybody when you don't commit and just in terms of a relationship I spent I don't know, seven or eight years of my life with someone who wasn't committed and and constantly was on pins and needles and, just never felt stable and lots of emotional energy on my end and Harun.
[00:31:50]There was just, no, without commitment you have nothing. And but employers deal with this all the time. Like I said, they. They don't know who they can trust. They have to [00:32:00] continuously be looking for new people because they, even, if they think someone's going to stay, they know they're going to leave.
[00:32:05]They're constantly getting new people up to speed and then those people leave and it costs them money and it cost the clients a lot of money because someone else needs to learn the client's matter and it costs them money. And then if someone isn't committed they're not going to be given a thorough, they're going to be.
[00:32:19]Coasting and not, working a lot of times as much as they say they are as much as they could. And they'll. Be talking they'll, they won't be cheerleaders for the organization, that's, it's all very important and it hurts the employer and it hurts you in relationships.
[00:32:35] It hurts the other party in relationships when you're not committed to everybody. There's so much pain in the world that comes. And cost to employers and cost to, our mental health and so forth and people don't commit. So being able to commit to a practice area, being able to commit to a location, being able to commit to a single employer, being able to commit to a practice setting and know you want that is going to make a huge difference in your longterm success.
[00:32:59] Having [00:33:00] people protect you in your employer wherever you work. And if you back that up, with not taking things for granted, you'll be in very good shape. It's really one of the most essential things when you're applying to new positions, employers want to see commitment.
[00:33:15] Ideally you would be at one employer and one practice setting and doing one type of thing. And those are the most marketable people. And the more you show a vacillating commitment in any of those things the less likely you are to be marketable. So employers, if people that go in house from a law firm have a difficult time sometimes impossible going back to a law firm people that are doing multiple different things inside of a law firm tend to have a difficult time getting a job in a law firm.
[00:33:46] I saw this resume the other day of this guy that was laid off and and it was very confused. He was At a major firm, very good firm, but as for he only had one year of experience, but he did this kind of weird practice area location. For three months, [00:34:00] you did an environmental law. And then for another three months you did corporate.
[00:34:02] And then for another three months he did tax. And for noon, three months, he did a real estate or something. So I've got this resume, this guy, that's done all these different things. He's only one year out of law school and I'm thinking to myself it doesn't matter that, he went to this great law school.
[00:34:18] It doesn't matter that. He worked at this great law firm. He just, his resume doesn't show anything and there's no commitment to any practice here. So it's, he's very difficult to market. It would be better if he'd just done corporate and, or he'd done one thing, but he hadn't.
[00:34:33]You have to commit to a practice area. You have to commit to. In, in most cases you have to commit to a geographic location. If I'm working with someone say in Michigan and they worked in Michigan for 10 years. And and they've decided that they'd love to go to California, Arizona, Florida, Connecticut Maine and North Carolina their odds of getting a position in any of those areas, other than Michigan are very slim.
[00:34:58] And in fact, the person is in [00:35:00] Detroit, their odds of getting a position in another part of Michigan are very slim, because that they're there's if they have no connection to those other areas, but if they show their commitment to Detroit, Then people are gonna want to hire them. So you have to show commitment on your resume and you have to show a commitment to a practice here.
[00:35:17] You have to show it to a region and you have to show it to the practice setting. Okay. Your resume typically will show your commitment and that's, when I look at resumes all day, I look at commitment. And the best way to describe someone, trying to do a bunch of practice here is like that guy whose resume I described would be.
[00:35:37]Try trying to describe someone trying to date multiple people at the same time. They never develop any type of solid foundation with anyone. And they're just dabbling and they're dabbling in multiple with multiple relationships. They're dabbling in multiple people. There's never the opportunity for.
[00:35:53]A serious connection with anyone. There's never, there's always a distance and and it doesn't work in [00:36:00] relationships and it also doesn't work in the practice a lot. When you just, you can't be dabbling, you have to be. Committed to something and if you're not committed, the people that are committed are getting better and better, and they're more and more focused.
[00:36:11] And they're continually learning about what they do and much better. The difference between myself doing my job in terms of placement 20 years ago, and today. Is insane. It's it's I'm work speed, ahead of where I was. And I have more resources and I know more about the market and I know different types of attorneys and I'm more enthusiastic because I'm more invested and I'm more committed.
