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Eight Reasons Why Lawyers Resist Effective Networking- How to Show Your True Value via Lexis Hub
In today's job market, many law students and lawyers are frustrated looking for jobs by just sending out resumes and cover letters. It can be overwhelming and mysterious to think about how you can stand out and make your application rise to the top of the pile. Whether applying for a firm job, clerkship, or in-house position, the employer reviewing your materials is running a business.
With that in mind, 2 very important topics should come to mind when job seeking 1) what is going through a hiring partner's mind when considering taking on a new hire and 2) how to overcome resistance to networking as an integral part of your job search and career planning. Networking can be the answer to help you get over the hump.
Networking is an integral factor in standing out and showing you are a good investment. So why do so many lawyers resist it?
1. So many attorneys – especially law students and junior attorneys – think networking is selfish, but networking isn't calling someone and asking for a job, or for help getting a job; networking is reciprocal. It's building a group of interconnected relationships whereby the entire group can work together to reach their individual goals.
2. They undervalue the power of networking. People who don't network are literally unaware of all the opportunities they've missed. Senior lawyers have told me the majority of their professional and personal opportunities (clients, leadership, speaking engagements, political appointments, job openings and hiring, board memberships, and more) have come to them passively through their network. Most did not have to go after these opportunities; the opportunities came to them. And when they did look for opportunities, their network helped.
3. They get frustrated if there is no immediate pay-off for their efforts. Networking is a long-term activity. You may see immediate dividends, or it may take a long time to pay off. You just never know. But it's a game you can't win if you're not involved.
4. They don't realize networking is a learned skill. No matter how shy, introverted, or unconnected you believe you are, you can learn to network successfully. It only requires that you want to learn.
5. They think they don't have access to a network. People often claim they don't have a network, and use that as an excuse not to get started. But everyone has a network. Start with family, extended family, neighbors, classmates, former classmates, colleagues from internships and other work, and others you know personally.
6. Their aim is too low. Once you get started, don't limit your networking to your peers, who have little or no influence on hiring or career development. You need to reach higher up the ladder. Some of the easiest ways to do this are to extend your network to include alumni, professionals with common interests and goals, more senior lawyers at your employer, bar association members, and others.
7. They think of networking as work, but really, think of networking as an opportunity to build enduring (or short-term) professional friendships, finding people whose missions and organizations you can assist, and learning about the industry. Then, networking becomes much easier to do. Even so, investing in networking takes less time than you'd think-even 30 minutes a week can lead to lasting relationships and huge impacts on your career.
8. They're afraid of rejection. As you expand your network to meet new people, you're bound to run into rejection. More likely, however, you'll run into apathy; people simply don't respond to your inquires or email. But so what? Again, it can take very few 'hits" to change your career. So what do you have to lose?
The moral of the story is that employers crave finding a diamond in the rough who stands out as a good investment for their business, and by networking effectively you can increase your chances of standing out.
Read the complete article as posted on the Lexis Hub.