3 Simple Steps to Career Planning

August 12, 2022

How Associates can prepare to weather recessionary periods


Like the certainty of death and taxes, economic markets shift.  Speculation continues that Canada might head into a recessionary period.  When markets are strong and the relative demand for talented lawyers is high legal recruiters are hopping.  They have many available options to match the right legal talent with the right legal job whether its private practice or in-house.  However when markets pull back and remain down for extended periods of time, the supply of lawyers outweighs the number of available opportunities.  How do lawyers navigate their career path during down markets – especially if they aspire for partnership?


Active management of one’s career is not just for dissatisfied lawyers, it is for everyone. It helps lawyers to focus on their goals and aspirations. Despite good economic times or bad ones, proactive career management is as critical to success in your current legal job as it is should you look to make a move.



Take stock and critically assess your personal and work related skills, interests, likes, dislikes, attitudes.



Friends and family can offer a sympathetic ear but little else. For objectivity, obtain professional assistance. Potential resources include legal recruiters, career counselors, executive coaches and even firm mentors.


Career Plan

No surprises.  If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Create a written career plan including overall vision, long-term objectives, summarize your interests, skills, strengths, weaknesses, career goals, strategies and actions to achieve those goals. Review your plan frequently to make adjustments and ensure you stay on track.


Luck and timing may help but we know when it comes down to developing ones career long term and finding the right path, it really is all up to you.  As legal recruiters, we encourage Associates to regularly take stock of their career.  Take advantage of our career planning SWOT Analysis guide to assess your current skill set and strategize your continuing path to partnership.  Now is always a good time to improve marketability by planning, preparing and positioning for that impending market downturn or shortage of available opportunities in the legal sector.


Sameera Sereda is the Managing Partner and Chair, In-House Counsel Division at The Counsel Network, a Canadian legal recruitment firm specializing in legal talent management strategies covering all levels of lawyers and practices for both corporate legal departments and law firms. To discuss your career, contact Sameera at ssereda@thecounselnetwork.com or 403.444.1763. 


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