Career Strategies Group – Meet Our Team

Career Strategies Group  —  Team Biographies

 career strategies group - bruce blackwell


BRUCE BLACKWELL

Managing Partner and CEO, has advised Board Chairmen, Directors and CEOs of publicly held
organizations on a variety of marketing and business development issues, and has discussed
First Amendment issues over dinner at the White House. He is a former publishing, motion
picture and broadcasting executive.  Early in his career, he was an award-winning editor
and nationally syndicated columnist for Gannett Newspapers. He later became Vice
President of Marketing for The People’s Choice cable TV network, and consultant for
MTV and Showtime. He then transitioned into the motion picture industry, where he
was Director of Marketing, Investor Relations and Corporate Affairs for New Line Cinema
and Director of Publicity for MGM. While a Business Analyst with Marketing Corporation
of America
, Bruce consulted for companies like IBM, 3M, GE, Avon, Lorillard, and
Burger King. 
Subsequently, he was on the U.S. Executive Committee for BASYS, the
world’s largest broadcast automation software development firm which provided
newsroom systems for CNN, NBC, the BBC and countless others. Before founding
Career Strategies, he had been a Branch Manager and Senior Consultant for two
of the leading career development firms in the Northeast.

A noted author and lecturer on career issues, Bruce is a charter member of the Career
Management panel for the New York City Bar Association, and has been called “a leading
career expert” by the New York State Bar Association. Blackwell has presented career guidance
seminars for two annual meetings of the New York State Bar Association, and has presented
career management seminars for the New York County Lawyers Association, the Association
of Corporate Counsel, the New Jersey Bar Association, and many others. Some of his research
into legal career areas has been published by the American Bar Association.  He also did a
presentation on Alternative Legal Careers for the National Constitution Center, whose
Scholarship Advisory Committee includes Law School Deans or Professors from Harvard,
Stanford, Yale, the University of Texas, plus both Princeton, and Brown. Blackwell’s presentation
was immediately followed by one made by U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer.

career strategies group - Doug Brown
DOUGLAS S. BROWN, J.D.
Senior Consultant Emeritus
, is the former Executive Director of the Connecticut Bar Association
and 
is now the Chief Operating Officer for a high-end jewelry retail group.  He is an attorney,
educator and senior corporate executive with 25+ years of experience helping lawyers, law firms
and corporations grow profitably. Doug is, himself, a former client of Career Strategies and is a
highly successful graduate of our re-careering program. Doug has traveled the same road taken by
our clients and is an expert in working with professionals and adults to both plan and execute career
growth strategies. Doug began his career in private practice with Tyler Cooper & Alcorn in Connecticut
before becoming Corporate Counsel and Director of Legal Services for Kuehne & Nagel, Inc.
His business roles included VP of Operations Administration, Divisional VP and ultimately Global Vice
President. Doug holds degrees in Finance and Managerial Statistics from The Whitman School of
Management at Syracuse University
. He earned his law degree, cum laude, from The American
University – Washington College of Law
, where he was an Editor of the International Law Review.
Doug is a contributor Fox Business, INC Magazine and The Hartford Business Journal. He is on the
program faculty at ALI-CLE, and is a frequent CLE presenter and columnist on practice management
for The Connecticut Lawyer Magazine. Doug also served as a professor and Academic Program
Manager for the MBA Program offered by The Malcolm Baldrige School of Business at
Post University
 where he helped adult learners maximize career potential.

 

Alternative Careers for Lawyers
WALTER HAMPTON, J.D.

