Making time to review your career enables you to set goals and to assess if you are making a valuable contribution to your employer. Expanding your skills and maintaining and developing your networks are also important elements of a plan. Begin by considering your career achievements to date and what you want to achieve next. Ask yourself what your next role will be with your
current employer, what skills and experience you need to develop, whether there are particular people you should be developing a relationship with and if you should gain further qualifications.
To be a valued contributor to the business and ensure you continue to be challenged, you need to continuously build your skills and experience. For example, management experience is often a critical
element in career progression. Take an active interest in the development of junior team members as informal mentoring can lead to more structured project management or team leadership responsibilities. You can also enhance your business development skills by pursuing relationships with client contacts at a similar level of seniority to you. A junior-level client contact may become a senior decision maker in the future. Make use of your firm’s resources such as knowledge management and client relationship management systems to develop your skills. Invest time in developing the skills of less experienced lawyers for the benefit of the practice and expand your own skills by asking for more challenging work. Many lawyers pursue an MBA which can give you added confidence in dealing with financial matters, change management and marketing. Further study can demonstrate
your commitment to your job and interest in advancement.
Many lawyers rely on their contacts for advice and as a source of market information, including job opportunities. Social media is a popular tool. Attending functions, joining discussion groups and being an active member of professional associations are effective in developing your network.