It’s true that when you see that opportunity, you need to grab it
And it’s also true that good opportunities (real quality occasions to grow and prosper and develop) often present themselves only a handful of times in one’s life.
And it’s also true that these fantastic opportunities don’t just show up out of nowhere. And particularly for an attorney that is unhappy with his or her practice of law, and wants to explore moving into something else, these (mainly) non-legal opportunities that we lawyers are well suited for (the compliance manager with the promising start up, the teaching job at the university, the HR role at the Fortune 500 company, the copy-writing gig with the legal focused publication, the COO role with the marketing firm, the in-house counsel role for the tech enabled services firm, the campaign manager role for the up-and-coming politician, the policy wonk with the think tank, the VP of Biz Dev role with the global manufacturing firm, the consigliore to the C suite, the well-spoken blogger, the detailed SaaS project manager) present themselves after we have done a lot (a lot) of hard, smart, and courageous work.
This work manifests itself in many (very non-sexy, often tiring) ways.
– Consulting for a company on the side, until they find a need and the comfort level and hire you.
– Blogging about a topic you like, not for the money but just because you like to, until your audience and presence grows bigger and bigger.
– Volunteering, exploring, learning, and trying things in an exercise to really nail down your Unique Genius and crystallize what you enjoy and what you are good at.
– Asking for help and advice and guidance from professional colleagues and family and friends until your focus is refined and confident and strong enough to define your next steps.
– Being patient enough to take small baby steps, step after step, until all of your steps have built on one another to make (read: not blaze) a path to a fulfilling job, balanced life and personal confidence.
Yes, you need to jump on opportunities as they present themselves … to take that risk. But also remember that you are likely the one to make this opportunity present itself in the first place.
Excellent point. My version is the analogy of runway vs. lauchpad. Runway implies motion until lift-off. Many of my dissatisfied colleagues sit idle on the launchpad waiting for a new opportunity to come along.
Opportunity presents itself for those that seek it.
I’m obviously not a lawyer, but the points you make are widely applicable for the masses.
It’s a great point, I really like that runway vs. launchpad idea. Many who wait on the launchpad are waiting for things to be “perfect” or “guaranteed” before they do anything, take a babystep or make a move.
Great article. If only we were all smart enough to become entrepreneurs BEFORE law school…we could have saved ourselves a lot of money :p
True. I beat myself up about that. But it is often the struggles and experiences that go through that inform our decisions in life … especially those great entrepreneurial ideas!
Thanks so much for the comment,