It is always good to have goals. Goals give direction and meaning to one’s choices and behaviors and help chart plans and paths to the future. But your targets should be moving and always evolving; allowing your goals to change and grow along with your experiences and ambitions can help sustain optimism and growth throughout your career. Because plans and people change, as do industries and the employment market, your goals must be able to change as well. If your goals are resilient then you can be too!

It is very rare for any career to follow a straight and narrow path. Some law students come to law school for a very specific reason. They build their resumes towards that goal and with hard work and good luck, land that dream job. But how many people actually stay in that dream job forever? They don’t, because as they gain experience and grow, their goals become more refined or diverge in another direction. Even more commonly, the law student who thinks he or she wants to practice in one area, sometimes realizes after gaining some experience in that area that they are actually better suited for something else. Students and practicing attorneys who can let go of an original goal and set new ones will have the best chance of success. Letting go of a goal should not be viewed as a failure, but rather the shift should be seen as a liberation of sort.

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