Monday, November 2, 2009

Pursue Your Dreams, Manage Your Expectations

How many times does a person have to hear, “You can’t do that, don’t even bother” before he or she begins to believe it? Probably not as many times as we would like to think. In any event, it is not the kind of thing you should hear when you are planning your career, and you should not and will not hear it from a counselor at CSO.

Many students come to law school with certain dreams of a particular kind of legal career. Some of you may want a government career, others a career in a small to mid-size law firm on Long Island, some seek to open their own firm, others see themselves practicing in New York City at large law firms or with a different kind of employer, some seek to practice out of state entirely, while still others dream of being public interest lawyers. These dreams should be nurtured by a Career Services office, not ridiculed or, worse, destroyed.

When you meet with one of us, we will talk with you to develop a plan to obtain your dream job. We will talk about how best to prepare yourself while in law school, and we will discuss the kinds of opportunities that are out there after you graduate. We will strive to leave you with a clear idea of what you have to do to get yourself in a good position to accomplish your goal.

Effective career counseling does not end there, however, particularly in an economy which is, well, difficult. While we will plan with you the most direct path to your dream job, we will also talk about expectations and how to manage them. Like a doctor explaining the likelihood of success of an operation, you should be able to plan your life based upon real world facts. Therefore, once we plan the most direct path to your dream, we will talk about alternative roads to the same goal. This Plan B, Plan C, and maybe even Plan D will help you just in case Plan A does not work out. We should not take our eyes off the prize, but we will talk about different paths to obtain it.

So, the next time you meet with a CSO counselor, be sure to express yourself about your dream job. We will work on Plan A through Plan D so you are prepared to get to your goal, one way or another.

No comments: