Career Advice? Live Your Own Dream and Do What You Love

The best piece of career advice I have received is really quite simple.  Live your own dream and do what you love.  When you do what you love, it won’t feel like work.  How then can you apply this to your career?

First, keep an open mind and take ownership of your career.  There is no one-size-fits-all legal career.  Lawyers work in all kinds of settings.  Some focus on trying cases; others on closing deals.  Some are excellent writers, while others are have an uncanny ability to draw in clients.  Some lawyers choose not to practice at all and apply their legal skills to other fields.  We all have different abilities and strengths that we can bring to the table.  The key then is to figure out what you are good at, what you enjoy doing, and what kind of work environment is best suited for your particular life circumstances.

What if you have no idea what you love doing or what you’re even good at? Then you must give yourself room to explore.  You won’t know until you try, and sometimes finding the right work environment can be a process of elimination.  Although lawyers generally have a reputation for being risk-averse, we have to be willing to take some risks if we are to find not only success, but more importantly satisfaction in our careers.  So give yourself space to explore opportunities and be open to possibilities.  Don’t judge yourself because you tried something and it didn’t work out in the way you expected.  I am willing to bet you probably still learned something valuable from the experience.

The final thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.  At the end of the day, this is YOUR career.  You are the one who has to wake up each day and face your own reality.  If you don’t like the idea of having to do certain tasks, then ask yourself why.  Is it because you fear doing them, or is it because it’s simply not the type of work you enjoy?  For example, if you truly are a more introverted person, and the thought of having to go to court regularly wears you down, then maybe chose a practice area that is better suited to your personality and strengths.  Remember we all have specific strengths and unique talents.  It’s just a matter of being open to learning what they are.  Only when you are true and honest with yourself, can you find a career path that truly serves your highest potential.

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