Summer is extremely busy. I get that. Between trying to do excellent work at your summer job, networking with people at your organization or firm, and preparing for your 2L or 3L job search, it can feel like there is no time left. But if you get an invitation to do something, try to say YES!
Let me tell you a story about the power of YES! When I was doing my one-year fellowship in Washington, DC right after law school, it was always in the back of my mind that I needed to find my next job because my fellowship was going to be over after just one year. So I knew it behooved me to meet as many people as possible and get my name out there.
With that mindset, I said YES! when invited to a Federalist Society Lawyer’s Chapter event. As is common at such events, I left with tons of business cards but few genuine connections. So I emailed all of the names on the business cards and ended up getting an enthusiastic response from a man working for the Department of Navy at the Pentagon. He eagerly invited me to meet him at the Pentagon, which is really cool because ordinary citizens cannot just waltz into the Pentagon. He didn’t offer to help me find a job or introduce me to people but I thought that building the connection couldn’t hurt and seeing the inside of the Pentagon was a once in a lifetime opportunity. So again, I said YES!
When I got there, he not only gave me a tour of the Pentagon but he had a whole plan for connecting me with people and helping me find a job. He set up a lunch with four other professionals working in the Pentagon and together they brainstormed organizations for me to apply to. This was all because I had emailed him after a 5 minute conversation at a networking event! (I was the only one to email him from that event by the way.)
I have seen this same story play out time and time again with friends getting invited to things they really don’t feel like going to, deciding to attend anyway, and having amazing things happen to them that they never could have anticipated. One of my friends got her job when she was working part-time during her 2L summer as a cocktail waitress at a fancy club and served the General Counsel of a local corporation. The General Counsel mentioned that my friend could email her for coffee if she wanted and you better believe that she said YES! Now, my friend has a high-paying job at a company because a General Counsel liked the way she prepared a mai tai.
Almost every story you hear about how someone got their job involves them meeting someone who helped them get it and you cannot meet new people if you are always doing the same thing.
So this summer maybe your co-worker invites you to a networking reception put on by their law school.
Perhaps a friend invites you to a talk on the difference between millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers.
Your law school classmate is working for an immigration organization and invites you to a talk on immigration law. Even if you think you are not at all interested in immigration law,
At the end of the day, it does not matter if you meet your future employer at an event for lawyers or while waiting in line at Starbucks. But you do have to meet them somewhere so put yourself in positions to meet new people.
So say YES! to things this summer and if you want ideas of events to say YES! to, the CDO is always happy to help. We are just a call or email away.