Senior Consultant; President, President of Summit Success, LLC, a leadership training company
and Chief Operating Officer of Book Yourself Solid, an international business practice
development company.  Walt is a cum laude graduate of Cornell Law School and spent 25
years as a commercial litigator. He was also the managing partner of a well-respected law firm.
Walt made a dramatic career change himself and is now an internationally known coach, lecturer,
best-selling author and motivational speaker. (He credits Career Strategies for having provided
the impetus for this change!) Walt works around the globe with C-level executives, business
leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs to accelerate leadership effectiveness, teach peak
performance skills and drive business and personal success. A dynamic motivational and keynote
speaker who has inspired audiences worldwide, Walt is also the author of “Journeys on the Edge:
Living a Life That Matters,” named one of the Top 10 Non-Fiction Books for 2013 by Amazon
and was honored with an American Booksellers Award.

 Career strategies group - barbara berger

Barbara Berger

Consultant and President of Career Wellness Partners, has more than 20 years of HR
and managerial  experience in corporate, small business and entrepreneurial organizations
and now runs a career transition practice in Pennsylvania. Barbara began her career in advertising,
then transitioned into Human Resources. As a former Hiring Manager for an HR outsourcing
company, she reviewed thousands of resumes and interviewed hundreds of candidates for
executive-level positions. She has a BA in Communications and Journalism from Shippensburg
University. Barbara earned her Certified Professional Coach and Certified Career Coach
certifications at World Coach Institute. She is a member of the National Career Development
Association, a hiring insights resource, a blogger for SAP’s Talent Connect platform,
and was a presenter at the Lehigh Valley Society of Human Resource Management
Conference in 2017 on “How to Turn Employee Career Ruts into Career Action Plans.”

 

Career strategies group - nat caputi

Nat Caputi, Ph.D

Consultant and President of N.Caputi Associates,  has more than 30 years of career guidance
experience. His background includes recruiting, outplacement, leadership training and personal
career management. A noted author and lecturer, Dr. Caputi has authored the soon-to-be-
published work, “Job Hunting: The Game and Playbook.” In addition to his work with
Career Strategies, Dr. Caputi is a career advisor for Mullin International, a global outplacement
firm, and maintains a private career guidance practice in Pennsylvania. He has worked across a
wide range of industries, with particular experience in consumer products, the luxury and
cosmetic sectors, HR, legal, aerospace and technology. Nat holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Human
Behavior, Psychology and Religion from Drew University, and B.A. in Psychology from
Fairleigh Dickinson. He was also in the Honors Program at the Boston College Business
School. Dr. Caputi has provided career management and leadership training programs
for Prudential.

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Career Strategies Group Team Members

 

 

 

An Animated Video From Career Strategies Group

 

 

Browse thousands of local job opportunities on our Career Strategies Group website.
You can search open positions by location, occupation, company name or travel distance
by plugging in your zip code. Job listings are updated daily so check back often.

Specialists in Attorney & Executive job search and career change. Are you sick
of billable hours, your quality of life, or hate your job? We’re here to help!

Bored, underchallenged, overworked, unappreciated? If you don’t
know who to turn to or what your options are, Contact Us Today!

Whether you are looking for a new job or a new career, Career Strategies Group can
help. You can schedule an initial “get to know you” call, or can leave your details and
we will get back to you. You can also send us your resume or personal note.
All calls and resumes are treated with the utmost confidentiality.

We can help you determine your viable career alternatives and options, and then our career
coaching professionals can provide the resources, information, techniques, job search strategies,
life-coaching guidance and tools necessary to help you achieve your career objective.

Let us help you land a great new Attorney or Executive position today!

career strategies group

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Career Strategies Group F.A.Q.

Career Strategies Group Frequently Asked Questions

 

Career Strategies Group

 

Q: Are you recruiters?

A: I hate to give a lawyerly answer, but yes and no. We do direct recruiting for law firms and companies through our Corporate Services Group and our affiliate, New Jersey-based Perfect Match Recruiting. PMR recruits attorneys, executives and healthcare professionals. Many of our recruiting assignments come to us from our “graduates,” people who we have helped secure new positions. They will often come to us to find attorneys and executives for their organizations.

We are also part of a network of large recruiters, and work closely with recruiters that we know and trust. We are often a source of talent for these outside firms and we can help them identify good candidates.

