None of us want to think of ourselves as “lazy.” Certainly it’s a word no candidate would use to describe themselves in a job interview. But if you’ve recently begun saying things to yourself like “I’m not interested in the money,” “I’m not all that ambitious,” or “I’d rather….”, chances are good that your career management is beginning to slip by the wayside.
Signs of Lazy Career Management
Once upon a time, lawyers and legal support professionals could rely on their employers to do much of their career management for them. You would join a firm, move up the ranks, and perform your duties as well as you could until retirement.
These days, it’s not so easy. Legal professionals of all stripes have had to take career management into their own hands. With one more item on your interminable to-do list, career management can start to feel less like an opportunity and more like effort – an effort you don’t want to make.
You may be letting your career management turn lazy if:
- “Good enough” has become your motto.
- A promotion seems like more problem than payoff.
- You find yourself “working for the weekend.”
- You’ve rationalized mediocre performance as avoiding “materialism.”
How to Recharge Your Career Without Burning Yourself Out
There’s nothing wrong with having interests or goals outside work – in fact, they’re often important to a balanced life and crucial to preventing burnout. But when “other interests” are simply an excuse for mediocrity, you’re selling yourself short both professionally and personally.
Like other professionals, legal professionals do their best work when they are engaged and passionate about their work. If you’ve lost this drive, it’s time to put career management back on your priority list. Here are some first steps:
- Remember the “honeymoon phase” at the start of your job or career. What did you love? What did you expect? Make a list of these “dream features.”
- Consider ways to bring some of these features back into your current job. Make a separate list of potential new positions that might offer these features.
- Talk to a recruiter. Once you know what you want, team up with a staffing firm that knows how to find organizations and positions like the one you’ve described – and will help you connect with them, too.
At Assigned Counsel, our experienced recruiters can help you beat a case of the “lazies” and find the legal position that will challenge and inspire you. Contact us today to learn more.