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If moving up the corporate ladder into the role of General Counsel is in your future plans, then it’s time to review and make the necessary adjustments needed to achieve your career goal. Here are some things you can do to hone your skills, develop your leadership abilities, and enhance the traits you’ll need to advance into the role of General Counsel within your company.

Hone Your Skills

An important way to prepare for advancement is to continue honing your skills as an attorney.

  • Focus on goals. Commit to achieving your professional goals. Consistency is key when it comes to accomplishing short and mid-term tasks as well as reaching long-term goals.
  • Focus on quality. Get your work done right and on time and you’ll set yourself apart from the rest through the quality of your work.
  • Know how to prioritize. Good time management is a valuable skill that keeps you from “putting out fires” and puts you on track for high productivity and effectiveness.

In addition to maintaining such skills as communication, analysis, and logical reasoning, you should also be adept in the art of collaboration and have a high level of emotional intelligence. Additional areas where you can set yourself apart as an attorney:

  • Financial literacy
  • Project management
  • Technological proficiency

Emphasize Top Traits

There are numerous traits a good attorney should have, yet there are a few that are essential to success. By focusing on the essential traits, you can excel in your profession and you’ll naturally attract advancement opportunities. Here are some key traits to emphasize:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Punctuality
  • Client advocacy
  • Dependability

When you personify these desirable traits in everything you do, you become the type of attorney that others look too for advice and guidance.

Improve as a Leader

Developing your leadership skills will absolutely set you apart from other good attorneys. Great leadership begins with good communication so set strategic objectives for your team that are clear and direct. Meet with team members on a regular basis to track and discuss their concerns, but don’t commit the mistake of micromanaging them. In order to bring out the best in others as a leader, you should get out of the way and let them display their capabilities. Just be sure to provide them with guidance and mentorship along the way.

Continual Development

Seek out development opportunities from a mentor within your company. If you have people in your company that can help you develop, then ask them if they will. Communicate that you want to be developed as a leader and partner. But, if you don’t have the opportunity to be developed from within the company, then you may consider leaving the organization for another opportunity; or you may consider self-development.

Self-Development Tips

Self-development isn’t only about learning new skills to better your professional position. It’s just as important to eradicate those bad habits that hold you back. Commit to reading at least three leadership books per year. Some recommendations to get started include:

  • People Follow You: People Follow You by Jeb Blount
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  • 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You by John C. Maxwell

Even the most qualified attorneys can get overlooked for potential promotions. If you’re capable, skilled, viewed favorably by supervisors and subordinates and achieve results, then it’s an ideal time to ask for a promotion.

Is your company utilizing your talent?

If you’re providing a lot of value, and your company isn’t able to utilize your talent and skills – is it time for you to consider a new opportunity? At Quaero Group we work with top companies nationwide, and we can be a resource to help you to find interesting, lucrative, and meaningful work in an in-house counsel position. Contact us to talk about your options.


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