[00:36:35]And I was committed, 20 years ago, but I'm saying the level of commitment is great, and it makes a huge difference. And. Resumes of people that try to view who like what they are doing. And are focused in a practice area, get jobs and ones that don't are trying to do lots of different things.
[00:36:53] Do not get attention. Employers just avoid them. They can't, if someone can't settle down in terms of a practice [00:37:00] hearing what they're doing, or someone can't settle down in terms of an employer then they're not going to hire them. And I look at when I look at resumes and I, the most important thing, you can go to resume workshops, all you want, you can hire a resume professionals.
[00:37:12]You can do whatever you want with your resume, but the most important thing in your resume is going to be, to show that some sort of commitment to something, so for example, if you've done environmental litigation and commercial litigation and labor and employment litigation, and then you have all these different types of litigation on your resume.
[00:37:32] And then maybe you've got a little bit of IP work. People like to list all this sort of thing on their resume, and you've worked at three or four different employers. The resume that's likely to get hired is going to be someone is if you take all that information and you say at the first employer, I did.
[00:37:48] Mainly environmental work. And the second one I did mainly environmental work and the third one is demeaning environmental work. And you don't have to put that you did some IP and other types of stuff you just put, or you just say, I did commercial litigation. That's why you need to say [00:38:00] because if you start putting all this other stuff in there, it's unfocused, it makes you look unfocused.
[00:38:05] It just, it doesn't help most of the time. And it certainly. It depends on the market and smaller markets having more experience in different things can be helpful. And actually, cause that's how law firms work in smaller markets, but at the same time being focused and committed to a practice area is really important.
[00:38:23]I've seen, just this week replaced In insurance attorney practicing lemon law, who've been doing it for I don't know, seven or eight years. And you would think lemon law, which assuming carmakers when someone wants to return their car for being a lemon meaning that multiple problems with it.
[00:38:39] So it needs to return I've seen attorneys get positions, and I play someone that's making over $200,000 a year because they're focused and this is not representing general electric and an antitrust suit or something. It's these are small little cases, but because the person's focused they make a lot of money and they do well.
[00:38:56]And they have lots of people willing to hire them. The same thing goes with insurance, [00:39:00] defense, project finance, even personal injury. In almost every case when I place someone. And I see people get jobs they just, if someone's insurance defense, they just do insurance defense and preferably in insurance defense, they're focused on one thing or lemon law or project finance.
[00:39:14] They do one type of project finance. So the more you focus on one thing, the more marketable you're going to be, and your resume shows that, and that helps the focus resume. When you have that, it doesn't matter where you went to law school. I think in the lemon law attorney might not even have gone to a.
[00:39:30]Law school where, you could practice outside of California. I don't think it was an accredited law school. It doesn't matter. However you did there it doesn't matter how you did in law school, but if you're very focused you're going to be marketable. And in contrast, a lot of attorneys, may not go to the best law schools.
[00:39:44]They may not have they may be trying to do a wide variety of things and they can't settle down and. And that hurts them, when I reviewed like the backgrounds of, candidates in my firm that I've placed or that our company's placed, it almost always shows a [00:40:00] commitment to a single practice area.
[00:40:02] And you need to look like you're doing one thing and that's just how the legal community works. When your experience is focused employers seat, your background and. They're confident that, the work you're doing is something that you're committed to.
[00:40:14] And they liked that. That's very important to them. But like I said earlier, a lot of times attorneys think that the more experienced they get the better, so they believe it's good to have litigation and corporate experience. So they think that. If they've done patent work, they should include this on their tax resume because something about that's going to jump out to the employer and they believe that the more experience they get, the more marketable they are and that, that's not the case.
[00:40:36]It's just not true. Most employers but not all. Watch someone who's committed to doing one thing and just that consistent commitment shows that, you want to do what you're doing. You're not going to change. Course you're an expert you've been getting better and better over time.
[00:40:53] And and what you want and it's true. Someone that does one thing like I do one thing, it gets better and [00:41:00] better. And when you get better and better everything you touched doing that turns to gold. I can make placements and, the worst recessions I can make them in great markets.
