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You have more to offer than you think

I recently read the book “Fearless” by the fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff. The book is really geared to younger professionals, so I’m going to share my favorite nugget of advice from the book in this blog.

I think one thing that plagues young attorneys is the feeling of not being able to offer as much as more experienced attorneys who have more substantive knowledge. However, one thing she pointed out that I really loved is that younger professionals typically have more time and more energy than their older counterparts.

I think this is very true. Time, energy and enthusiasm will go a really long way. She talked about how she would leave work in her 20s and then volunteer at a nonprofit art gallery in the evenings and put in another six to eight hours of work. She didn’t have a spouse or kids or other family obligations in the evenings. What she had was energy and enthusiasm.

She contributed so much to that nonprofit, and they were eternally grateful. In exchange, she got a place to fit in, with people who shared her interests. She got a sense of purpose, helping young artists. She got professional experience doing more than the menial tasks she was doing at her job, and networking. She got to do things that she didn’t get to do at work that expanded her horizons.

Next time you think you have nothing to offer, or you think you have less to offer than others, see if you can offer energy. See if you can offer time. These are resources that are in very short supply at law firms and legal services organizations, and they are among the most valuable.

If you cannot give these things at your day job, see where else you can.