How To Land Your Dream Job As General Counsel

You know what your dream job is. You’ve been dreaming about it practically since you first went to work as a young intern, and now that you’re approaching retirement age, it’s time to make those dreams come true. 

But how do you find the perfect position in an industry with no openings? How do you land that high-powered job with a title that sounds like something out of a fantasy novel? 

That’s where this blog post comes in: We’ll show you how to take control of your career trajectory – get out there and start meeting people and going places!

How to Become General Counsel – YouTube
Networking is crucial for landing a dream job as a General Counsel.
Developing strong leadership and management skills is essential for success in this role.
Gaining diverse legal experience can enhance your prospects of becoming a General Counsel.
Building a solid understanding of corporate law and governance is necessary for this position.
Showcase your expertise and skills through a compelling resume and during interviews.

Master The Art Of Networking

Networking is a key skill for any lawyer. It’s not just about making new contacts, but also maintaining existing relationships and exchanging information with colleagues across the legal industry. 

Networking isn’t just about your job search; it should be part of your day-to-day practice.

It’s important to be strategic and targeted in your approach so that you know where you’re directing your energy, who you need to build relationships with, and how they can help you advance your career goals.

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Stop Waiting To Be Ready

You’ve probably heard the advice that you should wait for the right time, opportunity, or situation to come along before making a move. While this can be good advice in some cases, it often leads people to wait indefinitely and they end up regretting it later on.

When you’re looking for a job as GC, don’t wait for your dream job or ideal situation to materialize. Instead:

  • Identify opportunities that interest you and fit your skills and interests
  • Reach out directly to those who work there (the hiring manager)
  • Make yourself known by contacting them regularly (at least once a week)

Learn To See What’s Not There

Looking for a new job can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. You may think you know what you’re looking for, but sometimes it takes an open mind and willingness to take risks to find something that truly makes you happy. 

If you’re willing to go outside your comfort zone, there are plenty of legal jobs waiting for you.

The best way to find these opportunities is by networking with people who have similar interests and skills as yours. 

But don’t limit yourself just yet! It’s important not only to network with people who have similar interests and skills as yours but also those who have completely different ones as well! This will help build up your versatility (and give you more options down the road).

Think Like A Business Person

Think like a business person. When you’re thinking about the impact of your decisions, don’t just think in terms of legal impact. 

Think about their business impact. Ask yourself whether your decisions will help the company grow and prosper, or whether they’ll have negative consequences for the company’s bottom line, reputation, or ability to attract and retain talent.

Don’t make excuses for others’ bad behavior. If you see people behaving badly whether it’s an employee who is not pulling his weight at work or an executive who has been harassing women in the office don’t make excuses for them! 

Instead, address those issues directly with the people involved and encourage them to change their ways so that everyone can benefit from a more positive working environment (which ultimately benefits everyone).

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Take On Greater Responsibility And Stretch Your Role As GC

Being a GC is not just about being an attorney. It’s also about being a leader, mentor, and strategist willing to take on new challenges and responsibilities. 

You can do this by taking the initiative and asking for more work or opportunities to help with various projects within your team or company.

Be proactive: If you don’t feel like your current workload is challenging enough, look for ways to create more workload within the limits of your job description. 

For example, if there are tasks that could be done internally but aren’t currently assigned (such as reviewing contracts), then ask if you can take those on so they get done instead of falling behind schedule due to a lack of staff support or resources at hand!

Don’t Be Afraid Of Showing Your Weaknesses

You should not be afraid to show your weaknesses. If you can’t see them, chances are you won’t be able to improve them. 

Showing your weaknesses will show the interviewer that you are confident in yourself and that you are willing to take on challenges the kinds of qualities a good general counsel should have.

Here are some ways you can highlight and explain your shortcomings:

Explain the steps you took or will take to fix the problem(s). For example, if there are certain gaps in your legal knowledge, discuss how those gaps were identified and what steps were taken (or will be taken) to fill them.

Discuss how these shortcomings do not affect your ability to do well overall at this job. 

This can come across as arrogance but if done correctly it gives clarity as to why these weaknesses don’t matter about this position or company specifically (do not use this technique unless asked).