[00:41:08] It just, but every time I look at someone's resume and I work with someone I can be effective because I know. You know what to do because I've done it so many times and I've learned so many lessons and it's very important. So if you're an employer, would you want to hire someone who didn't know what they wanted to do, or would you want to hire someone that day?
[00:41:27] You just can't be all things to all people. So your practice setting is another way you show you're committed or not. Once, like I said earlier, once an attorney leaves a law firm and they go on house Most law firms won't hire them again. They know that they're not necessarily committed to that practice session, the rules.
[00:41:44]If you don't commit to a practice setting employers, won't take a chance on you in the future. If you do want to go to work with the government, you should go to work with the garment. If you want to work with a law firm you should have broken a law firm. If you want to work in the public interest and you should do that.
[00:41:56] If you want to be a professor. You should do that. For example, in [00:42:00] placement, like I've always concentrated on law firm placement. It's just, the rules of making placements in law firms are much different than me in a company. Why would I do something where I would just dilute my effectiveness with law firms and because I'm constantly learning and getting better when w in, in, go in the other another direction.
[00:42:18]When attorneys don't commit people in other settings aren't impressed because they know the attorneys unlikely to commit when they come back to a different practice setting. And there's just not a lot of incentive to hire you. If you don't look committed to a certain practice, one of the things I noticed constantly. And I see these resumes, several times a week is of graduate to be a law school. They'll come out and they'll do all these things. They'll work in Congress doing some sort of, internship, they'll get put on the committees.
[00:42:47] They'll maybe work in a law firm for a year and then they'll go to work in a law school and then. Then they want to come back to a law firm after it with no experience really. And, in and law firms always say, [00:43:00] no. It's, they're like, no, it's just that it doesn't work that way.
[00:43:03] It's they believe that someone that's not committed to whatever they're doing is toxic that think about it. If someone has all these other interests. Working in a law school, working for Congress, doing, and the government, and then, doing all these things or working for some nonprofit organization and, some third world country and then law firms aren't impressed by that.
[00:43:22]Just because you did very well on the classics, when you were in college and and then got into a great law school with your grades and L sets and everything. It doesn't make you committed to work in a law firm and the most important thing for them running the law firm is having people there that are doing the work.
[00:43:37]Every job by the way requires work. If you want to be very good and effective at something, you're going to have to put your head down and work hard. It's just. That's how it is. There's no free rides. Sometimes there's free rides when you can get into organizations that don't have a lot of oversight and that are getting out, outside money and maybe like the government.
[00:43:58]But for the most part, if you want to make a [00:44:00] good living and you want to do stuff, that's important. And constantly improve you're going to need to work hard. It's just, that's the rule. It's everybody that's successful. Almost always works very hard. So in my situation, any reasonable person.
[00:44:14]That was in my S in my position after a few years of someone coming and going and these different relationships would have realized that her lack of commitment to me was toxic. I might not have been talking to someone else. If someone were reviewing her background thinking about committing to her versus someone else, I would have to realize that she was toxic and I'm like the commit on my side, they might've realized that I was a sucker, but that's another story, but employers are like this.
[00:44:40] They realize that if someone is vacillating between different practice settings and they see them, weren't committed in the past. They're going to be unlikely to commit it to you again. And it's just, it's how it works. It's just, people are like that. Like the woman that worked for me for 20 years or 18 years in her previous employer, 18 years or no work for me for 18 years, her previous employer, 20 [00:45:00] years.
[00:45:00]Had that kind of commitment. It's just, and it makes it work. And if people there's certain people that commit and others that don't many attorneys, they start their careers in law firms and they have a dream of going in house often as soon as possible. That's something and BCG, for example, we make people fill out questionnaires and then.
[00:45:16] We asked them what their long-term goals are. And a lot of times very often LA the people that are working in law firms, the long-term goal is going to be to go in house and. The problem is if you want to be somewhere else in your long-term goal is to do something else and be somewhere else.
[00:45:33] You're never going to be fully invested in what you're doing. You're always going to be ready for another opportunity and you're never going to be. Really seeing all the opportunities that are there, where you're at, where you're at, and you're just wasting your time. You're not going to try to impress people as much.
[00:45:48] You're not going to do your best. And you're not going to get the best training because people aren't going to invest in you as much, and you're never going to do as well. As you ultimately could. And by the way, most [00:46:00] people that are like become general councils and so forth, a good size companies that go in house, our partners in law firms first.