However, please be aware that recruiters are looking for very specific types of individuals who possess specialized skills. Typically, they are seeking young lawyers from top schools or more senior professionals with portable business. Recruiters seldom, if ever, have opportunities for those who are seeking career changes. This is where our Career Services Group can help.

Q: Do you charge a fee for your services?

A: When we are serving as a recruiter, we do not ever charge an individual candidate a fee. However, if we are working with an individual client on identification of career options, resume development, resume distribution or coaching, we do charge a fee for our services. Typically, we provide professional career advisory and job search services on an hourly fee basis. We have a sliding fee scale. Our fees run from $225 to $315 per hour, depending upon the complexity of the case, the level of the candidate and their income.  We also provide package discounts. Many program packages carry an average hourly rate of a bit over $200, including discounts.

Q: What does a typical program cost?

A: There really are no “typical” programs. Some people need just an hour or two of career advice. Other people need comprehensive career assessment testing to identify viable options. Still other people only need a resume upgrade or distribution services. We are very “menu driven” and will seek to match an individual’s needs and budget with the appropriate services. On our Self-Help page, we have some services that are only a few
hundred dollars, while other cases can be as much as $7,500 or more. We have an excellent, low-cost facilitated self-help program for just under $1000, but most of our consulting programs are in the $1595 to $5500 range. Many of our clients are earning in the $95,000 – $195,000 range and find that our fees are very reasonable.

Q: Do you guarantee interviews or jobs?

A: No. Any organization that says it can guarantee someone an interview or a job is lying and is preying on the fears of its clients. We guarantee we’ll use all our knowledge, experience and resources to help you win interviews, and to secure a job offer. We bring tremendous expertise, decades of study on job search methods, and some considerable brainpower to the job search process. We can increase your odds of success and most likely shorten your search, but there are no guarantees except that we will work hard to help you.

Q: Will you work with anyone?

A: No. We are not right for everyone, and not everyone is right for us. We have strict standards about the candidates we will accept into our program. If we feel the candidate does not have the “right stuff” to be successful in a job search or re-careering, we will not accept the case.

Most attorneys know a bad case when it walks in the door. So, do we. While we cannot guarantee success, we only work with people whom we feel can be successful in our process.

Q: Why should I spend money on your services?

A: We are experts in job search and career change. Through our knowledge and resources, we may be able to shorten your job search by weeks or months. We can help you compete more effectively in the marketplace by creating compelling marketing materials and dynamic, innovative campaigns ….. Let’s do some math …..
Let’s say you are an out-of-work professional who had been earning $125,000. Every week that you are out of work you are losing $2,400 of income. Say you retain us for a mid-level program priced at $3,600. If, through our efforts, we are able to shorten your job search by a mere 1.5 weeks, you have broken even economically and you are back to work. If we can shorten your search by two months, you are ahead of the game by $15,600!

Does that make sense?

We are highly skilled in salary negotiations. It is not unusual for us to develop negotiation strategies that result in the client receiving $10,000, $15,000, $20,000 or more than the company’s original offer, an amount many times the fee we were paid.

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career strategies group

 

Ask The Career Strategy Experts

If you have a specific question about a job search or career issue, email it to us.
While we cannot answer every single question, we will select ones that we feel
would be of general interest, and we will post the question and our answers in
an upcoming blog or newsletter. All questioners will be kept anonymous.

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If you have a career development or job search question for us,
please email it to us at  info@careerstrategiesgroup.com.
Please put “Ask the Experts” in the Subject line.

 

Thank you … We look forward to having a conversation with you soon.

 

And you can also make any comment or ask a question in this form below

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Career Strategies Group and Perfect Match Recruiting Join Forces

For Immediate Release
Contact: Bruce Blackwell
Phone: 914-356-8182

 

Career Strategies Group, a 25-year-old career management company, has signed an affiliation
agreement with Perfect Match Recruiting, a privately held firm specializing in legal, executive
and healthcare recruiting, it was jointly announced by Bruce Blackwell, CEO of Career Strategies,
and Doris Smith-Fellenz, founder and Executive Director of Perfect Match Recruiting.

