How to Reinvent Out of Law
FROM A CONVERSATION WITH JULIE ANNA ALVAREZ ON THE REINVENT YOURSELF PODCAST
Julie Anna Alvarez was a lawyer with degrees from Harvard and Columbia who “loved helping others” more than practicing law. So she segued into feng shui then career planning. Now she’s the Director of Alumni and International Career Services for Columbia Law School and guides other law grads as they reinvent. Join Lesley as she speaks with Alvarez about her unique ability to understand the barriers (financial, identity) and how to transfer a lawyer’s unique communication, analytical, and personal skills into finding their real bliss. “Transitions happen at all levels,” she says, “five years or coming close to retirement. You take one step a day.”
Julie Anna’s Top Resources for Reinvention
Aim to Do One Thing a Day
Sometimes you just need to hold yourself accountable to push your job search further. Say, “I’m going to find 5 people on LinkedIn to follow that are in the field I’m interested in,” or “I’m going to have one informational coffee chat this month,” and those are good goals. I think it’s like having a release valve in taking the pressure off of feeling like you’re trapped where you are.
Find Time to Learn What Inspires You
Spend one day this weekend looking at job posting to see what kinds of things excite you. What are the things that make you feel like “oh I could see myself doing that!” And then collect those postings together to see if there’s a common thread. That might be the beginnings of figuring out what your next life will be.
Seek Out Help from Someone Outside of Your Circle
Look for someone who has no agenda when if comes to your career. Sometimes the people closest to you may have a little bit of their own fears or concerns about what happens if you make a career move. So try to go outside that circle to get some objectivity.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
I think sometimes candidates can be harshest on themselves. They’re putting a lot of guilt on themselves for even thinking they want to change careers. They’re going up against the expectations of other people or even their own expectations of what they thought their lives would be. And so, be self-compassionate. Think of it more of an adventure, and don’t put yourself in the mindset that wanting a change equates with failure. There’s no reason to think of a reinvention as a negative. Go on the journey.
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