Only underemployed/unemployed academics are more resistant to marketplace realities than displaced lawyers. This weekend I sat down with a few starving former lawyers as a favor to a client who wanted to help them get unstuck. To my surprise, they showed up. But in mindset and emotion they were insulated behind a drawbrige and moat.
Once in, I told it to them straight, "In the current marketplace, with few exceptions, you no longer have a margin for error." That meant, I explained, you had to tap into the New Law of Attraction for getting work, of any kind. The any kind can include being part of the security patrol in a senior citizen complex.
Law of Attraction, 2014
Dump the lawyer persona, even if applying for a legal job. Everyone hates lawyers, including many lawyers.
Frame every search, from what you're going after to the markting materials such as resume and cover letter to interview, as a learning experience. Very few things come through. But you can always learn from your tries.
Be opportunitistic. The interview is going south. Smoothly insert that if not chosen for full time position you are available for part time and contract slots. Success is frequently a build.
Increase Emotional Intellignce (EI). While few of you may train yourself to be a BIll Clinton, you can get better at bonding through giving others what they need and want. Make the world your MA program in EI. Observe the winners. Graft on what will fit your personality and stage in your career.
Do Favors. You know the head honcho who farms out contract assignment has a son with math challenges. Offer to tutor pro bono. Or, she has an emergency so you offer to work straight through until the all-clear whistle is blown.
Develop an edge. You need that even if you're already in a niche market. Make that edge explicit in marketing materials, interviews and buzz.
Avoid making enemies. That was fun in more affluent times. Now that fun is done.
After our marathon session on the Law of Attraction, the lawyers may or may not have returned to their castle, filling up the moat with reality-eaters and drawing up the drawbridge. If they did, they may just need a few more years to suffer. After all, that might be all many lawyers know.