Powering It Up

Sheila Murphy
October 4, 2022

In the classic I Love Lucy episode, Lucy and Ethel work on an assembly line at a chocolate factory when they become overwhelmed. They keep doing the same thing. Well, maybe not exactly because they start eating the chocolates to try to get everything under control. At points in our career, like Lucy and Ethel, many of us keep doing the same thing out of rote - even though it is not working for us.

Here are my three tips to power up what you do when you find yourself in this position.

Tip 1: Assessment

Take the time to think about what your big goals are. Is it to build a book of business, earn a promotion, change jobs or learn more about opportunities outside of a legal career?  

To assess where you are, you need clarity about your goals - not the firm’s or company’s goals but what you are looking for in your career and life.

Once you have that clarity, look at where you spend your time and if that is furthering your journey or keeping you in place. If to get the promotion or be considered for partner you need to build internal relationships and you are not carving out time for that - you must assess it.

You need to know what you should be saying no to and what you should be saying yes to and then doing this.

Changing where we spend our time is hard because we all like to hold on to things that we are comfortable with and good at. But you need to shed those things that are not serving you well by helping you advance.

So, if you need to work on more strategic projects or handle a multinational deal alone to raise your profile, you may need to give up the project managing deals or litigation role. 

Tip 2- Power Up Plan

Knowing what is essential to propel you on your journey is not enough. It would be best if you had a plan to follow.

I recommend brainstorming first, writing down anything you could do to move forward. Some categories to consider are relationship building and nurturing, building and amplifying your professional profile, and skill building (influencing people, talent development, client conversion, or public speaking).

During the brainstorming phase, you may wish to seek out guidance from others as to what matters. Doing this could include asking potential targets about their biggest worries or finding out what the job market is seeking.

The next step is to evaluate the possibilities and see which will give you the most significant return on the investment of your time. Time is your most limited and valuable resource. Make it count.

Finally, translate these actions into SMART goals (Specific Measurable Attainable, Relevant, and Time Bound).

Tip 3- Obtain Support and Accountability Help

What prevents most people from attaining their goals is execution and mindset. Making change is hard and it can feel uncomfortable. For these reasons, it is easy to put off to another day.

You must figure out a way to get support and accountability help. For those who are self-motivated, calendaring dates and check-ins may be enough. However, if you find yourself stagnant and not moving forward, you must re-assess this approach.

It would help if you found what works for you and put it in place. I have found a peer group, mentor, or coach to be beneficial. For this reason, I use all three to keep me on track with my own career and business development.

To power up your career you need to assess where you are - what is and is not working, create a plan that will propel you forward, and put in the guardrails to ensure that you take the necessary action. Otherwise, you will be staying put like Ethel and Lucy and just cramming chocolates in your mouth rather than moving forward.


Ready to build your book of business?

Download Sheila's 9 Tips for Lawyers Struggling to Build a Book of Business where she shares her time-tested tips to release fear, transform your relationship with business development, and launch your rainmaker journey.

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