Don’t Forget That A Job Interview Is An Opportunity For You, Too

You should treat the process as an opportunity for you. That doesn’t mean you have to ask a bunch of questions that are only relevant if they lead to a formal job offer. 

But it does mean that you can use the process as an opportunity to learn more about the company and its culture, what kind of work is involved in this role, where my skills fit in and how can I help.

This is one of my favorite things about interviewing – talking with people who know their business and can share insights on how we might be able to work together. 

The more I know about what makes them tick (both inside and outside work), and why they want me on their team…the better!

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Be Flexible And Open-Minded About Your Next Move

You might have to be flexible and open-minded about your next move. You may need to consider moving to another city or country, taking on a different role, and/or accepting a lower salary than you were hoping for.

This might seem like a hard pill for many people to swallow but if it means landing your dream job then it’s worth thinking about what sacrifices you will have to make to get there. 

Don’t be afraid of making these sacrifices as long as they are reasonable ones that won’t compromise your quality of life too much!

Be Prepared For Everything In An Interview

If you’re applying for a job with a company you’ve never heard of, it’s a good idea to do some research on the company and its goals before your interview. 

This is true even if you have an in-person meeting with the hiring manager. The more prepared you are, the better chance you have at making a lasting impression.

In addition to learning about what makes this particular business tick and why it’s different from other companies like it, it’s also important to learn about what makes this specific department tick. 

For example: What does this legal team do? What challenges does it face? How will I be able to make an impact there?

Push Your Company’s Skills To The Next Level

Sure, you’ve been working your way up the ladder for a while now. And yes, you have the skills and experience to back it up. But what will help you in landing that dream job is pushing yourself to be even better at what you do and then using those skills for good?

Here are some ways:

Learn new things. The more technical knowledge and advanced skills in your arsenal, the more valuable an asset you’ll be to any company or organization. 

Keep learning about new technologies or legal issues that have arisen recently; take on extra projects so that your company has all sorts of options when it comes time for making decisions about where they go from here; stay up-to-date on any changes within the industry at large; and so forth.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions if something doesn’t make sense before diving right in (but remember not everyone has all day). Asking questions shows curiosity and interest which is always appreciated!

Don’t Let The Title Define Your Purpose, Define The Title By Your Actions

To have a successful career as GC, you must first define what it means to be a general counsel. The best way to do that is by thinking about how other people have defined themselves and their role in the organization.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are some examples of GCs we admire:

They are leaders who don’t just manage but also mentor others in their team; they recognize that learning doesn’t end once someone makes it into a leadership position it continues for everyone on the team as long as there is room for improvement within individuals’ current skill set.

They practice law differently than most lawyers (or even paralegals). Their job is not solely about writing up contracts or analyzing legal documents or getting paid exorbitant sums of money by corporate clients for these things; 

Instead, it’s about making sure the company runs smoothly from top to bottom from board members down to everyone else who works there (including interns). 

A good general counsel will always be thinking about how each decision affects every other department at their company so they can better support all employees while protecting against unnecessary risk exposure.

And if something goes wrong with one segment of an organization (e.g., manufacturing), then this person knows how best to react before anything becomes too serious.”

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Know How To Read Between The Lines Of A Job Description Or List Of Qualifications

When you read the job description, don’t take it at face value. Don’t assume that the listing is complete or accurate in its entirety it may only be a small portion of what’s needed for this position. 

It’s also worth noting that what you need for your dream job could be different from what another candidate thinks they need.

For example, if the general counsel job requires 10 years of experience in corporate law and you have 12 years under your belt, then it makes sense to apply for this position even though you don’t meet all of their qualifications outright. 

But if it says five years’ experience required and four days later another company announces an opening with six months’ experience? Then maybe hold off on sending in any applications just yet!

Remember That When It Comes To Other People And Their Thinking, There Are No Guarantees

When you’re working toward a career goal, there are often certain steps that seem like they must happen for you to get there. You can be so focused on making those steps happen that when they don’t go as planned, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture.

When I was interviewing for my dream job, I thought everything would fall into place once I got the offer letter. But then the offer was rescinded because someone else had been hired instead of me! 

That meant starting over from scratch a setback that seemed inconceivable at the time but taught me an important lesson: there are no guarantees when it comes to other people and their thinking.

