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There’s no better time to improve than when you have a clean slate with a new year
A new year can bring hope and progress, no matter your career. After indulging throughout the holidays and gearing up to reset and return to work in January, it’s the perfect time to make resolutions and evaluate the previous year’s wins and losses.
As a lawyer or legal professional, there are certain mindsets to rethink or plans to reassess. And doing so at the beginning of the new year is a great way to hold yourself accountable and to have time to reflect.
These 5 resolution suggestions will help you get the ball rolling.
1. If you’re not happy, leave
At the end of the year, think about how happy you are with your current position. Start by asking yourself these questions:
- Am I being challenged every day?
- Am I overworked?
- Am I stressed because of work?
- Do I receive adequate compensation for the hours I’m putting in?
- Are there days when I dread getting out of bed and going into the office?
Sometimes, you’ll know right away that you’re not happy, but you have x, y, and z reasons for staying at a job you hate. “Just until I get a raise,” or “The insurance is really good.”
There are a million reasons not to take a risk that could improve your life. But the truth is, if you’re not happy at work, there’s a place out there that would make you happier. Whether it be pay, benefits, hours, or the people you work with, you could find something that meets every priority on your list.
Make the new year the time you’ll stop settling and get what you want from your career. Once you are job searching and interviewing, you may surprise yourself to see how easy it is to move on to something better.
2. Expand your network
Whether you’re just starting out in your career or have been at it for a decade, it’s never a bad idea to seek guidance. A mentor could help you take a new perspective or prepare you for what’s ahead. On the other hand, mentoring someone new to the field could also teach you a lot about yourself, while you would also be helping someone in need of guidance.
In addition to engaging with mentorships, try to expand the network of legal professionals that you interact with and get advice from. Attend events or conferences in your area. There are plenty of development and networking events out there, so it’s easy to get involved.
Interacting with others who share your passion can invigorate your drive to help people. It can remind you why you do what you do.
3. Improve your online presence
If you’ve been putting off revamping your website or updating your Twitter account, 2019 is the time to dive in. Being online and sending updates is important for legal professionals, as more of the population continues to utilize search engines and online reviews to find legal help.
While people may trust personal legal referrals over a Google search, that may soon change. In fact, BrightLocal’s 2018 Local Consumer Review Survey showed that 91 percent of people between 18 and 34 trust online reviews just as much as recommendations from people they know.
So, how you’re viewed online matters. And you won’t be able to have control over that reputation unless you’re actively putting out content and figuring out what potential clients want.
Start by looking at your website from an SEO perspective. You could even hire an SEO professional to ensure you’re implementing keywords and utilizing your content to your advantage.
Then, start engaging with people on social media, and ask former clients to leave you reviews or testimonials. Whatever area you need to focus on most, make building your online reputation a priority this year.
4. Create a more detailed schedule
A big culprit of slow productivity is poor time management. As the new year approaches, write down how you normally spend your day. If you find you don’t have enough hours to get everything done, or you’re always stressed to meet a deadline, there’s bound to be something you can cut out or shorten to improve the flow of things.
It may help to create a priority list each day. What absolutely has to be done today, and what could be pushed to tomorrow? Plan out the week in advance, so you know what tasks need to be completed, when.
Once you have a better idea of your normal work schedule, you can start tweaking it to see what works best for your productivity and your sanity.
5. Give back
In 2019, consider taking on more pro bono cases or volunteering more of your time. Even if you have to squeeze it in, it will be a rewarding way to help those who can’t afford expert legal services. The Legal Services Corporation found that in 2017, 86 percent of the civil legal issues that low-income Americans faced did not get adequate legal assistance.
Help address this need by putting these cases into your cycle. There’s clearly a need for more affordable legal services, so make this a priority for 2019. This is also a great way to expand your network even more and could lead to additional clients down the road.
Legal professionals have a million things to consider, like client satisfaction, work schedules, areas of expertise, and more. By setting yourself up for success at the beginning of the year with these resolutions, you can make 2019 your best year yet.
Boss Certified Realtime Reporting provides court reporting services for everything from trials and mediations, to dispositions and conferences. We’re accurate, fast, and in your corner. For more information call us at 954-467-6867, or connect with us online today!