Owning Your Agency: Embracing Your Power to Take Charge of Your Future
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What Does Owning Your Agency Mean?
Owning your agency means recognizing your potential, finding your voice, and taking charge of your life. It also means being aware of consequences. Lawyers possess a blend of skills, knowledge and influence that can shape outcomes, drive change, and foster success. As a lawyer, you’ve faced complexities and challenges every day. You’ve worked through them, overcome them, and managed your career. Now you want to make a change. Owning your agency is not just an option; it’s a necessity. Recognize that, leverage your skill set, own your agency and prepare yourself for change.
Why It’s Important
Owning your agency and embracing your power to take charge can open doors to new and exciting opportunities. The abilities you’ve acquired and honed as a lawyer—critical thinking, problem-solving, communication and adaptability—are highly transferable and can help you successfully navigate a career transition. By leveraging your expertise and owning your agency, you can determine your future.
Actionable Strategies to Set You on a Path to Success
Here are some actionable strategies to gain control of their agency and pave the way for a fulfilling and impactful career outside of law:
Conduct a Self-Assessment: Before embarking on a career change, invest time in self-exploration. Gain an understanding of your strengths, weaknesses and values. Reflect on your passions, interests and skills beyond the legal realm. What industries or roles intrigue you? Clarify your aspirations. Don’t look back and beat yourself up for mistakes. Go back to identify opportunities to grow. Try it again and again. See what you discover. Awareness will help you make informed decisions, set meaningful goals, and focus your efforts where they matter most. Conducting a self-assessment will give you insights into your strengths and the areas where you need to improve. Your passions and your skill set will help guide you in selecting your next career.
Identify Transferable Skills: As a lawyer, you possess a wealth of transferable skills that are highly valued in many sectors. These include analytical thinking, a willingness to work hard, research prowess, negotiating skills, and effective communication, among many other skills. Envision how those skills can be applied in a different context and other roles. Highlight them in your resume and during interviews to showcase your value. According to career coach Chris Edmonds-Waters, you should “focus on outcomes [what you’ve been able to achieve], not just the process aspects of your job.”
Continuously Learn and Enhance Your Skills: Transitioning to a new career may require acquiring knowledge or building credentials. Stay ahead by committing to continuous learning and skill enhancement. Take classes, attend workshops and seminars in your areas of interest. Expand your knowledge base and fill in gaps where you may lack certain skills such as technology proficiency. A well-rounded skill set broadens your opportunities and makes you a more attractive candidate.
Learn about industries that Interest You. Research your target industry to understand its nuances and requirements. Consider taking relevant courses or earning certifications or degrees that enhance your credentials and align with your chosen path. Acquiring new knowledge will boost your confidence and give you a competitive edge in the new arena. Gaining practical experience can bridge the gap between your legal career and your desired future career. Consider volunteering, freelancing or taking on part-time projects that align with your new path. These opportunities not only bolster your resume they also enable you to explore your interests hands-on to see whether you will likely be happy pursuing a career in that field.
Craft a Compelling Narrative: Take time to develop a career change story that you can articulate compellingly. Highlight how your legal background uniquely positions you for success in your new endeavor. Emphasize the skills and experiences that set you apart and make you a particularly valuable candidate. Demonstrate your adaptability and desire to learn and grow. Your ability to communicate persuasively and advocate effectively significantly impacts your agency. It opens up opportunities and positions you for success. Hone your writing and speaking skills. A clear and compelling communicator commands attention, influences opinions, and drives positive outcomes.
Network Professionally and Build Strong Relationships-: Your professional network is an invaluable asset when making a career change. Connect with your contacts, friends, mentors, and industry experts. Learn and seek guidance when needed. Get to know individuals in your desired industry by leveraging your existing connections. Attend industry networking events. Seek informational interviews. Seek out mentors who can offer insights and guidance as you navigate the transition.
Manage Time Effectively: By optimizing your time, you can balance your responsibilities, improve productivity, and maintain a desirable work-life balance and integration.
Embrace Innovation, Change and Adaptability: Embrace innovation and adaptability to remain relevant and influential. Stay informed about emerging trends in industries that interest you. In doing so, you position yourself to anticipate opportunities and changes that can help you identify and define how your skill set makes you the right candidate for a particular job.
Evaluate Opportunities Based on Your Values
According to Juan Velez, a doctoral-trained psychiatric nurse practitioner with the premier residential and outpatient treatment center Sierra Tucson in Southern Arizona, “Don’t change your values to meet or align with new opportunities. Be sure that those opportunities fulfill your core values.”
Owning your agency is a transformative journey that requires self-awareness, determination, and a commitment to continuous growth. By embracing your power to take charge, you can shape your personal life and your career. Implementing these actionable strategies will empower you to overcome challenges and seize opportunities.
Flexibility and Patience: Transitioning to a new career is a journey that requires patience and flexibility. Be open to starting at an entry-level position or taking on projects that build your expertise over time. Embrace a growth mindset, viewing each step as an opportunity to learn and progress toward your goals.
Personal Branding and Online Presence: Craft an updated online presence that reflects your new career direction. Revise your LinkedIn profile, create a professional website or portfolio, and share content related to your target industry. Establishing a strong personal brand can attract relevant opportunities and connect you with like-minded professionals. One excellent way to get started is to do a complimentary 30-minute session with one of our CAREER CORNER experts. Click here to learn more.
You have the power to take charge, own your ambition, and redefine your professional journey. Embrace your agency by leveraging your transferable skills, cultivating connections, and embracing learning opportunities. You can build a successful, fulfilling career that you will love using your legal background as a foundation. By implementing these actionable strategies and remaining committed to achieving your goals, you can identify the path toward and change your life for the better.
Courage to Change
On April 23 of 1910 Teddy Roosevelt delivered a speech entitled “Citizenship in a Republic.” This came to be known as the man in the arena speech.
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