“This book tells you all you need to know about how to get on.” The Times

“Relatively few books have been written with assistant solicitors in mind, about how to succeed at the business of being a lawyer… fewer still have devised a programme for so doing that runs alongside a book. This book does both.”Law Society (The Law Management Section)

5 star rating HR Magazine

Networking tip 11: Have the right attitude

In my last blog I talked about "working a room" as part of your networking endeavours. So to follow on from that....

The first step to working a room is attitude: You should either feel happy to be there or be able to convey a decent impression of the same. So get into that mindset, or you might as well go home (indeed, I would urge you to do so)!

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Networking tip 10: First impressions

If you want to expand your network, this inevitably means at some point "working a room" and doing this well depends on making a positive first impression. You convey who you are (your personal brand) the moment you enter a room, so remind yourself in advance of what you’re trying to project and make any necessary adjustments to mood or appearance. Body language and voice make up a big part of first impressions, so on entering a room concentrate first on maintaining good posture, exhibiting relaxed alertness, and communicating a warm and friendly tone. You want to convey feel-good factors: positivity, smiles, energy, and enthusiasm. Invoking those things will create the right chemistry for a high-impact impression.

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It’s all in the attitude

A lawyer friend of mine recently lost her job (very unexpectedly and—in my view—quite unfairly): a job that she had really invested herself in and thoroughly enjoyed.  So I was extremely surprised (though equally impressed) when, rather than view her situation as horribly unfair, she chose to view it positively as an opportunity to recharge her batteries.  Her attitude reminded me of a story I once heard that demonstrates that any situation can be viewed as positive or negative, depending upon how we choose to see it…. And a negative situation can very quickly turn into a positive one.  

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Get out of your head

I had lunch a while back with a lawyer friend who was worried about her job.  So she spent most of our lunch playing “What if.” (“What if I lose my job?”  “What if I don’t find another one?”  “What if I can’t pay my mortgage?”)   Thinking about the conversation later I was reminded of a remark once made by Mark Twain that he had been through some really rough times during his life, and in fact some of them had actually happened.  We all do this.  I call it “awfulizing”, meaning, taking a situation and contemplating its worst-case scenario.  We can put ourselves through hell and usually for no reason— because in most cases the worst case doesn’t happen. 

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Welcome failure as feedback

When inventing the light bulb, Thomas Edison failed thousands of times before eventually succeeding.  When asked how it felt to fail so often, Edison replied that he had not failed at all—he had just discovered thousands of ways how not to make a light bulb.  We should all attempt to cultivate such a healthy attitude to failure, because it’s from our failures that we learn the most.  When we fail, we should analyze our mistake, figure out where we went wrong, and then try to discover a better method next time.   Failure is the best (and toughest) feedback there is!   

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