How to manage your career and add value to your Firm in the process

“Career Management” is a key topic in the legal industry.  However, professionals are often unsure how to manage their own upward momentum without losing sight of their firm’s goals.  How do you “do right” by your Firm while still doing right by yourself?  The answer is to make sure you identify the right skills to develop.  If you take a proactive approach towards identifying and developing the core competencies and skills that your firm most values, you’ll be adding value to your firm, better serving your clients, and adding to your career portfolio.

In a recent article for NALP, I talked about how the legal recruiting and professional development markets are evolving.  There has been considerable growth in both industries in recent years and I’m optimistic about the opportunities for legal recruiting and PD professionals.

Both industries are also ripe for proactive career management.  With change comes opportunity.  Last year, we developed Core Competency Models for legal recruitment and professional development.  We did this because it’s one thing to tell people, “You need to proactively manage your career and figure out what skills your firm needs you to have,” but it’s much, much better to say, “These are the skills your industry demands, which ones can you improve upon?”  I believe using Core Competencies is the best way to target your own professional development.  Though these tools are not firm-specific, they provide a framework to help you figure out which skills are especially important to you, your firm, and your clients.

I hope these Competency Models help professionals pinpoint their career development goals.  What areas do you want to improve upon?  Project management?  Or maybe your firm really values relationship building?  Whatever it is, identify a few behaviors or skills and focus on developing yourself in those areas throughout 2012.  Your clients, managers, and future self will thank you!


WCE’s Core Competency Models for Recruitment, PD, and Marketing/BD are available HERE.

Read the full NALP article, “State of the Industry: An Overview of the Recruiting and PD Professions in Law Firms,” HERE.

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