If you have just got your law degree, you may not consider 2020 to be the best year for starting your career journey.
Looking for a job in this domain is daunting, even in the best of time. It can be well imagined how tough things can get in the pandemic era.
With global businesses being disrupted, you can expect a downturn in this domain as well and the opportunities may not be as glorious as you may have imagined.
Still, you can make it with the right approach and creative strategies that address the unprecedented circumstances.
Here are some useful pieces of job search advice for new lawyers to help them navigate the COVID-19 era.
1. Realign your expectations
All the success stories in the legal domain may have given you big dreams about an amazing start but remember that things are anything but normal right now.
The job market is witnessing a major slump and the number and nature of opportunities are contracting, all because clients are dwindling.
Obviously, the result will affect your job search and it may take longer than you’d planned or you may not get the profile or salary offer you’d expected.
The best thing to do in the current situation is to realign your expectations according to the new normal.
2. Focus on networking and connections
Even before you start looking for your first job, do look around and assess your network and connections in the industry.
The people with good experience and standing will probably help you with some good guidance to handle the anomalies of the situation.
At the same time, they may even tap their own relationships and links to find you the right opportunity if you are fortunate enough.
The best thing about connecting with people is that they can bring positivity and motivation in such tough times.
3. Look for opportunities at the right places
While leveraging your connections and network is a good idea, you need to understand the significance of looking for opportunities at just the right places.
Choose a trusted job board listing and search for all the options in your area. For example, you can check Chicago legal recruiters to find the best job opportunities.
Things can get easier by opting for such targeted searches because you end up finding more relevant opportunities without wasting time.
Joining your law school alumni association is a good idea to get job leads and build connections.
4. Stay updated with the trends
Keep close track of the local job market apart from visiting job forums and sites regularly.
Rather than limiting your news intake to periodic checks, access them constantly for the latest updates.
A constant view of the bigger picture will give you a better perspective and reduce the immediate stress.
Although this is a grave situation, don’t consider it as the end of the road because you are just starting your career.
A positive attitude can help you weather the storm and go a long way ahead.
5. Play the long game
Right now, it seems easy to have tunnel vision because you are likely to be anxious about securing your first employment.
Consider expanding your perspective and you will surely be able to build a bright future ahead.
Think about the situation to be an opportunity because anyone who starts their career in a crisis and still sustains through it is bound to come out stronger and smarter than others who may not have struggled at all.
Play the long game by remaining flexible as the market is evolving.
Be open to the new possibilities such as a lateral move, a temporary placement, or a new practice area.
6. Consider expanding your expertise
Not getting your dream opportunity right now isn’t the end of the world.
Although many law firms have paused hiring right now, you can expect a boom in some practice areas in the foreseeable future.
For example, there will be high demand in fields like bankruptcy and restructuring, tax, insurance, and employment law.
This is the right time to follow these growth trends and build your expertise in these areas so that you can grab the chance when it comes.
You may even consider continuing your education or pursuing part-time courses in such fields of law that may be in demand in the coming time.
7. Build your law brand
Even though there may be a dearth of good opportunities now, things will surely look up sooner or later. So it makes sense to utilize the downtime for working on your professional profile.
Focus on building your brand, with an impressive resume that is bound to get the attention of the recruiters.
Optimize your LinkedIn profile as well because this is a good source of securing the best chances in the industry and create a solid network as well.
Take online classes for developing interpersonal skills because they add value to your professional expertise.
Consolidate your strengths and make up for your weaknesses and you will surely be able to get the best job once things are back to normal.
8. Seek support
This is the tightest situation you may ever have to face but thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone. Seek support because there will be plenty of it if you reach out.
If your finances are running low, manage your budget judiciously, and research the government legislation like student loan relief. Share your concerns with your fellow students and you may even find a way out with brainstorming.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help but remember to return the favor when you can.
The news is not heartening right now, with industry reports of hiring freezes, compensation reductions, and layoffs by law firms across the country.
You may not be really hopeful about giving your career the kind of start you may have always envisioned but this shouldn’t be the reason to give up after all the hard work you may have invested in getting your degree.
Focus on things you can control and be extra attentive about your physical and mental well-being. This will pass and you will certainly get the chance you deserve!
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