 

“For many years we have worked closely with recruiters in an informal network; we supply
candidates for some of their hard to fill positions, and they find employers for certain of our clients,”
said Blackwell, who added, “we also do some recruiting on our own, but it was never a focus of our
practice. To be really effective at recruiting, you need to be out there every day working with law firm
hiring managers and top candidates. That’s not our forte, but that’s where Doris really excels. For years
we have looked to affiliate with a solid recruiter, and I was thrilled to finally find Doris and her company.”

 

According to Smith-Fellenz, “I am excited about the synergies with Career Strategies Group.
They have been around the legal profession for a long time, and have an amazing database of lawyers.
The hardest part about legal search,” she said, “is not finding candidates … it’s finding good candidates.
We feel that task will be made easier because of the resources of Career Strategies.” Smith-Fellenz and
Blackwell added that she will ultimately be doing career counseling for attorneys, especially those in
the earlier stages of their careers.

One of the other goals of the affiliation will be to expand both firms’ involvement in healthcare placement.

Before officially opening Career Strategies Group, Blackwell was doing healthcare recruiting
and candidate screenings, and has healthcare operations and marketing consulting experience
going back to the 1980s. Smith-Fellenz has significant experience in recruiting both clinical and
non-clinical healthcare professionals for hospitals, senior living facilities and medical practices.

 

As a first step in this affiliation, Career Strategies has added a “Jobs” section to its website.
Many of the postings listed will be from PMR. Applicants are advised to email their
resumes to PMRRecruiting@CareerStrategiesGroup.com.

 

Sometimes Career Strategies will do an initial interview with a candidate, but mostly that function
will be taken over by Doris Smith-Fellenz and her team. Candidates who are not in specification
with a PMR position may be referred back to Career Strategies for other services.

 

“I chose the name Perfect Match Recruiting” because that’s what I look to provide for my clients,
whether law firm, in-house or other positions. We have very detailed specifications, and will do
our utmost to find candidates in spec. We have to turn away most of the people who apply
because, while they may be excellent in their professions and accomplished in many ways,
they are not what my clients are seeking. In those cases, Career Strategies may be able to
help the client find a position.”

 

Blackwell noted that in his years of experience, he typically has to go through 100 or more resumes
to find just one candidate that matches the job specification that the client has prepared. “On a
typical search, I will go through 500 or 600 resumes, get 5 or 6 client prospects, and then vet them.
We usually send just 2 or 3 resumes to the client for interviewing,” he said.

 

“The ideal candidate for my law firm clients,” said Smith-Fellenz, “is 2 to 6 years out of law school, was
on Law Review at a top tier school, had a high rank in class, had a federal clerkship, and had received
scholastic or other awards. There are some fine lawyers out there who don’t meet these requirements,
but this is what our clients want us to find. It is difficult,” she added, “to tell people that they are not
candidates for jobs they know they can do well, but who don’t match the client’s specifications.”

 

“Another issue is finding Partners,” she said. “Most law firms prefer Partners, seven or
more years out with a verifiable book of portable business, or who have a rare specialty.”

 

“There are also many very good attorneys” Smith-Fellenz states, “with several years of experience
who are hard to place because clients are looking for people with very specific skill sets who can
hit the ground running and start contributing right away. Clients don’t want to pay recruiting fees
to find candidates who need a learning curve before they can be fully productive. They are paying
for it, and they want what they want. They might very well consider ‘learning curve’ candidates,
but won’t pay a fee to get them. That’s where Career Strategies can help.”

 

Career Strategies’ career management team often works with candidates who are not “recruitable” and
helps them with career direction, resume development, resume distribution and job search coaching.

Perfect Match Recruiting is located in Ocean, NJ.  Career Strategies is located in Brewster, NY.

