The Ten Commandments of Professionalism

Create a habit of professionalism—allowing you to move forward with the important things – landing the job of your dreams, taking care of the clients you like working with, growing your practice and achieving your career goals.

Here is everything you need to know…

  1. Attitude. I’ll never do this or I can do this. I hate networking or I love meeting people. I know everything or I could use some help. I hope it happens or it will happen. Change your thoughts and you will change your life. Who do you want to be? It’s your choice.
  2. Do What You Say. Your integrity is all you have. When you make a commitment, live up to it. But that doesn’t mean every commitment you make is etched in stone. You can always renegotiate it in advance of the committed time. Remember your integrity is at stake.
  3. Respond. Yes… respond to emails, texts and phone calls. I can just hear it. “Paula you don’t understand, I get so many I can’t respond.” I ask you. What are your priorities? That is what you focus on.0Your team is depending on you. Let them know you received it and set an expectation as to when you will get back to them.
  4. Participate. Take advantage of every opportunity. Now, that doesn’t mean show up and wing-it! You will have many networking opportunities and you will need a strategy for each one. Think about what you want to accomplish. Who do you want to meet? What would you like to learn? Then think of a handful of questions to engage the people you meet to accomplish your goals.When you participate and have a strategy you will gain valuable experiences and build deeper relationships. Remember to always be prepared.
  5. Stand Out. There are nearly 1.2 million lawyers in this country and 30 – 40 thousand graduating from law school every year. So how can you differentiate yourself? There are three ways. The 1st is to write and speak. Share your experiences. Demonstrate who you are and how you think.
  6. Listen. The 2nd is to listen. I mean REALLY listen. That doesn’t mean waiting to speak. Have you ever been speaking to someone and you could see it in his or her face that they were not listening to a word you were saying. It was rude and dismissive, wasn’t it? Master the skill of listening and you will find that people love interacting with you, because you listen.
  7. Build Relationships. The 3rd is to build relationships. Build relationships that truly matter, friends and colleagues that you can tap into throughout your career. This takes a commitment with thought and time allotted to it. It doesn’t happen by chance.
  8. Manage Time & Priorities. The reality is you will have more work pressure than you have ever experienced. Get comfortable with it and practice managing it. Set priorities and guard against others who hijack your time. Learn to manage your time wisely.
  9. Progress over Perfection. I have news… PERFECT does not exist. Everything can be improved. No matter how perfect you think something is today, tomorrow you will have another thought to improve it. Right?A better way to approach your work is to do your BEST at this moment. Did you do the research, did you get feedback, and did you think it through? Do your best at this moment and make progress.
  10. Dream Big… Adjust & Dream Some More. And NEVER, NEVER give up!

If you follow these Ten Commandments of Professionalism, just think about what your tomorrow could look like!


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