Susan Smith Blakely

Happy New Year, Women Lawyers!

Happy New Year!

I am back from my December hiatus and ready to embrace all new opportunities for the new year.  I hope you are in a similar frame of mind. Being a bit of a dreamer and having an open mind and a positive outlook for the future can be very helpful to your career development.  In fact, I could argue that those attributes are essential to positive career growth.

If you are a maker of New Year's resolutions — and I know that some of you are — you might want to think outside the box this year and beyond the obvious weight loss, expanded exercise routine, increased saving/reduced spending, and the other obvious resolutions. It is a good time to add some career development heft to your yearly introspection.

Think about resolutions like increased efforts at client development, perfecting your soft skills, finding a mentor or sponsor, and becoming an expert in a critical area of your practice ---  for starters.  No, not all at once!  You have choices, so prioritize. Decide what you need most. Then, go for it.

Remember that career development can be hard work and avoid becoming easily discouraged. No one else needs to know about your resolution.  Keep it under the radar and take the pressure off.  Have reasonable expectations, and you may be surprised how much you can accomplish.

But don't forget the weight loss, exercise routine and budget control.  There is plenty of space in your life for both personal and professional growth.

Good luck!

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