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career strategies group

 

 

All About Us — Career Strategies Group

As specialists in job search and alternative careers since 1992, we help lawyers, executives
and entrepreneurs find new positions and new careers in law, business, academics, or the
non-profit sector through innovative methods and custom-designed programs. We have
particular expertise in the career issues for those 50+ years old.

Our Career Services Group does career testing and options assessment for those who are
seeking to explore their viable career alternatives. We also provide job search assistance,
which includes resume writing and distribution, marketing plans and job search coaching.
Our job search clients range from young professionals to those aged 60+. The CSG Group
is a high service, low volume operation and only accepts 6 new clients per month.

Our Corporate Group does recruiting both direct and through our affiliate, Perfect Match
Recruiting. PMR has three primary business areas: legal search, executive search and
healthcare search. The Corporate Group also does outplacement, law firm practice
development and business coaching.  Another affiliate, Career Strategies Institute,
provides graduate or post-graduate students and younger professionals with low cost
do-it-yourself tools and online instruction programs. Information about our services
is available on our website.

 

Career Options for Lawyers

 

The Career Strategies process for job search and alternative career services begin with an
initial consultation, a 30-45 minute in-depth review of your circumstances, career aspirations,
marketing strategies and more. Even if we are not interested in taking you on as a client, you
will leave that meeting much more informed about job search, alternative careers and career
development than you were before you spoke with us. It will be time well spent.

While many of our clients have pursued alternative legal careers or alternative executive careers,
many others have used our help to move up in their current career tracks, to start new businesses
or to enhance their current business operations by better marketing or time management.

Our staff includes Ph. Ds, MBAs, Business Owners, Recruiters and JDs with both in-house and
big law experience. Nearly all of us have had more than 25 years of experience in law or
business, and all of us are highly qualified, caring professionals dedicated to helping our
clients through career transitions, job searches and explorations of their career options.

 

 

For the individual job seeker, our services include:

Identification of viable career options and alternative careers based on objective
analysis of skills and experience
Preparation of powerful resumes and personal marketing materials
Creation of highly individualized marketing action plans
Lead generation and job identification through our Contacts and Connections service
Coaching and guidance on campaign strategies and interviewing techniques
Distribution of resumes to targeted companies and recruiters through our massive
contact database and specialized resources

 

For law firm and corporate clients, our services include:

Recruiting of attorneys, support staff and administrators through our relationship
with PMR and other major recruiters
Outplacement programs for single professionals or groups of displaced employees
Practice development and business enhancement consulting to solo practitioners and law firms
Executive coaching for entrepreneurs and corporate managers

 

 

Credentials and Coverage

We offer a rare combination of marketing experience, in-depth knowledge of job search methods,
and specific expertise in the special requirements of attorneys, senior executives and job
seekers 50+. Our experience and guidance enable our clients to take control over their careers,
identify their options, and then obtain the positions of their choice effectively and efficiently.

As recognized authorities on job search issues, we have been interviewed by news organizations
including The New Jersey Lawyer, New Jersey Law Journal, Connecticut Law Tribune, News 12,
Westchester Business Journal, the Newark Star-Ledger, the New York Post and others.

We have also lectured on job search and alternative career issues for legal and business
groups in the Northeast, including the New York State Bar Association, the Institute for
Continuing Legal Education, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, numerous colleges
and universities, the New Jersey Bar Association, the Association of Corporate Counsel and many
others. Founder Bruce Blackwell is also one of a handful of professionals to have been asked to
serve a Charter Member of the Career Counseling panel for the New York City Bar Association,
and has been called “a leading career expert” by the New York State Bar Association.

 

Let’s start a conversation today!

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career strategies group

 

 

 

 

What Career Strategies Group Can Do For YOU

Career Strategies Group helps people earning $125,000 or more per year find the right job
at the right salary with the right work/life balance. We help Executives, Legal Professionals,
Entrepreneurs, Government Officials and many other types of professionals.

