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Annual career check-up?

Every year you change your car's oil, visit the dentist, clean the chimney flu, and get a flu shot. Add an Annual Career Check-up to your list.

1. Revise your resume to reflect new skills, accomplishments, professional memberships, and board or other public service.

2. Review your work with professional organizations and make sure that you are connected to the most sophisticated and current sources of information about business and practice trends, including compensation and training.

3. Review your compensation and benefits with information gleaned from professional publications and members of professional organizations. Gather the information that will help you make a persuasive case with your employer for a change in your pay and benefits.

4. Call the CPDC for the most current compensation and training information from NALP.

5. If you want or need a change in your work arrangements (i.e. reduced hours, work from home, change in duties), gather the information that will help you make a persuasive and culturally appropriate case with your employer.

6. Connect with close law school classmates by phone, e-mail, holiday letter, linkedIn or myfacebookspace.com. Have breakfast, lunch or drinks with them when you can.

7. Make it a point to attend holiday gatherings of your professional colleagues from outside your office. Do not waste these events by spending 95% of the time with people you see every day. Use the time to re-connect with people outside of your daily circle.

8. Stay connected to high school and college pals, supporting their lives and career moves. Why? While it is disingenuous to call and ask for favors 15 years after high school when you haven't spoken a word to someone, it is good to be able to call your pals and say:

Hi! I'm about to be a law firm partner and I'd like to continue to be your lawyer;
Hi! I'm running for office and I'd like your money and your vote; and/or
I remember that you liked theater in high school and now that I'm on the Board of A Local Theater Company, I'd like your contribution.