3 Easy Steps Toward Achieving Your Career Goals

By Hillary Mantis

It’s still early in the year, and a good time to set your career goals for the rest of 2018. Are you looking for a summer job? A job for after graduation? An internship? Even though it seems like you have barely enough time to keep up with your daily reading, even one hour spent planning your career can pay off big-time.

Whether you are determined to get a summer job that actually pays, or a post-graduate dream job (entertainment law, anyone?), your goals are achievable if you break it down into steps.

Whatever method works for you is fine, be it a digital calendar or hard cover book. I personally still like to get a planner each year and write everything down to feel organized.

Once you have a planner or online calendar that you like, what can you do that won’t take up too much time?

As a law student you are always busy. Let’s face it, you’re swamped. Time can go by so quickly that you forget to focus on what you need to do to achieve your goals. But you can actually start to achieve them—in less than one hour.

1. Start by making an appointment to meet with a career counselor in your career services office to brainstorm your goals with them. Update your resume and cover letter so they are ready to go. Most of the above can probably be accomplished in one or two meetings with career services.

2. Next, meet with one or two professors who teach courses in practice areas that interest you. Many are well connected in their industries. They also may have former students working in areas that interest you. Typically professors have designated office hours posted for the semester. Stop by soon and see them. Again, in less than the hour it takes to chat with them, you will have taken steps towards achieving your ultimate career goals.

3. Another easy step you can take is to consult your school’s on-line alumni directory. See if your school offers an alumni directory that you can access, and sort through alumni living in the city you want to work in, or practicing in the area you want to practice law.

The alumni connection can be a strong one. If you reach out to them with well thought-out questions, or ask to meet with them when you are home over your next break, this could lead to a relationship—and ultimately a job.

Most alumni directories are now computerized and easily sortable. Again, in less than an hour, you could have a list of alumni to contact.

These are only a few suggestions to get you started. No doubt your career counselor, professors, and alumni contacts will provide many more ideas for you to achieve your goals.

So next time you need a break from your casebooks, take an hour to try and meet with one of them. Or how about doing it right now?


Related articles:

Strategic Planning For Your Summer Internship

5 easy ways to network with alumni

How to Answer Really Tough Interview Questions


Hillary Mantis works with pre-law students, law students, and lawyers. She is the author of Alternative Careers for Lawyers, and Director of the Pre-Law Advising Program at Fordham University. Questions about achieving your own career goals? You can reach Hillary at altcareer@aol.com.