The common theme among our clients is that they are
smart, successful, and no longer love their jobs.

Imagine how much better your life would be if you really enjoyed
your work or running your business. Well, you can! And we can help!

We have provided career guidance to thousands of clients and are A+ rated
by the Better Business Bureau. Please enjoy my introductory video below:

 

Ways in which we can help you

Career Strategies is committed to providing all the services that a person seeking a career change,
a new job or an alternative career could ever need. We believe we offer the most comprehensive
array of job search services available anywhere. Above all, we have a distinguished career coaching
staff of specialists in job search, and particularly in alternative careers for lawyers and executives.

We have been helping senior-level clients find new positions in law, business,
non-profits and universities since 1992. But, we don’t stop there.
(See our extensive list under the Alternative Careers tab on our website).

We provide career growth strategies for 50+, Gen X’s in their 40’s and even 30-somethings.
Our knowledge and resources also help talented and accomplished people make the
best choices for their personal and professional growth.

Our services include:

Career testing and assessment to identify realistic alternative career options
Powerful resumes and cover letters to present you effectively to the marketplace
Aid in finding companies and job leads, and not just relying on online postings
Coaching, mentoring and brainstorming about creative job search techniques
Interview preparation & salary negotiation to help you beat your competitors & land the offer.

We also offer low cost Self Help job search tools that include using social media job search options.

If you are a solo practitioner or business owner and are seeking ways to improve your career,
increase your revenues and quality of life, our coaches and business advisors can help you, too.

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CAREER STRATEGIES GROUP
Bruce Blackwell – CEO & Managing Partner
866-898-4228 – Toll free
845-669-8418 – Fax
27 Vails Lake Shore Drive, Brewster, NY 10509
Our Main Website

Career Options for Lawyers

Seven Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job (even though you were the best applicant)

7-reasons
Seven Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job (even though you were the best applicant)

By Jesse Campbell

Editor’s Note: I have had it happen to me, in my own career, and it has happened to more than a few of the 2,400 clients I have counseled as their career advisor. — You are a perfect fit for the job. You meet all of the specifications in the Help Wanted posting. It sounds like they based the job description on your own resume! You apply for the job and never hear back. Worse, you interview, think you knocked ‘em dead, and never hear back or get a “sorry, but no” email.  Wonder what went wrong? Jesse Campbell, writing for financial organization MMI, has some explanations that you will find helpful. Here are Campbell’s thoughts. — B. Blackwell 

—–

If you’ve spent any amount of time in the workforce, chances are good you’ve experienced your fair share of rejection. Sometimes you take a shot in the dark at a job you’re not really qualified for and never hear anything back. “That’s fine,” you think to yourself. “I wasn’t really qualified for that job anyway.”

Sometimes, however, you are qualified for the job. Very qualified. You even come in for an interview that goes well, then later come back for another interview that goes well. Everything seems lined up for success, but then…well, nothing.

No matter how qualified you are, there are still a few reasons why you might not end up with the job – some you can control, some you can’t.

  1. The job disappeared.

When a job is posted, there are quite a few things going on behind the curtain that you simply won’t be privy to. And sometimes a posted job will suddenly vanish. Why? Maybe the position hadn’t officially been approved at the time HR began their search. Everyone assumed it would be approved, but then something changed and it wasn’t. Additionally, there’s the possibility that something significant changed during the search and now the position no longer makes business sense.

There’s also the possibility that the job was never really there in the first place. Sometimes a company has an internal candidate all lined up, but is required to go through the formal application process all the same.

  1. The job evolved during the search process

You have everything the employer is asking for. Seems like a match made in heaven, but sometimes the employer realizes during the course of the search that they actually need something else. Maybe someone came in with some skills or experiences they didn’t know they needed, or maybe another employee left recently and they’re trying to combine positions. Whatever the reason, your perfect skill set is no longer quite so perfect for the job.

