Alternative Career Search Step 4: Patience

alternative careers logoExpect a barbecue-like long and slow process, not a ramen noodles quick-fix career shift because of three unalterable truths:

1. There is no Alternative Careers Monster Board
because an alternative career for a lawyer is a traditional career for someone else. Busy recruiters go to traditional sources: schools that give the training, professional organizations that post jobs for their members, linkedin groups, and lists targeted to specific professionals.

2. Alternative career employers do not recruit at law schools because of yield. Finding an entry-level marketing manager at a law school every five years inefficient and cost-prohibitive, especially when compared the ease of recruiting a group of them at a business school every year.

3. Regardless of your legal credentials, you have to persuade an employer to consider you as an individual candidate. Being the only law-trained person in a group of candidates has advantages (you stand out) and disadvantages (lacking the assumption that your credentials give you in a search for a lawyer, you have to demonstrate why you are a good candidate for the position).

Finding an alternative career path is the polar opposite of a successful campus interview search.


Create a traditional legal resume
Upload or email the resume to the employer
Schedule an interview
Interview well (without knowing much about the employer)
Finesse the callback (knowing slightly more about the employer)
Accept the offer


Complete self-assessment tasks to begin to hone in on an alternative career path
Research to identify target industries and employers
Network to gain some information that will make you a good interviewee
Understand the employer’s hiring process
Identify the employer’s ideal candidate’s credentials and skills
Tailor your resume and cover letter to the employers’ problems and issues
Finesse the interview(s) by explaining why you and your training, experience and perspective make you the right hire

This takes time. Be patient. Be persistent. Be creative.

Tomorrow: Value transferable skills for the non-lawyer market: Step 5 in an alternative career search


About susangainen

Whimsical Wildlife Documentarian. Abstract Painter. Writer. Teacher. Explorer.
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