By Erin Giglia
It comes as no surprise to anyone that attorneys need clients. Attorneys, especially young attorneys, have the endless and daunting task of building and maintaining a client base in order to grow and succeed in their careers. But how do you get there?
Josh Beser‘s answer is two-fold and is fairly simple – (1) meet interesting people, and (2) be as helpful as possible.
In Josh’s recent article, “Relationships Build Experiences Build Opportunities Build Careers,” published by JD Supra, he discusses the importance of meeting interesting people without expecting anything in return – ever. This means that when you meet a new person, it is important to think of them as an interesting person who you might be able to help even in a small way, and not as a “potential client, potential collaborator, or potential boss.” Josh explains that every interesting person is at least one of those things, but we need to approach relationships with an eye towards giving instead of trying to figure out what’s in it for us.
Young professionals often wonder how they can be helpful to a more senior or already successful person. It can be intimidating. Young people can start out being helpful in small ways, like recommending a cool restaurant, or a book or movie. Young people can share and promote successes for others on social media. Be creative, and follow through.
Josh also recommends spending time with people who are active in industries that are interesting to you, instead of spending all of your time with people in your industry. If you’re a lawyer, spend some time with musicians, or artists, or doctors, or whatever is interesting to you. Now that you’ve met these interesting people, get to know them, their interests, and spend time trying to be as helpful as possible. That’s how you build a relationship, and that’s how you build a friendship. Maybe nothing (professionally) will ever come out of it, but you can never have too many friends.
Josh Beser is Assistant General Counsel at Lonza, a global leader in life sciences and specialty ingredients with over 10,000 employees worldwide. Previously, Josh was a corporate associate at Bingham McCutchen LLP and Heller Ehrman LLP, representing emerging companies in the technology and life sciences industries.