Q: Why do I feel overwhelmed about starting my job search?
A: Many lawyers feel the same way and perhaps have since the time Abraham Lincoln observed that he who represents himself has a fool for a client. In a search, you have to represent yourself–from committing your career to the page(s) of a resume to writing a meaningful cover letter to networking effectively to interviewing with confidence.
Another reason for feeling overwhelmed may be that you don’t know exactly what you want to do next in your career. Lawyers dislike ambiguity and have been taught since law school to predict outcomes based on facts and law. Yet, a job search is a process, rather than a prediction. Just because we can get a certain type of job doesn’t mean we should; starting a search with thoughtful analysis rather than a flurry of action may keep us in a grey area for a short time, which can be uncomfortable.
A good search with a good outcome will present challenges from start to finish that take us out of our comfort zones. But in the end, the pain will be worth the gain.