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Counsel to Counsel is a podcast for attorneys who are looking for insights to help increase their overall career satisfaction.  You can find it on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.  You can also listen to episodes from this home page.  In each episode, I introduce you to consultants who have been shaping the legal industry and attorneys who have done interesting and sometimes unconventional things with their careers.  My guests will share with you tips on how to achieve greater career and marketing success. Some will talk about the ways they have built fulfilling careers outside of the practice. Through this series, I hope to identify ways that you can find more happiness as a lawyer.  If you'd like to learn more about me, I invite you to visit my website at www.seckler.com.  There you will find links to my blog and to many career and marketing resources.  If you like this show, please review it on iTunes. Your comments are always welcome.  Feel free to reach out to me at legal@seckler.com if you'd like to discuss your own career or marketing concerns.  I'm always happy to speak with lawyers about their careers and I enjoy talking about marketing.

Mar 19, 2020

In this special episode, I provide you with 7 Career Management Tips for dealing with the current COVID crisis.  I’d also like to make you the following offer: If you are feeling isolated or just want someone to help you reflect on your career or on your efforts to build a practice, I would like to offer you the chance to connect with me by Zoom. I’m happy to be a sounding board and help you think about how to be more productive over the next few weeks or months. 

We are now living through the snow day of all snow days!  Even if you or your family’s health has not been affected by the coronavirus (and I hope it hasn’t), surely every other aspect of your life has been turned upside down.  For most of us, there have been great disruptions at work (at a minimum, projects put on hold, meetings and court appearances postponed, employees working remotely).

These disruptions can impact our productivity in many ways.  For me personally, I’ve been moving meetings on-line, stocking up at BJs, dealing with elderly parents, helping my daughter who is studying abroad to navigate her early return, etc.  But with every crisis, there are also opportunities. So here are a few things to consider as we get used to the new normal:

  1. In ordinary times, self-care is important.  In times like these, it is critical. Make time for exercise. If going to the gym isn’t possible, there are lots of workout regimens you can follow on YouTube from the comfort of your own living room.  If that is not your thing, try jogging, power walking or bike riding. Personally, I like power walking because it allows lots of time to listen to podcasts. While it isn’t quite the same as going to the gym for many of us, it’s still an important part of self-care.
  2.  If you haven’t already taken up meditation, now may be a good time. Aside from the health benefits of meditation, mindfulness can improve your ability to focus in stressful situations. There are lots of apps on the web.  Some are subscription based and some are free. I like 10 Percent Happier.  I’ve heard good things about Headspace.
  3. If you find yourself with more time on your hands, this is a great opportunity to beef up your on-line presence. Does your LinkedIn profile need work?  Have you been putting off updating the bio on your firm’s website? Do you project a clear message about what differentiates you from other attorneys? Do you have representative examples of matters you have worked on and industries or types of individuals who you have served?  Does someone visiting your website get to know anything about what it is like to work with you? Are there testimonials to support this? If you check out the blog or resources tabs on my website, you will find a lot more on both of these topics.
  4. How About Adding a Podcast to Your Legal Marketing Toolkit or starting a blog (or contributing to your firm’s blog)?  For information on starting a podcast, check out the interview I did with Jared Correia or feel free to set up a time for an informal consult with me.
  5. Pull together a workshop or presentation you can deliver when things get back to “normal” (or put together a webinar which you can deliver now). Think about common questions that your clients ask and use that as the subject matter.
  6.  Find alternative ways to connect. I’ve long been a proponent of getting out of the office.  Building your own practice requires you to build your relationships with clients, potential clients and referral sources.  While going virtual makes this harder, it doesn’t make it impossible. With tools like Zoom, FaceTime and Skype, connecting virtually has never been easier and now is a great time to learn how to use them.  Many of your clients may be feeling isolated. Rather than checking up on them by phone or email, try setting up a session on Zoom. ProVisors , a great business networking group, is doing that very successfully.  I’ve already been to two virtual meetings that worked well. One had 30 attendees.
  7. Take a step back to reflect on whether you are leading the professional life you want to lead. Talk to me or another career coach.  Take stock in whether your firm is the right platform to grow your practice or whether you want to be in a law firm at all. Try one of my self-assessment tools (A Career Audit for Associates or 20 Questions For Law Firm Partners).

A crisis like COVID-19 can be a major distraction from achieving our personal and professional goals.  The best way to survive the crisis is to look for the opportunities and to keep moving forward.

Personally, I’m looking forward to growing my familiarity with Zoom. I’m hoping to use the tool to reach out to people in my network who I have not had time to meet in person.  I also hope to queue up some more marketing collateral which I’ll be ready to deploy as the world comes back to life.

If you want help thinking through any of this, I’m always happy to hear from you. I always enjoy speaking to lawyers about their marketing or their careers.  Most importantly, if you are feeling isolated, find ways to connect with friends, family and colleagues. When this is all over, you will be better positioned to build your practice and progress in your career.  Be safe!