A Networking Lesson and Reflections on a Professional Journey

A Networking Lesson and Reflections on a Professional Journey by Aimee B. Davis{3:36 minutes to read}  Last month, I focused on the value of my mentors. Coincidentally, I recently came across a person on TV who refers to himself as “The Superconnector.”

Chris Winfield advises new college graduates to connect with the 20 most influential people in their lives — he recommends sharing the job they really want with them, and asking for their help.

I appreciate this lesson in networking. I wish networking was a skill taught in school when I was there. I suspect it is now. But in reflecting back, I realize I would have been completely overwhelmed by that advice.

First of all, when I was a recent college graduate, I had little to no awareness of who in my life was influential. I wasn’t thinking about “making connections,” professional or otherwise. In fact, it wasn’t until launching ABD Law, over 15 years into my legal career, that I fully understood the power of networking.

Also, I wouldn’t have been able to identify my “dream job.” My professional path has always been more about the journey. I wasn’t a kid that ever planned to attend law school. When I got to Penn Law, I was intimidated by students who envisioned saving the world after graduating. I’ve never even had a five-year plan. Does anyone still do this anymore?

Once becoming entrenched in Big Law, I just worked hard (often until the wee hours of the day/night). For many years, I was on the grind! This rigorous lifestyle built up my stamina and endurance, and reinforced my already solid work ethic. But, when I lost my job in Big Law, I suffered from the loss of my identity. After 16 years, I didn’t know who I was, if not an attorney in private practice.

But, when you don’t KNOW, it gives you the power to create.

Today, I’m grateful for my unwillingness to commit to any particular long-term professional plan. The practice of law has been disrupted by developments in technology. What I do today (solo practitioner, working from home) was inconceivable 10 years ago, let alone when I graduated from law school or college. Upon launching ABD Law, a variety of new and interesting opportunities arose and continue to come my way.

I embrace being a Rezooming Attorney, and once I started leveraging my network, I stopped looking back. Although I never know when or where my next deal is coming from, I’m comfortable with that uncertainty because I trust in my network and the goodwill I have developed within that community. Although it was a bumpy road getting here, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Kudos to you, Chris Winfield. I applaud you for teaching the kids to think about the importance of networking early on in their careers.

Aimee B. Davis Law P.C. is committed to advising its clients and resolving issues relating to the legal and business matters that are important to them. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at (917) 617-2243 or email aimee@aimeebdavis.com.

Aimee B. Davis
Aimee B. Davis Law P.C.
122 Ashland Place
Brooklyn, NY 11201
www.aimeebdavis.com
aimee@aimeebdavis.com

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4 Responses to A Networking Lesson and Reflections on a Professional Journey

  1. Trish Rubin says:

    Great piece! I may refer to your story in my new book for lead educators: Growing Leadership Networks! I have seen your networking star shine brightly throw the years.

  2. Peter Raulli says:

    Great article ABD. Thank you for the reminder that we have so many tools in our box it’s just a matter of using them at the right time for the right purpose. Networking is about giving AND receiving. I have an industry function tomorrow night so this is a very timely article to apply to my immediate future. Thank you!

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