Feel Like Quitting Your Job? Career Change Options for Paralegals

Thinking of leaping to another field?
Do you sometimes feel like you have lost interest in the paralegal profession? Does it happen that you no longer look forward to going to the office? Has the economy affected your employment prospects and/or expected career path?
They are many reasons paralegals sometimes find themselves looking at their career, feeling that they have lost some of the interest that initially drove them into the field. In this context, a change in career can be contemplated as a natural progression of life, especially as the legal job market remains uncertain. But changing careers takes focus and commitment. To be successful, you will need to develop short-term, intermediate and long-term goals, and decide on the steps required to accomplish them.
—— Assessment of likes and dislikes ——
Identifying what you do not like in your current job is the easy part, but you will also need to decide what direction you want to take based on your preferences and talents in order to achieve a successful career change. Hence, a good way to progress in this direction is to make a list of what you really like doing at work and at home.
You can talk to people who know you personally and professionally to get some feedback about your hidden or obvious talents. There are also assessment tests you can take such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality inventory or the Motivational Appraisal of Personal Potential(MAPP) Assessment. You can also take a look at your previous and current job descriptions, the different recognitions and thank-you notes you received or your job performance reviews.
—— Research your potential new career ——
You need to know what essential skills likely employers are looking for in that particular field before launching your new career. Additionally, it is essential to make sure that:
  • your new career will offer you a satisfactory level of compensation,
  • it will offer opportunities for career advancement,
  • it will fit your lifestyle and family situation,
  • you are really engaged and excited about it,
  • you are willing to make the sacrifices that may be required, such as accepting a lower wage at the beginning or going back to school for a while.
Before plunging yourself into a new career, a good curse of action is start by assembling all available and relevant information by using multiple sources (Internet, scholar studies, industry specific news and trade publications). You also need to network with people who already working in the field that you are interested in, for example by attending events organized by associations related to your new field of interest. Another, more unconventional, but usually very promising with regards to opening up future employment opportunities way is to ask members of the new profession or professional field for informational interviews.


—— The new skills you will need to succeed ——
There are many skills that are transferable from one career to another (such as writing skills, communication, planning and leadership). Regarding the non-transferable skills, the objective of the secondary search is how to best and most efficiently acquire them. Perhaps, your education can be upgraded by way of an additional certificate or add-on degree. If this is not feasible due to budgetary constraints, family obligations, location, or other issues, there are always alternative ways to accumulate the required skills and knowledge, even more so nowadays, with the Internet providing limitless access to information from all professional areas and from all around the world. Alternative learning options include self-directed reading and watching of relevant online videos made by professionals (interviews, topical blogs and vlogs, etc.), volunteering in your new career field, temporarily obtaining a part-time job in your new industry, for example.
—— Job hunting ——
Finally, think about how to market oneself is essential for the success of your career change endeavor. This means revamping your resume and highlighting all your relevant skills and experience. A professional career coach can be very useful at this stage or, even better, a mentor(ideally with some stature and credibility in the new field) who can help by providing you with information about current trends or by letting you access his/her professional network in order to optimize your self-presentation. Of course, refreshing your familiarity and skills regarding cover letters, interview techniques and … salary negotiations are essential to find the job and deal that you are looking for.
And finally a marketing strategy needs to be articulated in order to efficiently convey clearly your reasons for your career change and your competitive edge over other candidates in this new field. Your prior, maybe unrelated experience can come in handy here and set your apart with respect to other candidates, if presented in the right way.

Check out this article for alternative ideas for jobs paralegals can do! 

Alternative Things Paralegals are Doing for Work

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