The age old business maxim that “You should work on your business, not just in your business” applies equally to your career. When was the last time you stopped, took a step back and objectively gave your career a critical evaluation? It is not uncommon that lawyers are so busy being lawyers and thinking of strategic ways to assist their clients that they often neglect to take the time to strategically think about their own career.
So, when is a good time to re-assess your career? The answer is simple: right now. Your career and your work/life priorities continually evolve so there is no point in having an arbitrary rule that you must review your career every two years or so. The truth is that you should remain vigilant and focused on where your career is at and where you are heading at all times. Regular proactive self-evaluations of how you are tracking will keep you focused on moving forwards and upwards rather than just passively drifting along with the status quo.
An effective career assessment includes a proper evaluation of your current firm, what they can offer you and what you need to do in order to continue developing your career with them. The other critical part of an effective career assessment is comparing what other opportunities may offer you, as not all law firms are the same. You may find that you are better suited to a different culture, or working for a partner with a different personality, or that another firm may have more of the type of clients and work that really appeals to you.
At the end of the day, you may come to the realisation that your current firm is the right option for you, at the moment. However, if you fail to regularly assess your career options, how can you be sure that you are always in the right place to get the most out of your career?