Tips for Getting Your Legal Job Back on Track

I recently made a big mistake on a critical project and disappointed a lot of people at our firm. I’m worried now about the implications for my career. Any advice on how I can get back on track?

Keep in mind that most people face setbacks during their careers. For some it’s in the form of a layoff, for others it may be a failed project. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s possible to bounce back by developing a system for coping and moving on. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Begin with a careful assessment of the problem. Some areas to consider:  Did you have the necessary resources to succeed with your project? What can you learn from the mistake? What would you do differently next time? Your goal when answering these questions isn’t to assign blame, but rather to gain insight into what happened to help prevent a recurrence.
  2. Try to find the silver lining. For instance, perhaps you could benefit from additional training or mentoring. Maybe a re-allocation of projects would help you better balance your workload. In the end, the lessons learned may allow you and your team to work more effectively.
  3. Reach out to others for guidance. Talking with a mentor, colleague, friend or family member can not only alleviate feelings of isolation but also help you develop strategies for moving ahead.
  4. Create an action plan. Instead of using a broad objective, such as “produce quality work,” make a checklist of what you need to do specifically to achieve this goal. For example, you might include items like “take a class in business communication” and “ask technology manager for input on the first draft of the proposal.” You’ll know exactly what steps need to be taken and also gain satisfaction in accomplishing each stage of the process.

Your positive mindset and commitment going forward can make all the difference in getting your work back on track. If you learn from your mistakes and take the necessary measures to move on, you’ll be ready for the professional challenges and opportunities ahead.