  1. You came in a bit too early

A good job is going to receive many very good applicants. So many, in fact, that they may end up bleeding together a bit as the process wears on. That means the first applicant through the door has to be so outstanding that no one else can compare, or else risk fading from memory over time. If given the option, you may want to take one of the later interview slots.

  1. You didn’t do your research

Remember – it’s not about how great you are as an individual, it’s about how that greatness will translate for your new employer. That means you need understanding who you’re talking to and make sure you sell yourself in a way that will actually resonate.

  1. Someone else had an inside advantage

Another thing you won’t know about while navigating the application process – internal politics. No matter how qualified you are, and no matter how well you nail the interview, who you know still matters. And if someone else knows someone important within the company, you may be out of luck.

  1. You gave them a reason to disqualify you

When hiring managers are faced with stacks and stacks of qualified applicants, they start looking for a reason – any reason – to disqualify applicants. Complain too much about your former employer during the interview? You’re out. Post questionable things on social media? You’re out. Ask for special considerations right out of the gate? You’re out. It could even be something seemingly minor, like wearing too much perfume or cologne. The point is, do your best to not give anyone a reason to say no.

  1. Someone with similar qualifications is willing to do the same work for less

Finally, the fastest way to lose out a job is to price yourself out of the running. That doesn’t mean you have to take less than you’re worth, but it’s a good idea to try to delay the negotiations until after you’ve been offered the position.

 

Your “Un-natural” Network Connections can be the Best!

Looking for a Job? Did you Tell your Mechanic or Hairdresser?

Your “Un-natural” Network Connections can be the Best!

You’re at a networking event talking with someone, and you’re wondering to yourself — is this the best person for me to be talking to? Should I cut this short and seek out someone who might be a more useful contact or have better connections?

So writes Dave Opton, President of Execunet in a recent newsletter.

Opton goes on to talk about a fellow, John, who was on the job market. John was doing a lot of heavy networking and contacting everyone he thought could help him, but he wasn’t getting anywhere. One day, while getting his car fixed, he told the auto mechanic about his situation. When the mechanic offered to introduce him to some of his connections, John gave him a skeptical look. The mechanic countered by pointing to the Porsches, Mercedes and BMWs sitting at his shop. “Who do you think owns these cars? I know every one of them!” Lesson learned!

I call these “un-natural” connections – getting career help from people you would never expect could be of any value to you in your job search. We have countless stories about how our Career Strategies Group clients received invaluable aid from the most unlikely of sources.

One of my favorite stories concerns Joan, an all-American lawyer who had taken Japanese language lessons in high school and college. Her dream was to work for a Japanese-based company. She mentioned this one day to her hairdresser, who happened to be of Japanese extraction. Lo’ and behold, her hairdresser’s Dad was a senior executive with the New York office of a major Japanese bank. Joan is now on the legal team there!

Then there was Perry, a law firm lawyer who was seeking a legal position in the broadcast or cable TV industries. One weekend he went to a party at a friend’s house. There he met one of his other friend’s new girlfriends, who happened to be a secretary at a dentist’s office. He was small talking about his interest in TV, and she said she had a friend who was a legal secretary at a major cable TV company. One thing lead to another and Perry was able to start his career in the entertainment industry – because his friend’s new girlfriend’s friend.

Another favorite Career Strategies story is about Maria, who wanted to get into public relations in the fashion industry. One day on the way to court, she pulled into a gas station. Not being the type of woman who pumped her own gas, she asked the attendant, a young college student, for assistance. She mentioned how much she hated going to court each day, and how much she dreamed about doing fashion industry PR. The gas station attendant said his older sister was Vice President of Marketing for a major fashion designer. Maria is today writing press releases and supervising photo shoots for that fashion house.

The moral of the story is you can get the most valuable career help from the people you least expect to get it from. Just tell them your story. As Execunet’s Dave Opton concludes, someone’s title will tell you what they do, but not who they know. So, the next time you’re at a networking event, at the grocery store check out, or at the gas station, talk to the people there and mention what you are looking for — because you never know.

