Monthly Archives: November 2013

More Support for Your Brilliant Post-Law Career

crossing_the_chasmIn this season of Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for everyone who helps unhappy lawyers find and excel in non-legal careers.  In addition to the practical advice and inspiring stories in Life After Law, there are a number of great resources out there for lawyers considering a big change:

Marc Luber’s JDCareersOutThere offers terrific advice for lawyers exploring and changing careers.  His “JD Refugee” videos, for “people who are applying their legal skills without practicing law,” should be one of the first stops for JDs considering alternative fields.

Chelsea Callanan’s Happy Go Legal is a coaching service that focuses on new lawyers, but applies a holistic approach to help all lawyers find the best-fitting career.  Callanan’s blog and podcasts expand the resources she offers for becoming happier and more successful in whatever you choose to do.

Pace School of Law’s New Directions for Attorneys is a six month career re-entry program for lawyers who have taken time off and want to move either into a legal or an alternative non-legal career.  Graduates absolutely rave about this NY-based program, and the staff is phenomenal.  The next session starts in January 2014, and there is an info session on November 18 in White Plains.

And speaking of career reentry, I can’t recommend iRelaunch highly enough.  Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin have helped thousands of people (including loads of lawyers) relaunch their careers in a wide variety of fields.  They offer ongoing training, run conferences around the world, and their newsletters are unusualy useful.

If you’re looking for holiday gifts for yourself or your favorite unhappy lawyer, may I offer some suggestions in addition to Life After Law?  One is Allison Rimm’s The Joy of Strategy, which helps readers prioritize and manage their lives in a way that maximizes joy.  Rimm is a former VP at Massachusetts General Hospital, a gifted coach and a great writer.  Whitney Johnson’s Dare Dream Do is another great choice for people who are trying to envision something better for themselves, but need help getting unstuck.   Johnson is an influential Harvard Business Review writer and blogger whose practical wisdom and inspirational messages combine beautifully in this book.  And although it’s a classic, I’ll say again that doing the flower diagram in What Color Is Your Parachute? changed my life.  What a thrill to see Life After Law “frequently bought together” with WCIYP on Amazon!

Readers, what other resources helped you with your transition?  Whose help are you grateful for?

 

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One and Done: Why I (Probably) Won’t Write Another Book

LAL3DAt my library’s Local Authors Night last night, someone asked what my next book would be about.  “One and done,” I replied.  When I tell people there will be no next book, I don’t mean to sound churlish.  Am I not grateful for the wonderful comments and kind emails I’ve been getting from readers all over the place?  I am.  Isn’t it wonderful to see my book in Barnes & Noble and on library shelves?  It is.  Aren’t I glad I pushed through the experience of writing the book, even though I had two part time jobs at the time and a four year old daughter?  Oh yes.  But being an author isn’t what I envisioned when I was just a voracious reader, just last year.

Even with the wonderful publisher I have, and the talented marketers I work with, spreading the word about Life After Law has largely been my responsibility.  Writing this blog, writing guest posts for other blogs, helping reporters appreciate the huge range of non-legal careers ex-lawyers can succeed in, and speaking all over the place has been my privilege.  But, to be honest, it isn’t always a pleasure.   I’m half-way between Introvert and Extrovert on every Myers-Briggs test I’ve taken.  And successful authoring requires a good deal of self-promotion, which rubs me the wrong way in terms of my nature and my acculturation.  I know I “should” Lean In, and Take the Lead, and speak up for my work.  This isn’t a new lesson; I realized half way through my Big Law career that this is not a meritocratic world, and that women especially should speak up for themselves – carefully – to get the credit they deserve.  I can self-promote in some circumstances, but not on a sustained basis.  Even now, 20 years into my professional life, I find it easier to advocate for someone else than for myself.

The whole point of writing Life After Law was to encourage people to find work they love, work that fits their talents and interests, and to dare to leave behind the safe misery that so many people – lawyers especially –  experience in their careers.  As I tried my best to follow the great advice I’ve been given about book promotion, I realized that I was ignoring my own advice about joy at work.  While I love my new full time teaching job, my part-time self-promotion job is much harder because it goes against my nature.   Now that I realize how integral this post-writing part of the process is, and how uncomfortable it is for me, I can think more critically about whether to do it again.

Readers, have you thought about writing a book?  Have you done  it?  Was it what you expected?  Please let us know below.

 

 

 

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