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As a recent college graduate I can remember the excitement I had as I walked down the aisle to receive my diploma. (Ok, so maybe it technically wasn’t my diploma. It was more of a standard piece of paper before my actual diploma was mailed to me.) At this moment, we’re all excited to embark on that next chapter of our lives; to begin this next stage – that stage where we transition from young students to young professionals.
This transition into a young profession means we have arrived in the “real world” and despite how prepared some of us believe we are, we will still make mistakes. We will wish we would’ve handled some things differently. We will remind ourselves once again of the annoying truth – Hindsight (unfortunately) is 20/20.
Let’s be honest, many of us wish we could be like Marty McFly and travel back in time. We would have all kinds of advice for our younger selves. That is exactly what a group of legal professionals were asked – What would you tell your younger professional self?
Here is what some of them had to say:
“Keep in touch with old classmates and colleagues. Most of the time marketing is about have a relationship with somebody who they feel comfortable referring work to.” – GBC
“The biggest lesson I wish I had learned earlier is to network more. A large network is the best way to get new work.” – M. A. Peterson
“Don't focus too much on your career to the detriment of your personal and family life.” – P. Marder
“A lesson that has taken me a while to learn - both professionally and personally - is to set boundaries and have the courage to say no when you can't be totally committed to something - be it a project or case or something personal.” – J. Prizant
While I’m not as seasoned in the work life yet in comparison to these professionals, I would agree with everything that was said above. And, following these pieces of advice, I believe will lead to a more successful and enjoyable career and life.
To other professionals, feel free to share your advice below. I’m interested in hearing what you think.
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I also agree with the advice given. I would add that you are most successful at networking when you're not trying to network. Just relax, be natural, and remain confident that eventually you'll connect to the job that is right for you. But never stop meeting new people.