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How to Refocus on Self-Improvement and Your Legal Career

— August 11, 2021

Finally, break your plan down into small, manageable goals. This is crucial — setting your sights too high too early will set you up for a fall.

There’s never been a better time to kickstart a self-improvement drive. Perhaps you’ve returned to the office post-COVID to a different experience from before, or maybe after a year of lockdown stasis you’re ready to bring something new into your life.

Whatever your reason, now is a good time to refocus on self-improvement and your legal career. But before you do, take stock of your situation. It’s been a long 18 months, and diving into such a journey requires planning and consideration.

With that in mind, read on for a few essential tips to help kickstart your career and take the first steps on the journey to where you want to go.

Be open to and embrace new opportunities

The world of law is a paradox of the old and the new, of the status quo and challenges to that status quo.

While there are entrenched and established ways of doing law, there are also new and exciting opportunities in the industry, and your career can take you to equally new and exciting places — if you’re open to it.

Start by staying up to date with industry news. The intersection of technology and law always brings new opportunities, new roles, and new careers. There are jobs today that didn’t exist even ten years ago, so keep your eye on the industry horizon.

Networking is also an obvious way to find new opportunities. Don’t approach people with the goal of finding a new role or career advice. Speak to people as just that — people. Get to know someone, and potential opportunities will arise naturally as a result.

But above all, adopt a mindset that is open to the opportunities that these may bring. A positive attitude is essential, and being receptive to new ideas, new avenues, new people, will help drive your journey for self-improvement forward.

Self-improvement starts with self-love

For many of us, our desire to self-improve is borne out of dissatisfaction with our current selves.

You might be unhappy with your current situation, your job or progression prospects, your salary, or even your place within the wider legal industry.

While this can be a good impetus for us to improve ourselves, in the extreme, it can do more harm than good.

If we want to really improve ourselves, we need to begin by loving, appreciating, and caring for who we are now.

Naturally, this starts with exercise and diet. How we treat our body has a dramatic effect on our ability to focus and adopt a proactive approach to our own lives.

Group yoga session; image by Anupam Mahapatra, via
Group yoga session; image by Anupam Mahapatra, via

Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and the cessation of bad habits such as smoking are essential if you are going to treat yourself well.

But an equal, if sometimes undervalued, part of knowing how to look after yourself is about more spiritual and cerebral actions, too.

Combating our inner critic, prioritizing our needs and opinions in work conversations, spending less time with toxic individuals — implementing these (or working on doing so) creates a positive mindset in which we can begin to self-improve.

Of course, this is all easier said than done. Like exercise, it is something that requires effort (and no small amount of failed attempts) to achieve and make a habit. But with time and concerted effort, you can create a strong mindset that is focused and driven.

Create a plan and make it visual

No successful journey was ever completed without a clear roadmap and direction.

You might have a vague idea of where you want to progress within your career, but without a clearly-outlined plan, broken down into individual steps, that’s all it will remain — an idea.

Create a plan that outlines where you want to go, starting from where you are now.

If you know where you want to go but don’t know how to get there, speak to someone who does. A mentor is ideal here, but if you lack one, consider reaching out to the wider industry. Many legal speakers or influencers will be happy to share their career advice with you.

An effective way of making your plan more impactful is to make it into something visual. This can be as simple as a written ten-step plan, for instance, or you might opt for a flow chart or another visually-appealing design.

Finally, break your plan down into small, manageable goals. This is crucial — setting your sights too high too early will set you up for a fall. These templates are a useful starting point, but your career plan should look utterly unique, tailored to your current position and where you ultimately want to go.

Consciously embracing self-improvement, both for yourself and your legal career, is an admirable endeavor. But it cannot be done without planning and direction.

Post-COVID, anything is possible, so long as you have the direction and drive. Bear the tips above in mind and take the first steps onto the next stage of your career.

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