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Strategic Ways to Find Employment after a Layoff

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According to ABA Journal, Mayer Brown, a global legal services firm, is trimming some of its colleagues in London.  The cuts are a second round of layoffs at Mayer Brown this 2012, and affect less than 20 non-lawyer staff. Legal Week reported an earlier layoff in May 2012, involving about 16 support and legal staff.


Mayer Brown is an example of the bad news in the legal market, where the legal sector lost 1,400 jobs in August 2012. To combat the challenging economy, here are a few strategies to find a job:


1. Stay positive: Though a job search may not seem to garner anything at first blush, ignore the negatives, and a person will ultimately found a great job. Surround yourself with positive people. Many famous and articulate people discover that we have the ability to choose our attitude in any circumstance, and shift our perception of reality. Use optimism as a strategy for creating a better future. Instead of looking at the job market as truly impossible, judge it as a merely difficult puzzle you have yet to solve.


2. Focus on areas that are hiring:  Certain areas, such as healthcare and energy law, are expected to show growth this year. Study business publications for growth areas. Law is an intersection between business, science, and government. Even if you do not take on an attorney role right away, you it is not impossible to move into a legal position after getting to know people in the industry. Many employers advertise jobs when they are not sure of exactly what they need. When an employer is ready to hire, the title is just as negotiable as the salary.


3. Attend events at your school: For law students, this may be easy to do, but for alumni, it is still possible. Many schools welcome their alumni back to the career center, and offer online databases, counseling with advisers, and seminars for practitioners at alumni events, luncheons and CLE programs. Not only do you stay fresh on what employers are out there, you get to meet current students and other alumni.


4.  Keep in touch with professors:  Just because you are out of law school does not mean you cannot keep relations with your professors.  They are a good resource for employment contacts because many of them do more than just teach. They write articles, attend political events, keep up with the legal community.


5. Target your résumés and cover letters: Do not use the same resume or cover letter for each job ad you see.  Tailor your resumes and cover letters to the employers. Resumes and cover letters are considered to be marketing materials, not biographies.

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Strategic Ways to Find Employment after a Layoff by
Authored by: Harrison Barnes