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I’m a Professional, Now What?

For the past 25 years, I’ve been a kid. During most of that time, I was a student. I’ve had my share of jobs, but they were all just stepping stones to the future.

But now I’m a professional. I have a JD. I just took the Virginia bar exam. I start my first, permanent, full-time job on August 6. I’m not a licensed attorney yet, but I’m definitely part of the professional adult world.

What do I do now?

I’ve been pondering this day for a while. And the full implications probably haven’t even hit me yet. It’s literally the start of my professional life, and I don’t know what to make of that.

I know how to be a good student. I can take a mean set of notes. I’m a spiffy test taker. But will those skills help my career? Maybe, maybe not.

How will I stand being in the same office at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week? Won’t I get sick to death of that space?

Perhaps you’ve encountered this situation as well. You’ve been through transitions between schools or careers. But what about the day when you’re done with school, and it’s time to storm the career world?!

I need your help

When I started this post, I thought I’d write a list of tips for new professionals. But I realized I had more questions than tips. So now I’m asking for your ideas.

What is your best tip for a newly minted professional? What piece of advice do you wish you learned on day 1?

[tags]professional advice[/tags]

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10 Responses to “I’m a Professional, Now What?”

  1. Chris F.
    July 26th, 2007

    My number one piece of advice is this: Work hard, but play harder. I’ve never seen a headstone that said “I wish I would have spent more time working and less time playing.” It does get boring at times sitting in the same office every day. It is what you do away from work that makes it manageable from both physical and mental standpoints. Corporate jobs require 40 hours per week, so don’t spend 40 more hours every week worrying about them. Spend time with your family. Work on your hobbies. Read something that has nothing to do with your job. Go outside. The answers to your work problems will come when you least expect them – not when you’re sitting at home worrying about them constantly.

  2. Juggling Frogs
    July 26th, 2007

    Congratulations, Andrew, on completing the bar exam!

  3. Snoskred
    July 27th, 2007

    I don’t have any tips for you. Well, I do, but I’m cynical and jaded so they wouldn’t be *good* for you. ;)

    Congratulations on the bar exam!


  4. Andrew Flusche
    July 27th, 2007

    Hi everyone – Thanks for your kind words and advice.

    I definitely plan to play hard, now that school is over with. I’ll finally have time to get some real cycling in! Although I first have to get us moved for my new job. That sucks.

  5. Anastasia
    July 30th, 2007

    Congrats on getting done with the bar!
    There is a book titled “The First 90 days” by Michael Watkins. It talks about how to transition into new positions successfully. It targets mostly business leaders but it has some good career planning ideas and strategies.

  6. Andrew Flusche
    July 30th, 2007

    Hi Anastasia,

    Thanks for the book recommendation. I will put that on my “to read” list. I can use all the help I can get. :)

  7. [...] to Legal Andrew on completing the bar exam. In this post he asks about advice for a new professional. Below are my thoughts. If you have any further [...]

  8. [...] I’m a Professional, Now What? « Legal Andrew [...]

  9. david
    October 8th, 2007

    Andrew, congratulations on getting out of law school and conquering the bar. I’m a third year at the University of Florida, and I’m interested in Virginia. I have a few questions for you — would you mind sending me an e-mail? Thanks.

  10. Andrew Flusche
    October 9th, 2007

    David, I’m always happy to talk with prospective law students. That’s one reason I started Legal Andrew – to help connect with other people. I’ll email you. Thanks for your comment! Andrew

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