Job Search Strategies: fortitude is what you need

Aurora Donnelly is a solo practitioner always looking forward to the next exciting transition.

A colleague received a job offer this week for a position she has been pursuing for two years. The offer came from a law firm where she worked as a clerk during law school. Her perseverance finally paid off. Her satisfaction is profound.

This situation is a reflection of the current economy and of the career difficulties that lawyers, like everyone else, are going through. But it reminds me that you have to go after what you want with unflagging fortitude. I know, those sound like solemn words for just a job search, but they are apt words.

My colleague had a positive work record with the law firm as a clerk before applying for work there as an associate. She knew the managers and her peers well. She knew the processes and rules of the place. When she applied for a permanent position at an on campus interview as a third year, she was told there was not a position for her at that time, but that she should keep in contact. It took fortitude to overcome her discouragement at being told every couple of months since then that there was still no position for her and to keep trying.

My friend had specifically decided to be a “court lawyer like Jack McCoy” from a very young age and this position was exactly what she wanted. In fact, it was the only position she wanted. The words, “stay in contact” were all she needed to hear. And she did that for two years. She stayed in contact while she tended bar, worked as a waitress and did contract document review work, sometimes concurrently.

There were low times, when she forgot about wanting to be a lawyer, rued going to law school and generally put the whole lawyer thing out of her mind. But, curiously, doing document review work reminded her of what she really wanted and she drew new energy from that mundane task. Her efforts paid off this week and a newly energized attorney will be out there, pursuing her career desire. I am pretty sure her strong desire will impel her to make things a little bit better while she does so.

Take heed of the moral of this story. Keep at it, keep pushing, don’t give up, use your contacts, use the phone, use the mail, but don’t be robbed of what or who, you really want to be. There are many stories like this one out there, and yours could be one of them.



One response to “Job Search Strategies: fortitude is what you need

  1. Way to go!!! That’s what it takes these days…Perseverance and the guts to hang in there! Good Job!!! Never give up on yourself!!!

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