[00:46:06]If you were a large company, who would you hire? Would you hire one to make your general counsel? Some of them had worked for three or four years or two years inside of a. Law firm, or do you want to work, hire someone that, committed and we're tired and Rose up to become a general counsel and then was recruited away at some point when maybe it looked like like good opportunity.
[00:46:26]Okay. So the best jobs in legal departments, like I said, are people the demonstrated commitment becoming partners. So if you commit to your practice setting and you're in a law firm or wherever you're working you're going to do much better than if you didn't. Okay. The final thing just, and then we'll move on after this section is just your, ability to stay with a single employer shows your commitment it shows something about your ability to do good work.
[00:46:51] It shows your ability to stay with people for the long run. It shows your ability to, stay out of politics or. Get on the right side of [00:47:00] politics, it shows your ability not to quit at the first sign of resistance. It shows your ability to deal with multiple different types of managers.
[00:47:07] It shows that you're you get along with people and my wife was an example of someone that's going to commit and I'm certainly. I'm not saying I'm perfect. There were, like I said, every relationship, both parties some are 80% at fault. Some are 20% of fault, but in general, both sides are to blame when things don't work out.
[00:47:23] And there's certainly a lot of things I could've done better. But I do know that after. In the span of a few years, she, had at least seven or eight serious relationships actually. Maybe there was something in her that couldn't commit and it's like that with attorneys as well.
[00:47:36]And lot of attorneys can't commit and and and a lot of times people will, switch positions every year or two, and they'll do it for more than a decade. And. The risk of being an employer on the receiving end of that, it's just not good because you'll bring someone in you'll investment, a person, and then fairly soon the person will start thinking about leaving and then they will leave.
[00:47:59] And [00:48:00] and when they're leaving the work, won't get done as well. They'll upset clients. There'll be. Issues with morale and people wondering why people are leaving and, just other types of issues. Would you want to be an employer? Would you want to be at someone, if someone had been at five or six firms in 10 years, would you want to be the seventh person or the six person that hired them?
[00:48:19] I certainly wouldn't. So the idea is it's, there's people out there that make situations work and there's others that don't and you want to be the kind of person that can handle lasts in an organization and commit and and, and like I said, anytime I've hired someone.
[00:48:35] It's been with the previous employer, a decade or more. They've almost always stayed the same at the time with me. And if I had someone, who was a year or two with last couple of employers, they always stay the same, like the time of me as well. That's just a lot of times how people are wired.
[00:48:49] They're wired like that for employers. And then they're wired like that for jobs and relationships. And and the best predictor of future success is really going to be. How often you [00:49:00] move, and whether you're attracted to bright, shiny objects and, and and, but lack of, moving so much a lot of times shows there may be issues with your work product to other employers, or it may show there's issues with your self-esteem.
[00:49:12]I know someone that's worked at so many firms and and this particular person I would say has Other things going on. But I think that every time he moves, he gets a little bit of a boost to his self-esteem. Like there I'm still, attractive to other people or people still like me.
[00:49:27] And so it's taken care of something that's deeply ingrained and problematical. For him. And and I don't know that that involvement an employer in that in your self-esteem is really that important. It should be about something else. I was speaking with a woman the other day who had.
[00:49:44]At least seven jobs in 10 years, it was amazing resume. And they, the woman had a very good experience along the way, but never for very long for an hour. And, I was asking about this. I was like, how would anybody reasonably, hire you? And she [00:50:00] started bragging that she'd been head hunted away from each position.
[00:50:03] And this was, and there were a reason for all her moves and, and the idea when she said she was headhunted away was that she was proud of that. And. And very proud that someone wanted her and found her. An attractive employee and I was thinking to myself maybe she's, needs that needs this, constant reassurance and from the market.
[00:50:21] And, there is an excitement of taking a new job and interviewing and have your worth affirmed. And and then going somewhere with a fresh slate. But, it's just not necessarily a good thing. And, because if you can't commit. No, one's reasonably going to hire you because you're going to leave again and and they know that.
[00:50:38] And so my point is with this commitment stuff, is. You need to, if you've been leaving firms, you're going someplace and you're thinking about leaving. Sometimes you need to look at yourself and ask yourself why you're doing thes