Finding Long-Term Career Satisfaction Through Career Fit | Summary and Q&A

February 27, 2018
American Bar Association
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Finding Long-Term Career Satisfaction Through Career Fit


Dr. Larry Richards discusses the importance of understanding one's career identity and using it to make better career decisions for long-term satisfaction.

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Key Insights

  • ❓ Career satisfaction is primarily determined by the fit between one's internal career identity and the characteristics of the job.
  • ❓ Lawyers have distinct personality traits that can both benefit and hinder their success in various roles beyond traditional legal practice.
  • 🪡 Understanding values, needs, communication style, motivated skills, and career interests is essential for making informed career decisions.
  • 👮 Transitioning within the legal profession is generally easier than transitioning to law-related or non-law jobs.


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Questions & Answers

Q: How can understanding one's career identity help in making the right job search decisions?

Understanding your career identity helps you identify your values, needs, communication style, motivated skills, and interests, which guide you to make better decisions about job searching and networking. It helps you find a better fit between who you are and the job you seek.

Q: How can lawyers improve their resilience in the face of rejection or setbacks?

Resilience is a trait that can be improved through practice. Dr. Richards recommends reading the book "The Resilience Factor" by Karen Reivich for strategies on building resilience. Recognizing and practicing cognitive strategies can help lawyers bounce back from rejection and setbacks.

Q: How can recent law graduates know what area of law is best for them without much experience?

Personality testing can help recent law graduates determine which practice areas may suit their personalities. Seeking guidance from psychologists or counselors who can administer these tests and interpret the results can provide valuable insights into potential practice areas.

Q: How can lawyers transition into non-law jobs and repackage their skills effectively?

To transition to non-law jobs, lawyers should focus on the skills they have acquired during law practice rather than highlighting their lawyer identity. By emphasizing continuity of skills and reframing their identity as a problem solver, writer, or oral advocate, lawyers can effectively repackage themselves for non-law jobs.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Dr. Larry Richards introduces a career model called "inner-directed approach" to help individuals make accurate plans for their career.

  • Lawyers have unique personality traits that heavily influence their career decisions.

  • Using an inner-directed approach, individuals can gain clarity about their career identity and make more effective networking and job search strategies.

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