What do you do when the status-quo is no longer working? You adapt.

I coach lawyers who are looking for jobs and who are looking for business. Understandably, many of my clients are feeling frustrated about the current state of affairs. They tell me no companies are hiring, or their clients are not giving out work. That may be true for some companies and clients, but it is not true for all. I know this first hand.

Lawyers are a smart bunch, and they often pride themselves on figuring things out. They are analytical by nature. They use their heads to solve problems for clients. This kind of intelligence is called “analytical intelligence,” according to Cornell professor Robert J. Sternberg in his Triarchic Theory of Intelligence. But there are two other kinds of intelligence he also mentions that lawyers may need to draw upon to find a job and develop business: “practical intelligence,” which encompasses street smarts, reading people, dealing with everyday tasks and relating to the world, and “creative intelligence,” which encompasses the ability to adapt to novel situations, demonstrate insight, and see a range of solutions to a given problem.

So, depending on your specific situation, if you are willing to make some changes, step out of your comfort zone, and adapt, you may be able to yield better results. Maybe you need to change your approach, attitude, goals, specialty, specific behaviors, or more. It might be helpful to examine these elements with a career or business development coach, or a savvy, business-minded friend, to see things differently. I know lawyers tend to be conservative by nature and fall back on precedent, but we are living in unprecedented times.

Published by Sheryl Odentz on LinkedIn on April 29, 2020. Sheryl Odentz is the founder of Progress in Work LLC, an award-winning career management firm that provides lawyers and other professionals within the legal industry the skills to “progress in work” and maximize career success through business development training/coaching, executive/leadership coaching and outplacement/career transition counseling. For more information, contact Sheryl at 212-532-6670 or sodentz@progressinwork.com.