Young Lawyers Division, 0817 UTBJ, Vol. 30, No. 4. 58

AuthorJaelynn R. Jenkins, J.

Young Lawyers Division

Vol. 30 No. 4 Pg. 58

Utah Bar Journal

August, 2017

July, 2017

Making Connections

Jaelynn R. Jenkins, J.

Of all the dirty words in a person’s repertoire, “networking” should not be one of them. Attorneys, young and old, shudder when forced to network. The idea of asking for business causes some to cringe while others dislike small talk and still others find mingling beneath them. The truth is networking is essential to everyone’s career. Yes, even for government attorneys or those settled into their dream job with no intention of leaving.

The obvious benefit of networking is business development or the ability to make it rain clients and collectibles. Networking, however, has many other benefits, including career advancement and professional relevancy and resilience. Tomorrow’s lunch appointment is the source of next year’s job offer, and a fellow committee member may just be the person who can talk you through the unusual case you cannot quite wrap your head around. Learning about your colleagues’ triumphs and failures reminds you why you chose this profession in the first place. Networking opens dialogues about the best service providers inside and outside of the legal community and creates informal mentor and mentee relationships. In essence, networking is building a community.

Whether you are building a pipeline of potential clients or a web of support and resources, building a community is a lifetime practice that is ever evolving. A strong and sustainable network does not spring into existence after one lunch or cocktail hour. Start building the infrastructure for a pipeline or a web today to maximize career benefits.

The first step in starting a networking practice, besides choosing and attending an event, is to put yourself in the right mindset. The best networkers understand that giving is the key to receive. Rating an event based solely on how it benefits oneself is a less than fruitful approach. Choose to view the world with an abundance mindset rather than a scarcity mindset. A one-time competitor may become a valued mentor, employer, or team member.

If a room full of the unknown is intimidating, set small goals such as introducing yourself to three individuals. The sooner you learn to tackle an intimidating room, the better. Look for small groups that are standing in a manner to welcome additional members (e.g. open to the room as...

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