I began writing this post after working an 8am to 8pm day. That is common in my line of work, and despite the long hours, I can still honestly say that I enjoy my job. Before I finished the state court clerkship that I mentioned in Part I, I had a choice between my current job and another in the public sector. So, how did I go from being dumped by a law firm in my home state to getting a clerkship that required moving across the country to a state where I knew no one and getting two different job offers less than a year later? I incorporated a few commonly used LOA techniques to focus myself and my energy on getting what I wanted.
Talk to People Who Have What You Want
I don’t know if it was the LOA or just plain common sense, but I knew I needed to network in order to get a job. Networking is the best way to talk to people who have what you want because most people at networking events are employed.
Now, let’s be honest: networking is awkward. You go to events, you go straight to the bar so you can calm your nerves before speaking to anyone, you walk up to someone who looks somewhat friendly, you pretend to hear his or her name as you make sure you say yours correctly while shaking their hand firmly and fumbling a drink in the other hand. You make small talk and try to strike the delicate balance between being friendly and saying “PLEASE HIRE ME!!!” You speak to them long enough to get a business card and write an awkward follow-up email the next day, adding a quip about something you discussed that the other person probably doesn’t even remember.
In reality, it’s really not that bad. Being a law clerk reduced the awkwardness of networking tremendously. First, I was familiar with a lot of attorneys because I regularly saw them in my Judge’s courtroom or around the courthouse. This made it easier to find a familiar face when I walked into a networking event. Second, as a law clerk, attorneys had a reason to be nice. Not that they weren’t going to be nice in the first place, but there was a higher level of familiarity and cordiality toward law clerks due to their connection to Judges they appeared before. Finally, once I went to a few networking events, I discovered that it was generally the same group of attorneys frequenting these events. Keep in mind, networking is just as awkward for employed people. Seeing a familiar face always makes things easier on them as well. So, after a while, it wasn’t an awkward exercise, it was actually fun to see the same people and I was a lot more comfortable.
Avoid Talking about What You Don’t Want
During this time, the legal job market was still in a tough place. There were a multitude of blog posts and newspaper articles out there on how stupid it was for anyone to go to law school because there were no jobs left. There were times where my recent graduate friends would discuss how terrible the job market was and they would tell stories about certain people they knew being unemployed for years after graduating. And I just didn’t want to talk about it. It didn’t feel good to talk about it. So, I just simply focused on the fact that I was going to have a job when the clerkship ended. I didn’t know how. I just knew it would happen.
The Universe Takes Care of the “How”
As a result of consistent networking, I was told to apply to two different jobs: one in the public sector and one with a local mid-sized firm. The public sector opportunity came from a conversation I had with its local director following a courthouse event. I was introduced to him by my Judge and I had an authentic and passionate conversation with the director about how I felt about drug policies. A few weeks later, he contacted me and told me to send in my resume.
The law firm opportunity was a result of interactions I had with a partner and a couple associates in the firm who appeared before my Judge in various matters. Additionally, several members of the law firm frequented the networking events I was consistently attending. One day, the partner walked into my Judge’s chambers. She asked me what I wanted to do after the clerkship and told me that I should consider sending my resume to her firm. Then, she left. I quickly checked the calendar and saw she did not have anything on that day. She had come in to chambers just to tell me that.
Create a Vision Board
So, I applied to both jobs and made a vision board on my computer with a cartoon character in the center with a speech bubble saying “I got a new job!” that I found on Google images. Above the cartoon character was the Google Maps image of the front of the building where the public sector job was located and next to that was a picture of the law firm’s logo that I pulled off its website. I saved that vision board to the background of my laptop and stared at it constantly. At that point, I didn’t know which job I wanted, but I had decided that I was going to get an offer from both and figure out where to go from there.
… and Receive
And that is exactly what happened. After having strong interviews with both employers, I received an offer from the public sector job and was given a few days to respond. I immediately called the law firm to tell them that I had an offer and to ask them if they had made a decision yet. They called me back and offered me the job and gave me the weekend to think about. I thought of all the pros and cons of both jobs and ultimately decided to accept the law firm job. And that’s where I am now.
Apply This to Yourself
If you find yourself in a situation where you are looking for a job, whether it be in the legal market or some other field, it is important to interact with people who are in the position you would like to be in. It not only gives you clarity in your path, but it also puts you into the feeling of what it would be like if you actually had the job. At the same time, it is important to avoid anything that reminds you of what you do not want. Obviously you do not want to be unemployed. So, avoid news reports, blog posts and negative people who only serve to discourage you and keep you off your path to the job you want and deserve.
Always remember that whatever you believe in, whether it is God, the Universe, Source, etc. whatever you believe in outside of you that sets you on your path always takes care of the “how.” There is no way I could have known that a genuine conversation about drug policy would lead to a job offer. I didn’t speak to the local director with the primary intention of getting a job, I talked to him because his line of work encompassed a subject matter of which I was passionate about. Similarly, I had no idea that several awkward networking events and being friendly to lawyers in my Judge’s courtroom would lead to the partner seeking me out to work for her firm. The “how” was taken care of. All I had to do was focus on what I wanted and speak to people who had it.
You don’t have to create a vision board to get what you want, but it definitely kept me focused on what I wanted. It also made me comfortable believing that I could get two job offers in a crappy economy instead of having negative and blocking beliefs such as “what if I don’t get either job?!”
Finally, when you become a match to what you want, receiving it is second nature. You’ll go to your interview or interviews and you will be great. You won’t go in there with fear or insecurity, because you already know that the job is yours.
If you have manifested a job in a similar way or in a completely different way, please post about it in the comments!