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Hunting for the Right Job

published February 01, 2013

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 2 votes, average: 3.9 out of 5)
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Job hunting can be either a catastrophe or a triumph. From long experience in dealing with a variety of job seekers, we've come to the conclusion that looking for and getting a job is a skill. It is a skill that anyone can learn easily and perhaps for that reason it is too often disregarded or discarded. Like any skill, it requires some training, careful analysis, and huge amounts of determination and perseverance. If you are armed with the right tools for job hunting, finding your "place in the sun" can be an exciting as well as a rewarding experience.

In looking for a job, always aim for the best available and try to avoid settling for less. But you must maintain an open and realistic attitude, evaluating each opportunity with a flexible and farsighted view. Even if at the outset you don't find the "perfect" job, the one you do get may be the first step of your climb to success.

While we believe in trying to hold out for the very best, we are also aware that a job is often what you make of it. It is not unusual to hear that someone who took an associate's job very soon moved into a senior associate's position. Remember that the most exciting jobs are usually filled by people who are already with the firm.

Are Jobs Available?

One of the most important attributes a job seeker must have is a realistic and optimistic point of view. You must realize that, whether the economy is booming or sluggish, there are always job openings. Law firms are forever recruiting. Some people retire, others are promoted, and staff vacancies are created. Usually someone must be hired to fill them. No matter what economic conditions may be, someone is always trying to hire someone else. Were this not so, employment agencies would have to close their doors; on the contrary, more than 5,000 agencies in the United States are currently interviewing applicants and getting job specifications from personnel directors. And they support themselves by the fees they get for matching applicants to the job "specs."

In times of economic recession, recent law graduates might have to hunt a little longer for jobs, liberal arts graduates may have to settle temporarily for lesser goals, and the "phased outs" might have to change specialties or even relocate; but if each person is looking seriously for work and puts forth sincere effort, more than adequate compensation will result. Often, the outcome of a successful job campaign (even in "hard times) is several job offers, and the problem changes from "how to find a job" to "which one shall I accept?"

You should take the job where you'll be happiest. Every job has its psychological fringe benefits, and these, in the long run, can more than counterbalance what might be a slight initial salary deficiency. If you are happy in a job, you will do good work (and conversely, if you do good work, you'll be happy) and rapidly receive tangible recognition. In addition, contentment in your work will spill over into other areas of your life and is, therefore, an important and vital job asset.

The Positive Tide

There is always a shortage of job seekers in certain areas. Can you believe that law offices all over the country are reporting their needs for qualified job applicants with two to ten years experience? Although everybody hears about a supposed oversupply of lawyers, the people in a position to hire are conscious of the difficulties in recruiting personnel today. More men and women are graduating with law degrees, but many go on to government jobs or into law-related fields. Other graduates are women who soon leave the profession to raise a family and-at the most-return to work only in a part-time capacity.

At the moment, law offices are faced with serious hiring problems. They report a lack of capable applicants for any position. There may be many people hunting for jobs; there are still many jobs looking for people.

Another reason for this personnel shortage is that employed people are "staying put." Law offices are experiencing fewer turnovers than in the recent past, and no longer are there employed people in search of greener pastures, willing to gamble on "trading-up." Consequently the total number of experienced and qualified people who are job hunting is smaller-much smaller-than in recent years.

It might well be that the type of position you are seeking is much easier to find now than it would have been in the sixties or early seventies. This is the positive aspect of a slow lawyer and paralegal market. There is the pervasive feeling of potential inflation; people who are working are not looking for new or better job opportunities, but rather are seeking stability. This leaves fewer people competing for the existing jobs. As a result, in what would seem to be a tight job market because of the influx of lawyers, it might be far easier than you had expected to find the job you want.

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Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

More about Harrison

About LawCrossing

LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit