If you’re a legal information technologist or e-Discovery professional looking to succeed in your current role, to get a promotion or pay raise, or to find a job with more opportunity, read on for our team of experts’ best advice for legal technology professionals:
1. Think Beyond Salary & Ask for What You Want:
You might be considering making a career move based on salary alone, or there may be other factors that would improve your work life, including potential training, skills growth, benefits, commute, and employer flexibility. While salary is obviously a top consideration, these other factors can have just as much of an impact on your career happiness. As you consider whether you want to look for a new legal technology job, be open with your supervisor about things you’d like to change. Don’t be afraid to ask for more responsibility, variety, mentoring, and money. Talk about your accomplishments and ask for a raise or promotion. Suggest a project that might grow your skills or give you more visibility within the law firm. Your current employer will respect you for it and be excited to have someone on their team who is seeking professional growth within the law firm. As a bonus, you’ll be improving your career now and building your resume for the future. There are many opportunities for legal technology employees to help law firms innovate and implement new technologies, which could lead to further career advancement for you down the road. Perhaps you’ll find these at your current firm, or perhaps you’ll look elsewhere for those opportunities, but either way, remember that pay isn’t the only thing to consider when looking to take the next career step.
2. Request Flexibility, but Be Flexible Too:
After a year of working from home more job seekers than ever before rank remote work and a flexible schedule as top priorities. While remote work is a huge benefit in today’s world it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker when making a career choice. Assess where you stand as far the necessity of remote work—is it an essential safety concern, a preference, a matter of convenience, or the most effective work environment for you—before communicating what you require. Many law firms hesitant to maintain a formal remote work policy tend to show flexibility for employees who have proven themselves or for the right candidate. Before you decide to leave a great job in order to work from home, ask your employer if they can accommodate your desire to work remotely one or two days a week. Be proactive by providing them with a means to measure your productivity from home or speak specifically about how you’ve been effective and productive as a remote worker in the past.
3. Leverage LinkedIn
They might already have your resume in hand, but most managers will still look at your LinkedIn profile to get insight into your background and interests. LinkedIn is also a great way to be found by recruiters at companies like ESP Legal. There are a few ways to show you’re “available for work” or looking for a new role—both incognito and publicly. Take some time to ensure your LinkedIn profile is not only current but also highlights your skills and industry knowledge. Take some time to review job descriptions and then add skills and keywords to your LinkedIn profile to match your experience and what you’re looking for in your next role. Like or share thought leadership articles to add depth to your profile and help you stand out.
4. Be Authentic and Honest:
Whether you’re networking, representing yourself on a resume or LinkedIn, or sharing about your background with a recruiter or in a job interview, honesty really is the best policy. While you definitely want to market your skills and experience, it doesn’t mean you need to claim to know or be able to do everything. You’ll find the best way to build relationships and be successful at a law firm long term, is by being yourself.
5. Avoid Generic Phrases and Clichéd Statements:
Have you ever been guilty of telling a job interviewer that your biggest weakness is that you work too much or that you’d always dreamed of working at their law firm (even though you hadn’t heard about it until the week before)? You may think those answers paint you as the perfect candidate, but your interviewer has heard that all before and those statements are unlikely to help your chances of landing the job. Instead of relying on the banal, try personalizing each answer with key points from both your experience and personality.
6. Think Creatively about Medical Coverage:
With rising costs, medical coverage has been a top consideration for many of our candidates. These benefits can vary significantly from law firm to law firm and there are also independent coverage plans that could better cover the needs of your family at a lower cost than your new employer’s plan. Be flexible and consider all your options before accepting or turning down an offer. With this creative approach, you may be able to save some money and still get that perfect job for your legal technology career.
7. Prepare for Interviews:
We know this seems basic, but preparation really is the key to success. Fortunately for candidates, hiring managers often ask the same questions. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Where do you see yourself in five years? Why should we hire you? Take the opportunity to prepare some excellent responses, using specifics to provide the kind of information your interviewers are really looking for, and practice keeping your interview responses short and to the point.
8. Don’t Worry So Much About Golden Handcuffs:
We see a lot of job seekers pass on great opportunities because they’re waiting to receive their year-end bonus in the mid-Spring of the new year. While for some this might be worth it, if you’re ready to move on from your current role, we encourage you to hear about opportunities and consider making that move before your bonus comes through. There are vast opportunities out there that could not only lead to a significant increase in your compensation, but also greater job satisfaction.
This might be your year to get a promotion, develop new skills, make a career change, or join a different law firm, and if so, we hope this advice will serve you well. We truly believe every individual’s needs and career search are unique which is why our recruiters would love to offer you more personalized advice to grow in your legal technology career.