find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
Senior family lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Family Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Outstanding national firm · High-calibre family law team
View details
Is law really your dream job?

Is law really your dream job?

dream job

It is important for lawyers to question whether they are in the right profession, Mimi Fong writes.

What is a dream job?

A dream job gives you a sense of fulfilment and meaning. It draws upon what comes to you naturally – your gifts and talents – and, importantly, matches your passions and values.

A few years back, LinkedIn surveyed more than 8,000 professionals globally and found just 8.9 per cent worked in their dream job, although another 21 per cent said they at least work in a career that relates to their original dream job. So that’s more than 70 per cent of professionals out there who are not working in a job or career that may give them a sense of fulfilment and meaning, which excites and fires them up, and which they truly enjoy.

My personal belief, based on my 20 years of professional services, corporate and business experience, is that this percentage could possibly be even higher.

Which category do you fall into?

Think about how many hours of each day you spend at work. Being a former lawyer, I know it is not uncommon for lawyers to work 12 hours a day or more, including overnighters. It’s fair to say, then, that the average legal professional would spend a significant chunk of their life at work.

If you are unhappy or dissatisfied at work, how does this impact on the rest of your life? What would it mean to be working in your dream job? How would this influence and ripple out to the rest of your life – your physical and emotional health, your relationships (family, friends, work colleagues, clients), your daily reserves of energy, your outlook on life, and so on?

Here’s the crux of it: if you are happy in what you do, this will enhance your overall sense of happiness and wellbeing, which will then flow out to other aspects of your life.

I believe this is a critical starting point in the growing movement and awareness around mental health issues in the workplace. Simply put – a happy employee equates to a more productive employee, who will likely be more loyal in the long term. However, if you have an employee who is inherently unhappy in their job for reasons that may be beyond the control of the employer, then there may be nothing the employer can do to rectify or improve the situation. Any strategies they might invest in to nurture and support this person could be futile and a waste of money.

How do you identify your dream job?

  1. Find your purpose and passion. Just to be clear, this is not your interests. Your interests are those things which you like to do or you find interesting, however a passion is something that you love to do.
  2. Identify your values in the context of your career (what is important to you in your career?)
  3. Do a personal inventory by listing your assets and gaps, hard and soft skills.
  4. List your achievements, personal and professional.
  5. Identify what is holding you back from achieving what you want in your career. Is it a fear of failure? A fear of success? A belief that you are not capable? What do you need to do to let it go?
  6. What specifically do you want in a job? For example, would you like to work in a familiar field or in a new area that may require retraining? How many hours a week would you like to work? What are your salary expectations? What is the level of responsibility or autonomy you are seeking? Do you prefer a back office role or more hands-on, front-facing, people-oriented work? What are your other must-haves (the deal-breakers) versus the nice-to-haves?
  7. Research your market and make sure your chosen option is aligned with your purpose, passions, values, skills, achievements and your job criteria.
  8. Set SMART career targets – standing for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Reviewable, Time-bound.
  9. Formulate your career strategy – what specific steps and actions do I need to take to make this a reality? Remember that it’s the doing that makes things happen.

Life really is too short to be doing something you don’t love. In the immortal words of Confucius, which I live by every day: “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Mimi Fong is a former lawyer and has more than 15 years’ experience as an international recruiter, head-hunter and career coach.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Is law really your dream job?
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Warning
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...