Good hunting!

The Top 10 Reasons Why Lawyers Seek Alternative Careers – Part 1 of 2

The law can be a wonderful profession, and it is for many people. But it can also be draining and frustrating. Even for those who love the profession, after practicing for 10, 15, 20 years or more, some lawyers are simply ready for a change. Nowhere is it written that you must stay with one career your entire life.

My colleagues and I have counseled several thousand lawyers on re-careering and job search issues. Based on our nearly 23 years of experience, we have compiled The Top 10 Reasons for Wanting to Leave the Law.

We are going to share 5 of them today. We are going to discuss the second 5 in an upcoming issue, but if you don’t want to wait, just email us at info@careerstrategiesgroup.com and we will send it to you right away.

THE #1 REASON WHY LAWYERS WANT TO LEAVE THE PRACTICE …..

#1: Quality of Life — law firm and solo practice attorneys typically put in 10-12 hour days and often work on weekends. They have little time with their families, and little energy left to enjoy the fruits of their labors. They may be making good money, but there’s no time to do anything with it.  If you are single, the demands of your work make it hard to develop a relationship. If you are married, it’s hard to maintain a relationship. And if you are parent, you miss your children’s Little League games, back-to-school nights and much of their growing up. It is no wonder that many of the people who call us are in their late 30s and mid-40s, and realize the best things in life are passing them by while they write midnight motions and memoranda.

#2: Billable hours — clients often report they are under increasing pressure to produce billable hours.

In some cases, clients say they are under more pressure to produce billables than they are to produce quality work. The system is designed so that you are rewarded for how many hours you bill rather than how well you represent the interests of your clients.

#3. Business Development – People don’t go to law school because they want to be salesmen. Many of our clients like the work of being a lawyer, but do not like the constant reality of having to “sell” their services. The cold, hard fact of law firm or solo life is that you have to get the business to do the business. If you can’t generate a sizeable book of new client billings each year, you will have a hard time being truly successful in your career as a law firm attorney.

#4. Negative, adversarial environment — every day, it’s a battle. Instead of creating win-win scenarios,

there’s tremendous pressure to savage the opposition, and to make simple issues more difficult. There’s needless posturing, bellicosity and pounding of chests when in reality, the same issues could be easily and amicably resolved if both sides were simply reasonable. But that’s not the system. Our clients tell us they not only have to fight opposing clients, they also often have to fight with other lawyers within their own firm. Most disaffected lawyers would prefer to be in an atmosphere that is cooperative and collegial. Wouldn’t you?

#5. Roteness/Boredom — after years of handling similar issues, a “been there, done that” mentality

can set in and, except for rare cases, the work can become no longer challenging. Lawyers, as a breed, are “smarter than the average bear” and have a low boredom threshold. They like “solving puzzles” and being creative, but after 10, 15 or more years doing the same thing, the thrill is gone. Often, you can predict the outcome of a case within a few minutes after reading the file, but you have to go through all of the motions anyway.

So why do unhappy attorneys stay in law firms or private practice?

There are two key obstacles to career change for lawyers. A common concern among attorneys is a lack of awareness of what else they can do besides lawyering. A second issue is a lack of awareness of the types of positions that exist in the ‘outside’ world. Both of these problems can be overcome.

If there’s anything I have learned after so many years of counseling attorneys, it’s that lawyers have the intellectual horsepower to learn just about anything. They have analytical skills, research abilities, problem solving skills and both written and verbal presentation talents —  that’s not a bad platform for a career change. What company couldn’t make good use of someone with those talents?”

We  provide a full range of services for attorneys in transition. Our specialty is career change for attorneys in mid-life who are seeking to explore career alternatives, either in the law or in business, academics or non-profit agency administration.  We serve clients nationally. A boutique-sized practice, we limit ourselves to accepting just over 100 new cases per year.

If you are an attorney thinking about exploring your career options, call Career Strategies today.