Like gladiators in a colosseum, these days lawyers face extremely tough competition raising their profile and fighting for promotion. It can be an incredibly dog eat dog, competitive environment where Associates and Senior Associates line in queues waiting to be promoted, and NQs battle to be retained, applying for oversubscribed vacancies sometimes 30-1 in some firms!
In any case, when it comes to wanting to progress, putting your head above the parapet, stepping outside your comfort zone and making yourself as visible as possible in the organisation is the only way to shine amongst your peers.
It’s important to increase your visibility as much as you can if you are looking to get noticed.
Speak up in Meetings. You should feel comfortable sharing ideas and if necessary challenging fellow team members if you feel passionately about an idea.
Work on your Self Confidence. Learning how to be a more engaging speaker so you make a bigger impact on people’s memories for the right reasons can be a fantastic way of getting your name out there.
Be an expert. Know your Craft. Whatever service area you chose to specialise in, be the best at it. Read books to develop your knowledge, carry out extracurricular research, ask for help and training on areas you need to improve and insist on regular updates with your boss to track your progress.
It’s a simple fact in any industry, the individuals that work the hardest, will always come out on top.
Ask for high visibility projects. Is there a way you can cross over into other departments or take on assignments that will have an impact on the organisations bottom line? Don’t always wait for someone to ask for your involvement, or for an opportunity to come along. Make one! Look for opportunities to improve in areas where you consider there to be potential weakness and suggest ways to make positive changes.
Grow Your Network. Do you spend time having lunch with the same people each day? Even though these people are great advocates, your personal support network should far extend beyond your immediate team!
You can also spend more time on social media networking with people and become what is now commonly known as a Thought Leader in your industry. How do you do this? Perhaps you could start writing articles and blogs or say something new and become a disrupter, if you are brave enough! Define your audience, and keep putting out good content, demonstrating yourself as a well-informed expert in your chosen area of law.
Highlight Others Achievements. Whilst its absolutely crucial to work on your own visibility, particularly when the competition is fierce, remember to stay humble and be supportive of the people working around you.
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that pushing yourself to be more visible also stands you in good stead for potential future moves to other law firms. Anything you do to raise your profile now will be a considered an achievement, and noteworthy to any potential new employers! So, whether you stay where you are or move on to pastures new, working on your profile now, is a win win!