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What to Do When That First Position Isn’t What You Expected

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Summary: Learn how to find a job that is both marketable and fulfilling in this article.


Question: I am a 2015 graduate in finance from Ohio University. I have been working as a mortgage broker for a small firm. The position is unrewarding—all sales, no finance, and little chance of advancement. I have used a variety of job-search approaches for four months with no luck, other than for sales positions, which I am not interested in. Education seems like the only solution, and I am studying for the LSAT for admission next year. In the meantime, I need a position, even with less pay, that I enjoy and that will provide marketable skills. Any advice?

Answer: The crucial mix you are seeking is the ultimate combination of marketability with personal fulfillment. To isolate potential points of intersection, ask a series of questions designed to uncover or create fitting opportunities.

  • What type of work environments would you like to locate yourself in for the interim? (Examples: small-business enterprises, museums, financial institutions, nonprofit agencies, or bookstores.)
  • Who are the people or populations you would like to work with or serve? (Examples: business professionals, adults, disadvantaged students, or health-care workers.)
  • What are the causes you would like to represent? (Examples: ethical business practices, a political campaign, the environment, social justice.)
  • What are the products or services you would like to offer? (Examples of services: financial-planning services, mediation/conflict resolution; examples of products: sporting goods, software products, educational resources.)
  • What are the talents and skills you would like to contribute to your work? (Examples: financial skills, motivating employees, selling, researching, coaching.)
  • What are the flourishing businesses and occupations in your area? (Examples: customer service, managerial/supervisory, computer repair, tourism.)

Use the insights you gain from this exercise and the resulting experience to question or confirm your decision to move into a career in law.

See Top 20 Reasons Why There Is No Better Profession Than Practicing Law for more information.

What to Do When That First Position Isn't What You Expected by
Authored by: Andrew Ostler

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