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It takes more than a fancy law firm on your r�sum� to win you that plum government, in-house, or nonprofit post. Achieving your dreams happens in baby steps, not leaps and bounds. You must constantly seek out the skills, experiences, and contacts that will form the bridge to your ideal career. • Dream Big. Seek out three or four lawyers you think have dream jobs and explore the realities of their daily lives. Find out how they made it, and benefit from their advice. Find a mentor who is 10 years ahead of where you want to be. • Start Small. Add to your monthly professional reading list one magazine, journal, or Web site dedicated to your dream profession. Join a listserv of experts; lurk and learn. • Make the Rounds. Every week, resolve to meet another lawyer at your firm. Check out her bio for practice, bar activities, articles, civic groups, and pro bono work. You cannot connect with your colleagues until you know who’s who. • Pitch In. Find a way to develop good working relationships with lawyers outside your department or office. Volunteer for a law firm committee or recruiting duty. Join a Habitat for Humanity job or other firm project. • Reach Out. Do one thing each week to expand or enhance your professional circle. Renew your connection with a law school classmate or faculty member. • Ante Up. Every month, attend a community event, a CLE course (even if your firm won’t pay for it), a fund-raiser, or a conference for a cause you care about. Put your daily latte budget into a “dream-job fund” and you’ll be able to afford these extras. • Buckle Down. Don’t put your plan on hold even if you are swamped with work. Does making time for your dream mean working late nights and weekends? You bet! No one said this would be easy.

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