You must “work” every day, except Sunday, between 7-8 hours on finding a job. (If you have been unemployed for a year, you should have worked over 2,240 hours so far.) And if you are on unemployment insurance, that’s what the government is paying you to do.
- Plan every day what you will do with your time.
- Figure out the hard stuff that almost no one else is doing to find work. This is things like listing every adult friend or acquaintance that you or your family have ever known and informing them you need a job. Ask them for referrals to their lawyers where your “target market” exists.(that’s a breathing attorney).
- Identify the areas of law that have job openings and become competent in one or two (I think you can do that in 2,240 hours!). This means taking classes and networking with the attorneys while you are in those classes. Careful not to spend too much time with online classes and miss out on this opportunity.
- Face the hard truth that you may have to move out of your living area to find a job. Identify the areas of your city or state that have openings. Do you have any contacts in those areas (remember law school).
- Identify and attend ANY function that has attorneys at it. This means Bar Associations, Seminars, Political meetings and whatever else you find. Have a new business card made up with your contact information and a brief description on the back of what you are looking for.
- Set up a Website. Make it easy for people to find out about you. This is where the clever part comes in….it has to be different and unique with pictures and testimonials of how wonderful you are and put the address on your card.
- Establish a LinkedIn Profile. Make it simple and to the point. Put your longer resume in a link. Be sure to explain your “value” as an employee both now and wherever else you have worked. Talk about your flexibility and focus on the employer’s needs. Be sure you get your nice looking picture in there.
- Volunteer, Volunteer, Volunteer. Especially if you are expanding or changing your practice areas. Be a law clerk in a firm where you can learn more ( yes, free). Or volunteer where powerful people in your community do. You can easily fill in those hours and do some good at the same time. Also volunteer are “helpers” and this is the attitude of the people you need to be around now. Remember, Legal Aid is attorneys.
- Consider going Solo. While you are on unemployment insurance, this could be a good time to have some steady income while you do all the things to get started to go Solo before you begin earning. Of course, you are going to have to report any income that comes your way, but the government is very happy to do a little deducting from your checks. Remember, however, that going Solo means you must first figure out if there is enough business in your area of the law and the venue where you will be practicing. For goodness sake, don’t jump into this until you have researched both your financial obligations and the chances of success. Also check out your temperament. Can you handle the stress?
Don’t get discouraged but know that the world is changing and you have to put a lot more time and energy into a job search today! Let me know how you are doing and if you need any help. I have been successful lately in helping attorneys to get hired even in this climate.