Ten Tips From Lauren Rikleen on Reclaiming Your Career

If you missed last week’s Signature Seminar Series webinar with Lauren Stiller Rikleen, you really missed out on some invaluable advice for finding joy and satisfaction in your career. President of the Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership & Visiting Scholar at the Boston College Center for Work & Family, Lauren has spent years researching trends in the legal industry and speaking with leaders of law firms and legal departments. Her book, Ladder Down: Success Strategies for Lawyers from Women Who Will Be Hiring, Reviewing and Promoting You, provides hands-on tips for transforming your career from one that feels overwhelming to one that is truly fulfilling and invigorating.

In a nutshell, these are our notes on Lauren’s ten tips for professionals looking to find more meaning in their careers. However, we highly recommend that you pick up a copy of Ladder Down to fully understand her insights and the advice that she collected from women in leadership around the world.

  1. Pace yourself and recognize that career-building (and learning) is a life-long journey.
  2. Redefine what “power” means to you and understand that rather than being a negative force, power can actually be a positive attribute and a legitimate vehicle to becoming a leader and bringing about positive change.
  3. Develop a niche that ignites your passion, and develop that niche so you become a go-to person in your particular area of expertise.
  4. Begin developing your leadership skills early in your career and always be an authentic leader who demonstrates excellent judgment and treats others with kindness.
  5. Develop relationships with mentors and sponsors and remember to “pay it forward” by becoming a mentor or sponsor to a younger colleague.
  6. Understand that networking is about developing, nurturing, and maintaining professional and personal relationships where there can be mutual support.
  7. When it comes to business development, always listen to your instincts, do what works for you, and maintain your authenticity.
  8. Understand the importance of grit and a growth mindset as you learn and grow throughout your career. Develop resiliency to help you bounce back from inevitable setbacks.
  9. Learn how to advocate for yourself, share your successes, and take credit unapologetically.
  10. Do not shy away from seeking and speaking openly about work-life integration and recognize that flexibility is not an accommodation, rather, it is a critical tool for managing all of our life responsibilities, at work and at home.

Lauren can be reached directly at LRikleen@RikleenInstitute.com.   In keeping with the graduation season, Lauren wrote the following two articles last week that we are happy to share with you:

With Meme Decision, Harvard Offers A Lesson On The Importance Of Good Judgment

Why Most Advice For College Grads Won’t Help

The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance’s bi-monthly Signature Seminars explore organizational solutions as well as individual strategies related to inclusion, retention and workplace flexibility. Presented by a variety of industry experts, these virtual seminars are open to all professionals at Alliance Member organizations. Members can access seminar recordings and handouts in the Member Resource Center. Contact us for more information on membership and future Signature Seminars.