- On November 10, 2019
I recently spoke at NAPABA on how to leverage your legal experience into a business career. The panelists and I were all former lawyers who have moved into the business world (clean tech transportation, venture capital, author/coach/podcaster, recruiting).
Five key takeaways from our talk:
- An easy transition is to join your client on the business side after providing legal support. I have seen the following ask their lawyers to join: business/corp development, HR, compliance, licensing (to generate revenue), investments, VCs, and legal ops/software.
- Determine your strengths. Ask yourself what jobs would take advantage of them. Don’t spend valuable time trying to fix weaknesses. Instead, double down on your strengths!
- Get requisite skills, e.g., by volunteering in that space or acting as a community leader so you get management skills. Communicate succinctly, be able to make a case, and get comfortable with numbers.
- Hang out with people in the area you are interested in. Understand how they think, and connect with them. Cultivate relationships without asking for anything in return. Tell other people about your dream job so they can keep your eyes open for you. How else would they know what you want? And when you verbally share your dream, you become more observant to opportunities.
- Realize the risk associated with changing jobs is relatively low. No one will die. At worst you can go back to your old job or similar one. Lawyers are built to persevere and find solutions. Bring those skills with you to your new job!