Congratulations! You finally landed that new job you wanted and now your headed to a new law firm, or maybe even a new corporate legal department. What’s your plan now? If this situation applies to you and you’re struggling for an answer, please pay attention.
There are several things a lawyer should plan for when taking a new position – this is no matter whether the position is in a firm or legal department. One of the most important plans should include connecting with your new employer and your new co-workers. Connecting will help you transition into your new role and it will foster professional bonds that will help your position grow. If you need help connecting, just follow these tips.
Consider the alternative. Let’s assume you enter your new work environment with a negative attitude filled with ill-will. Do you really think you’ll be employed for long?
Every lawyer should be nice when starting a new job (and even when going to work every day). Having a friendly attitude means you’re easy to work with and a pleasure to be around. These are great things that employers love to see out of new hires.
Become Part of the Team
Don’t hide in your office or run from social events. Employers want attorneys that enjoy interacting with peers and believe in a “team” mentality. Thus, engage with others – not just with other lawyers, but with office managers, assistants, legal support staff, and paralegals. Join co-workers for lunch. Seek out office events to attend. If available, join a firm committee or a company group. Finally, try to get onboard large-scale projects that require a collaboration of firm/company efforts.
This doesn’t mean you have to hug your desk. But, it does mean you must show genuine interest in your employer and your commitment to your specific position. Disinterested attorneys will go by the wayside. Senior lawyers will forget them when bonus and promotion times come around. Unpassionate attorneys will also get perceived as not committed to the employer’s growth and success. This is not a good thing.
Find Common Bonds
Starting with a new firm or business is definitely hard. This is especially true when you don’t really know any other employees. It can be hard to make connections, let alone new friends.
This is where common bonds come in. It’s easier to connect with people that we share something in common with. Thus, look for co-workers that you have a common bond with – e.g., shared schools, similar hobbies, and same past employers. Ask co-workers questions to help find these bonds. Or, look at their profiles on a company website. Once a bond is found, nurture it.
Introduce Yourself to Clients
If practicable, reach out to firm or company clients and let them know who you are. Make them aware that you’re new to the legal department or law firm. Provide some brief information as to your background and inform them that you’re excited to work with them.
Prior to introductions, it’s often a good idea to ensure the practice is agreeable with firm or company policies. Simply ask a supervisor or colleague before contacting clients. If they give you a green light, then start making phone calls or look for ways to meet clients in person.
Starting a new job can be a little scary at times, and it may naturally cause some anxiety. But, know that it’s a new opportunity and new opportunities can be fun and rewarding. Therefore, look for ways to connect with a new employer. Show your new firm or company that you’re excited to hop onboard. Simply follow the above tips and you’ll do awesome. Also, know that QUID PRO QUO is always here to answer any questions you may have – simply contact us!