“Networking” – an often-dreaded activity avoided by many young lawyers. You work so hard to land the perfect first job and probably feel like you do not have time to network. While the traditional networking cocktail hour works for some, it may not be everyone’s favorite scene. The good news is that networking comes in many different forms. Let us start the New Year off with a resolution to network more and make it fun at the same time:
- Network at work: Yes, that is right; you do not even have to leave work to achieve your goal of networking this year. For many young minority attorneys, we think that hard work will get us to the top – whether that is becoming a partner at one’s firm, bringing in clients, winning that first trial, etc. We put our heads down and show everyone we have what it takes. Do not get me wrong, while hard work does pay off, it is extremely important for us to remember to “network at work.” This can be as easy as making an effort to take a few short breaks during the day to walk around to other colleagues’ offices and catch up. In fact, this is a great time to introduce yourself to that new attorney who started a few weeks ago or get to know that staff member who always goes the extra mile. This can also involve going to lunch with coworkers or attending a happy hour. If your firm or organization throws an office party or event for its employees, you should make time to go. Showing that you care about your coworkers and can interact well with others are good traits for leadership positions in your future. “Networking at work” will also give you insight into the types of coworkers and individuals a company values and whether the company is a good fit for you and your career. So next time you need to grab a cup of coffee, go say hello to another coworker; next time you get that firm invite to a party, RSVP. You might not realize it, but you are networking and making a lasting impact at your place of employment and on your career.
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