Is your career based on considered choices you planned or has it unfolded as part of a process you didn’t necessarily foresee?
Some of each.
Planned: college, law school, summer jobs, first law firm, second law firm, partnership. Not expected: business position and GC at a tech startup, risk manager for law firms, solo. Also unanticipated: periods of time away from work.
What do you enjoy most (and, if you’re willing, what are the least enjoyable or hardest parts) about your current role?
In my current position I have flexibility to get my work done on my schedule. This gives me the opportunity to spend more time with my daughter. I can also work from my office or from home.
Commercial contracts, however, are not as exciting as public securities offerings used to be!
What skills and personality traits lend themselves to success in your field?
Dedication, attention to detail, great client relations and creative use of knowledge.
What advice do you have for someone who hopes to find a job similar to yours/in your field?
Be open minded. Don’t turn something down that isn’t quite the perfect fit without first trying to get it modified to meet your needs better. It works in many situations.
What has been the best surprise in your career?
Asking FEARFULLY to work part time, expecting to get turned down and have it used against me. Instead, my boss was so worried I was quitting when I closed the door and said we needed to talk, that he was only too happy to work with me on a modified schedule.
What might you do differently, in hindsight?
If I could do it again, I’d work harder to be attuned to the politics in an organization. Just doing a superlative job isn’t enough. You need to be politically savvy.
What do you do outside of work that helps you be successful?
Get enough sleep, get exercise, use your non-working times well. That way you can do the best job possible at work and know that you have a full and fun life outside of work as well.