Many women who want to leave big law are looking for another job.  Often, they struggle with feeling that their skills aren’t right. They don’t want to take something that sounds like a replacement for “the devil they know”.

I help them hone in on the key word in the phrase “your job search”.

It’s not “job” or “search”.  The key is YOUR.

The place to start is not out in the market, but inside you.

Start to remember what you like to do, what you used to love to do as a kid, what excites you and what you could do for hours.  Remember what gives you a smile, and joy.

Remember how smart, capable and fabulous YOU are.

Finding your SIV (skills, interests and values) are the gold nuggets you want to pan for and hold onto!

Once you identify what’s most important, it’s easier to see what you DO want in work.

How to do it?  Get writing.  Here are a few questions to start mining for your own gold…

  1. Think about an achievement from ANY part of your life.  Could be something you did in college, a volunteer project… anything.
  1. What about it in particular made it a highlight for you?  Was it the people?  The work?  How it made you feel?  Be specific.
  1. What are tasks you love to do… things you get lost in?  Again – does not have to be just from work – look to your whole life experience.  Reading historic novels? Teaching sailing at summer camp? Don’t discount anything – write them down.
  1. Who do you admire?  Anyone living now or in known history.  What do you admire about them?
  1. For values, try this: Write down all the behaviors that you can’t stand – from how you and others get treated at your firm, to behaviors you dislike in friends. Then take the opposite of that. If you don’t like when people speak to you with disrespect and rudeness – you value kind communication.

Now go through and highlight anything that has the hint of an interest, skill or a value.

Build your collection of gold nuggets. It’s a rich foundation.


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4 Steps to Escape from (big) Law

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