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You dislike your current job and want to make the move to inside counsel. The pace sounds better with less pressure -- but still good money -- and you're ready to make the switch. Problem is, you've followed all the advice (network, use LinkedIn, do Internet job searches, etc.) but they haven't worked yet.
What's missing? We've got a few ideas.
You Need to Know the Industry
Do you care about the industry want to enter?
Does it do something that you believe in, that you want to be a part
of? Do you care about the legal challenges companies in that industry
face? If you haven't decided on the industry you want to be a part of,
that's a symptom that you don't want to be inside counsel -- you just
want out of what you are doing now.
That attitude will show through if you ever even get an interview. Companies have a job to do; if you're not excited and knowledgeable about what that job is, how can you fit into their company -- much less advise them on important legal matters?
Bottom line: Chose an industry, learn about it and focus your job search there.
Network Within the Industry
"Networking" on LinkedIn is easy. Getting out and talking to people is hard, but you've got to do it. Join trade organizations and go to conferences. Set up a blog or website and interview people so you can write articles about legal issues that will interest the people you want to work with.
This is key: What you write about might not get a lot of readership, but the people you interview will read it, and (sneaky, sneaky) that might be the real point. Set up informational interviews: most people like to help others and love to talk about what they do. The best jobs tend to come from word of mouth, so make friends.
Yes, all these things put you in a position where you risk rejection, but muscle through the discomfort. You'll have an advantage over everyone who is doing the same-old same-old. If you are shy and need an injection of social courage, you could try the Rejection Therapy Game. It's gut-wrenching, but once you get through it, you'll be ready for anything.
Bottom line: Really network, even if it's uncomfortable.
It's hard to find a job in this economy, especially if you're using the techniques everyone else is using. That's not to say they don't work. Of course you want to search the Internet for great jobs. Once you get your perfect job, you'll be posting jobs there, too. But hopefully the two unique tips listed here will give you an extra edge and help you find the right in-house counsel job for you.
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