You’ve decided it is time to explore the market and look for new opportunities. As part of this process, you should reach out to the recruiters you have worked with in the past to see whether they are aware of any open positions for which you might be a good candidate and to ensure you are on their radar as positions open in the future. At the same time, you must recognize that more and more companies are filling positions directly through networking and online postings. Therefore, it is imperative that you be more proactive about your search. One important step you can take is to engage an experienced career coach who understands the market for attorneys and who can help you analyze the available opportunities and develop strategies for your job search.
A job search can be exhausting and frustrating. You believe you are perfect for a position based on the description. You apply but you don’t even get a “thank you for your submission” response, or you have a great interview and never hear back. Among other advantages, working with a coach who is knowledgeable about the market can save you from: (1) much of the aggravation of trying to figure out the process on your own, and (2) wondering if you are doing everything you can to distinguish yourself from the competition. A coach will help you:
● develop a strategic networking and job search plan;
● think “outside the box” to expand your opportunities;
● analyze your fit for the opportunities that are posted;
● streamline your resume;
● prepare for interviews;
● “Monday morning quarterback” post-interview; and
● act as an objective sounding board as you explore your options.
You should consider engaging a coach even when a recruiter is involved in a search. While a good recruiter will do his/her best to remain objective and provide worthwhile feedback, ultimately, you are not the recruiter’s primary client — their primary client is the firm or company that pays their fees. A coach who has expertise in placing lawyers can help you navigate the process and analyze your options just as a recruiter does, but with your success as the only goal.
It is time to take control of the search for what is next in your career. You don’t have to do it alone.
Amy Goldstein is the founder of Grayson Allen, Inc., a New York based attorney search and career consulting firm. She has been providing career advice and recruiting attorneys for in-house and law firm positions since 2000.