Friday, January 13, 2006

Open Question Friday - Week #1

This year we will try something new on Fridays.....I will answer a question from readers of this blog. Since my book was released in October, I get a lot of questions from readers who want to know how they should handle a specific issue with regards to networking, business development, career, etc...

Each Friday I will select a question from my email and try to answer it to the best of my ability. However, as with any free advice, you get what you pay for. If you disagree with my opinion, please add to the discussion by posting a comment to this blog.

Question #1

From John in Chicago (last name removed per his request):

"I read you book, and think that it has good tips. But as an associate in a law firm, the partners think that networking is not worth the time commitment. I am only judged on my work product and my billable hours. How do I get them to notice the importance of what you say?"

Bill, I don't think you can change anyone's mind about networking (or anything else). Especially your bosses. However, if you know it will help you find new business and advance your career, then make the time to do it anyway. I worked with lawyers for a long time, and I know from experience that a young associate who brings in his own book of business and has a strong reputation has a better chance of making partner....OR being recruited into another (better?) firm.

Do not rely on senior partners for your future. They may take care of you now, but if times get difficult, they will protect their own future first. I have seen many lawyers work dry up because they relied on someone else to bring in the business.

Build your network, your reputation, your client base and your referral sources. Nobody can take those from you. If you are not bonused on bringing in new business, you can be sure they will notice it. If they don't, there are lots of law firms out there who desire to find good "rainmakers".

Thanks for your email, and thanks for reading my book.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

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