The Job Offer: Accepting a Non-Legal Position

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Any job search is an emotional and exhausting time in your life. Searching for a non-legal position with a law degree is especially difficult. You will find yourself educating employers about the specifics of a law degree and all the wonderful skills a legally trained professional can bring to their organization, while trying to sell yourself as an individual. It may become frustrating and difficult to keep a positive attitude. You will need to dig way down to find that positive, enthusiastic and motivated person that you want to present to employers.

Career counselors are your best resource for encouragement, fresh ideas and approaches, and new contacts. Keep in touch with the staff in your career planning and placement office. Every day they receive new information about potential career paths, employers who are hiring, and trends in the field. They are an essential part of your career plan and are willing to help.

Job offers seem to come in groups. Evaluating job offers is the part of the job-hunting process for which most people are least prepared. After all the time you have invested, it is important to consider each offer carefully and not to jump at the first offer if it cannot meet your needs. Make sure that when you are offered a position, you are accepting under the best possible terms for you and the employer. Take out your "ideal job" list and assess which things you will get from the job and what you have to give up. Re-assess you interests and abilities. Will you have the opportunity to use those professional skills that will allow you to be successful in the position? What about salary and benefits? Has the employer discussed your possible career path and compensation within the organization? Are you satisfied? Could you negotiate for the long term if you are not satisfied in the short term? And what if the job is just not right: how do you decide whether to say "no" and continue your search?

Career planning will help you to ask the right questions and to accept a position with your eyes open. Remember that you are a talented, unique individual with special skills and abilities to share, and


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