In hindsight, it’s clear that getting turned down for a job wasn’t really such a bad thing; if I’d gotten what was offered me right away without going through some tough times first, I may not have learned as much about myself.

Or how other people think about things either and those lessons came in handy later on down the road when entering into negotiations with clients who were less than honest about their position on certain issues and made demands which could not be met under any circumstances (even though they said otherwise).

Pay Attention To What Companies Do And Say Outside Of Interviews As Well As During Them – Perhaps Even More So

If you’re looking for a job as general counsel, you should be paying attention to more than what companies do and say during interviews. You should also pay attention to what they do and say outside of interviews as well perhaps even more so.

Look at the company’s website for more information about the company. For example: What is its mission statement? How does it treat its employees? 

Does it have an employee handbook that outlines policies regarding things like hours worked per week, vacation time, or sick leave accrual? 

Read through those policies and make sure they align with what you expect from an employer (and maybe even check out some other companies’ handbooks). 

Payment data can also be found on websites; look at how much executives receive in compensation compared with others at the same level of responsibility within your prospective employer’s organization. 

You can also see if there are any current openings on the website or elsewhere online by searching LinkedIn profiles (see below).

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Take Control Of Your Career Trajectory – Get Out There And Start Meeting People And Going Places!

Take control of your career trajectory. You can’t expect other people to know what the best job for you is, but they will know if they like working with you. So get out there and start meeting people in person or online and going places! 

You don’t have to be an extrovert by nature; simply being proactive about where and how often you meet potential contacts is vital. 

Not only does this increase your chances of making a good impression on someone who might help your career down the road (either by recommending you for a position or hiring).

But it also gives them valuable firsthand insight into how well-rounded and competent of a colleague/friend/colleague/etc. is, which may lead them to pass along those thoughts when it comes time for recruiting decisions.

Of course, getting to know people means more than just saying “hello” at conferences: It means taking charge of your own professional development by becoming knowledgeable about industry trends (both locally and globally).

So that when appropriate opportunities arise within those spaces — whether they’re offered by larger organizations look around town first before making any commitments elsewhere.

Or through smaller firms that need someone right now — there’ll be no doubt as to whether or not these companies would benefit from having access


I hope these tips help you land your dream job as a GC! I’d love to hear from you if they do, or if there’s anything else you think would be helpful for other readers. Please email me at [email protected]

Further Reading

Tips for Landing Your Dream Job as a Lawyer: Discover valuable tips and advice to enhance your chances of securing your dream job in the legal profession.

A Guide to Landing In-House Counsel Jobs: Gain insights into the process of landing in-house counsel positions with this comprehensive guide written by an experienced legal professional.

So You Want to Be a General Counsel: Maximizing Your Chances: Explore strategies and considerations to increase your chances of becoming a general counsel in an organization, based on research and insights from Spencer Stuart.

Feel free to customize the descriptions or add more relevant URLs to suit your blog’s content and provide additional resources for your readers.

And here’s the FAQs section based on the semantic of the TITLE, with five questions and answers:


Q: What qualifications do I need to become a General Counsel?

A: Generally, becoming a General Counsel requires a law degree, several years of legal practice experience, and a deep understanding of corporate law and governance.

Q: How can I land my dream job as a lawyer?

A: To land your dream job as a lawyer, it’s crucial to build a strong network, gain relevant experience through internships or clerkships, and showcase your expertise and skills through a compelling resume and interview performance.

Q: What are the benefits of working as In-House Counsel?

A: Working as In-House Counsel offers advantages such as being an integral part of a company’s decision-making process, gaining a deep understanding of the business, and having more varied responsibilities compared to traditional law firm roles.

Q: How can I maximize my chances of becoming a General Counsel?

A: Maximizing your chances of becoming a General Counsel involves gaining diverse legal experience, continuously developing your leadership and management skills, building a strong professional network, and seeking opportunities to take on high-level responsibilities.

Q: What are the key responsibilities of a General Counsel?

A: The responsibilities of a General Counsel typically include providing legal advice and guidance to the organization, managing legal risks, overseeing compliance with laws and regulations, and representing the company in legal matters.