Most of us don’t really have a plan for our careers – we go from choice to choice, evaluating the results of those choices and tweaking them where possible, and suddenly there’s a traceable career path that might be entirely accidental however much each stop meant at the time.
That was certainly the career trajectory Adam Pekarsky, of Pekarsky and Co., described during the panel discussion titled Creating the Career You Want at the CBA Legal Conference in Calgary on Saturday.
If spontaneity isn’t your thing or if you have a clear career path in mind for yourself then it certainly is possible, panelist Michael Thakray, Q.C., of McMillan LLP, told the crowd.
Why? That question is the stone in the shoe for parents of toddlers who are just learning about the world. Why is the sky blue? Why is there a sky? Why are there stars? Every answer leads to a new question, because there’s much to know.
But why is also the key to innovation and creativity – if you keep asking why (and its corollary question, how) you can open doors to answers and new ways of doing things, says Michele Weslander Quaid, former chief innovation evangelist for Google.
You start out by asking “what is my why?” – that is, what is my purpose, my belief, my mission in life. What gets me out of bed in the morning?
Next month at the UN in New York, leaders will gather to agree on a development agenda for the nations of the world.
Marcia Kran, an international justice and development consultant with the UN in Geneva told #CBALC Calgary delegates at a session titled Strengthening Justice Globally that getting rule of law included in the 17 sustainable development goals that they’ll be discussing was no sure thing – it was hotly negotiated all the way through and nearly led to breakdowns in discussions several times.
We’ve all heard of the power of positive thinking – turns out lawyers are a bit weak in this area.
Larry Richard, who spoke Friday morning at the CBA Legal Conference in Calgary, showed us some of the data he’s collected that shows that lawyers are deficient in all of the personality factors that support resilience. It turns out the more resilient you are, the less stressed, anxious and depressed you seem to be. And lawyers have told us that their levels of anxiety, stress and depression worry them more than the more traditional worries of alcohol and drug addiction.
There are personality traits that work against resilience, and lawyers as a group have a number of them: high autonomy, high abstract reasoning, high sense of urgency. Lawyers’ resilience scores are low because they score very badly in two of the most important factors in resilience – realistic optimism and good social connections. Lawyers are skeptics, the opposite of optimists, and it’s not that they can’t make social connections, it’s that social connections make them uncomfortable, says Richard.
You go through different phases in your approach to money, and it means different things to you as you age, a #CBALC session on personal finance was told Thursday.
Panellists acknowledged saving is hard, but pointed out the value of discipline – and the money that gets transferred into savings accounts without first being touched by human hands. Automatically in, automatically out, and Bob’s your uncle.
The panel, made up of accountants and financial planning experts, had some tips for lawyers at all stages of their careers.
Kim Covert is a writer and editor at the CBA. / Kim Covert est rédactrice et éditorialiste à l’ABC.