In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog

To Advance Your Career, Surround Yourself With the Right People

You know how people are always saying -- it's who you know? Well, that might be more true than people like to actually admit.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review piece, one of the most critical components for achieving success in your career involves surrounding yourself with the right people. Surprisingly, it's not all about knowing people who can actually give you a hand up, but rather, it's more about knowing people who are going to challenge, inspire, and help lift you up.

Don't Be Afraid of Introducing Yourself

If you are interested in meeting someone, don't be afraid of reaching out. In the legal community, it is rare that you'll reach out to a fellow professional and be completely ignored, especially if you're reaching out over a topic of mutual interest, and aren't only reaching an inundated email inbox.

Taking that first step and reaching out (maybe two or three times) to the people who you find interesting, or who you might want to model your own career after, or who you might just want to work with, can reap surprising benefits. But you have to reach out to find out how others will inspire, motivate, or maybe even help you.

Get Face to Face

One of the critical lessons from HBR is to get face to face with the people you want to connect with and learn from. 

In our increasingly digital world, that in person connection is often discounted as not necessary, when in fact it is crucial. Just don't be a stalker. That means you need to attend conferences and other events that will put you in the appropriate social settings to meet these people in person.

Don't Neglect Your Friends

Your peers and friends throughout school and life will end up employed in varying industries. Maintaining genuine friendships with your peers and friends in different industries can be mutually beneficial for both you and your friends and your companies. And, worst case scenario, you'll have genuine friends!

In the end, it's all about being genuine to others, enthusiastic about what you want to do, and being willing to put in the work and time to get there.

Related Resources: