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When to Say No To New Job Offers or New Positions in the Same Firm

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Even though these may be more lucrative than your current position, you must learn to reject such offers gracefully, if you want continued career success.

Usually, both by personal choice and by influence of market dynamics, lawyers end up in positions or jobs which naturally utilize their core strengths. This is where they start tasting real success. Often the strengths that find you success in a particular position may fail you in a different position or situation. So, it is critical to assess whether any new offer of job or position are in line with your personal strengths and skills. If your new position doesn't have chances to emphasize your core strengths, the chances of you finding immediate success is pretty lean.


That of course brings us to postulate that it is essential for you to identify your strengths and look for chances where they may be put to good effect. It is also similarly important to identify your weaknesses, or rather areas where you do not excel, in order to avoid offers that tax your weaknesses. It is tempting to take up such offers as challenging, but usually it is difficult to sustain career success with consistency in a position that exposes your weaknesses.

You must also learn to say no to offers or positions which might be in line with your strengths but involves work that you have no liking for. Chances are, even though you will be able to hold your own in such a position, it will be difficult either to build or sustain career success in functions that you inherently dislike.

Successful attorneys do not grow naturally, but success is the outcome of their conscious decisions. Successful attorneys are usually wise enough to say no to positions where they would be incompatible, and find situations which they like, the kind of work that they like, and the opportunities that allow them to grow to full potential, even though it might take some time.

A lawyer's life is stress-filled in ordinary circumstances. Billable hour requirements, client demands, work-life balance, need for professional success, all take a toll. You need to be very clear about your strengths, weaknesses, and goals to inch towards the position that will bring you success. And for that you need an enormous amount of patience, and the grit to say no to immediately lucrative opportunities that can harm your progress and career rather than augmenting it.

Last of all, it is quite possible, that in a certain phase of life you do not want to continue in law firm life at all. It is better to do what you want to, if that position exposes your strengths and covers up your weaknesses. Many strike out solo. Many even take up alternative careers ranging from teaching to politics. But whatever you do, career success can come only while doing something you like to do and feel good at.


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