Whether you’re still in law school or you’ve just graduated, finding a job is probably a pressing issue for you. If you’re looking for job hunting tips, though, you are in luck! Last week we shared tips from Alison Monahan over at The Girls’ Guide to Law School. After she published those 12 tips, she reached out to Katie Slater, a lawyer-turned-career coach and founder of Career Infusion Coaching, to write a five-part series of job hunting advice.
Katie had so much to share that we wanted to make it all available on our blog for recent law school graduates and anyone still in law school who is starting to plan out their career.
You may be wondering where to even start on your legal job search. Katie suggests you consider this job search your first project management endeavor and good practice for the future, as most legal jobs require solid project management skills. Katie offers a three-level plan of attack in this post: develop a big-picture view of yourself and what you want your career to look like; figure out the tactical steps you can take to the ultimate goal of getting a job; and be aware of the toll this process will take on you and find ways to combat it.
When you’re starting out with your job search, it may not even occur to you to stop and ask yourself what you want to do, but it’s a vital step on your career path! In part two of the series, the goal is to determine what types of law or fields would suit you, and explore some of your other job-related preferences.
The second level of your job search plan is tactical: What concrete steps do you need to take to achieve the ultimate goal of getting a job? Reaching out to your network (it’s bigger than you think!) is a great way to get the ball rolling in your career search. Create a list of everyone you know and then organize the list into separate categories based on what type of information or opportunities you may need from them.
Use that network you’ve been developing to find out where people are hiring and what they are looking for. Research companies you apply for so that you could speak confidently about the work they do and how you’ll fit in at your interview. Look for volunteer opportunities, find out if you can shadow someone, and explore part-time positions in your field.
The last level to work on in your job search is being aware of your mental and emotional state, and not underestimating the mental stamina you may need for the job search. There may be quite a lot of anger, frustration, not feeling good enough, and other really fun emotions that come up during the process. By being aware that this may happen, you can figure out what coping mechanisms work best for you.