Aug 09
business people meet at a coffee shop

Look for a Job Like It’s 1999

What’s the single easiest step most people take to look for a job?  Send a resume to a position that has been posted online.

What’s one of the least effective ways to find a new job? Send resumes for positions that have been posted online.

The Internet age has brought with it many tools that can make the process of changing careers more efficient.  I do not pine for the days before websites, when it was much harder to do research on perspective careers and employers. But the Internet can make the process of changing careers more difficult than it needs to be.  This is especially true for lawyers who are looking to leave the practice of law, or make another significant career change.

As a career coach for lawyers, I know that the best way to explore an unfamiliar path is to make that exploration personal.  If you can, when contacting people who know something about an option you are considering, choose to meet people in person or talk to them by phone.  Too many lawyers conduct a majority of their career transition between their ears.  That’s understandable.  It can be safer to be lost in your own thoughts than actually talk to other people about them.

That’s why it can be helpful to handle your career transition as if it was 1999.  That doesn’t mean you banish all Internet-based research.  But imagine if you had to find out what you wanted to do next or who to talk to without consulting a website.  What would you do if you had to rely primarily on conversations with other people such as librarians, friends, former colleagues, and other people you already know?

Try it.  You might be surprised at how the job transition process becomes more fulfilling when you stop staring at a computer screen. And yes, I am aware of the irony involved in me providing this advice on a blog.

Irony noted; now go ahead and try it.