Know your limits

You are used to succeeding.

But at what stage do you recognise your limitations and ask for help?

Help is misunderstood.

It looks like failure.

It is no surprise that lawyers working in a firm get christened “solo practitioners”. Working as part of a team means that your ideas might not be accepted. You are not trained to ask for second or third opinions.

Lawyers need to be self-assured, confident and inspiring. But even if you feel confident in advising on the law, don’t think you have all the answers.

Everyone is telling you how much the profession is about to change, but do you really appreciate the significance of those changes? Your firm may not want you to know the full extent of the changed landscape but that is no reason to stay quiet. Stay curious. Start poking about. Cause a commotion if you think you need to but be humble. Know when you have to reach out and say: “I don’t know”.

Your limits are prescribed by your own thinking. But if all you think about is next month’s billing don’t expect to grow. You professional compass continues to narrow. You have to find ways to see over the horizon without looking for an escape route.

It is important that you work continually towards a series of predetermined, worthwhile goals. The principal goal is to get better (I would like to say be happy but I fear that is not possible). Understand that without exposing your weaknesses and reaching out for help, you won’t move forward. You will work harder and harder but you won’t grow emotionally.

“I need help” might just be your saviour.

~ JS ~