Find your own professional happiness and legal success


Ed notes: Please welcome Wendi Weiner to our page. She will write articles on how lawyers can achieve a successful career both inside and outside the law.

When I graduated from law school, my mother handed me a copy of Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, where are you going!” She wrote on the cover of the book: “You are just beginning to get in touch with your bright star. Tight Hold it tight. The adventure has just begun.”

For the next 12 years, I kept these words to my heart. My legal career will be full of winding roads, unknown detours and new roads. Failure, redo and new beginning will also encounter it. After all, this is all part of the adventure.

I think that the happiness of the legal profession depends on being a partner in a well-known law firm, but I don’t want to be a partner. Since my 2nd grade OCI (on-campus interview), this mode of thinking has been deeply ingrained. As a result, in most of my legal professions, I feel lost, unable to fulfil and feel scared.

In 2011, after having dinner with a college friend, I took part in the New York Marathon lottery on a whim. I hope this is a few years into the process, but I soon realized that I would be selected in the first application. At that time, I had reached the peak of frustration in my legal career. The 2008 recession swept the legal profession. This also caused my physical health to deteriorate despite the declining conditions.

I took the opportunity of participating in the marathon to redirect my attention and direction, thinking that running will give me time to think, process and reflect on my career, and it also brings me new opportunities for a healthier life. I hope to find the answer on the long and lonely road as a backpacker. So, after I participated in the New York Marathon draw, I did what any novice runner would do: I joined an advanced running group. Most people will know that they need to start training at 4:30 AM on Saturday, so they will quit, but I am ready for the challenge.

On a Saturday morning, my running coach ran next to me. I remember she said to her: “It’s really hard.” She turned to me and said, “Of course it’s hard. Life starts at the end of the comfort zone.” It hit me like a ton of bricks. I have spent a long time in my comfort zone and have been living and doing business-worrying about risks, failures and anything that seems non-linear. Why am I so afraid to do something different?

At 20 miles of the marathon, I kept her voice and that sentence in mind, until the race really started, it continued to 22 miles and 24 miles. My body is empty, but my mind is stronger than ever-stronger than any refusal to work, stronger than any difficult opposing lawyer, stronger than any frustration in my legal career. The day I crossed the finish line, my perception of the legal profession changed forever-in fact, it gave me the confidence to leave the law in a few years and pursue my professional happiness as a writer and coach.

If things are not linear, we often question our skills, abilities and even occupations. However, finding your own unique path to success in law (or in other legal professions) may be the best thing you have ever experienced. You can restore the confidence that was hidden or buried. You can find happiness in the freedom of new opportunities, new goals and new paths.

To continue to promote creative development, it takes years of ups and downs. In the toughest moments of a marathon, it requires a high degree of self-confidence and perseverance. It requires infinite power to make your ears hear the negative voices of others who doubt you or say they cannot do it.

Crossing the marathon finish line and finding inner courage is a powerful thing. It gives you confidence, hope and determination. It allows you to see the possibilities within you and the potential that still exists.

A few days ago, I opened the book and turned to the last page.

“And, will you succeed? Yes! Indeed, you will! (98% and ¾% guaranteed.) Boy, you have to move the mountain!”

In my new column, I will discuss how to develop your unique personal brand, how to use LinkedIn, and how to find professional happiness and fulfillment, even if you decide to pursue a career outside of the law. I hope my column will help you discover new opportunities and new ways to position yourself inside and outside the legal profession. When I set foot on the new column above the law, please feel free to send me career-related questions.

Remember, all of us are participating in marathons and our profession is not a sprint.

Wendi Weiner is a lawyer, professional expert and founder of the following organizations Master of writing, An award-winning executive resume writing service company. Wendi has created a strong professional and personal brand for the job search and digital footprint of lawyers, executives, and senior executives/board leaders. She has also written articles about lawyers’ alternative careers, personal branding, LinkedIn storytelling, career strategies, and the job search process for major publications.You can contact her via email, Keep in touch with her LinkedInAnd follow her on Twitter @thewritingguru.

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