How to Jumpstart a Stalled Legal Career

Remember when it seemed that your legal job was continually changing and branching in new directions? You regularly faced new, exciting challenges? But perhaps now your work continues unchanged, your compensation remains static, and you’ve lost enthusiasm for your current role. If this describes your professional life, your legal career may have stalled.

Whatever the cause, here are some career advice tips to breathe new life into your legal career:

Get out of your cocoon. Too often, legal professionals fall behind because they’ve isolated themselves. While it’s not necessary to be your firm’s social butterfly, it’s important to remain genuinely interested in the people and activities around you. Start by increasing communications and interaction with your boss. Perhaps ask your supervisor about issues facing your law firm or company in the coming months. In so doing, you should be able to demonstrate that you’re truly engaged in the organization.

Renew your commitment to ongoing learning. Have you enrolled in a CLE session recently, learned about a new technology, read a much-discussed business book? If not, pursue legal training and development opportunities that will increase your value as a professional and breathe fresh life into your legal career.

Establish your leadership potential. Consider becoming active in an association for legal professionals if you haven’t already done so. Offer to speak at a legal industry event or write an article for an industry blog or publication. Creative interaction with other legal professionals will help to recharge your career and enhance your visibility -- and that of your firm’s.

Take on something new. A guaranteed way to revitalize your legal career is to add value to your role -- perhaps assume a new responsibility or offer to lead a high-profile project. Sure, it’s risky to take on something new, but there’s nothing but upside if you succeed.

Have a heart-to-heart with your boss. Engage your manager in a candid discussion about your legal job performance and future with the firm. Actively seeking your supervisor's opinion and advice shows that you’re open to change and receptive to improvement. You’ll also come away with a better feel for whether or not you’ve reached your potential in your current position.

While a stalled legal career is cause for concern, it’s a relatively common occurrence. What’s important is that you recognize where you’re at and react in a constructive manner, sending a clear message you haven’t lost your drive to succeed.

If you have suggestions to offer to revitalize a stalled legal career, please add a comment below.