Peer to Peer Magazine

June 2012

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 26 of 135

smart moves Reinvent Yourself in Challenging Times The legal IT world is a challenging arena in which the best of contenders have been defeated. Recent economic challenges added an extra layer of complexity to the ability of legal IT professionals to keep their tenure clocks ticking. However, it is in the face of adversity that some of the best opportunities arise, usually with the right combination of skill, planning, ingenuity, experience and even a little luck. I recently reached out to six of our peers who have won various bouts by reinventing themselves, reaffirming that they have what it takes to continually go the distance. They shared their secrets to success, providing nuggets of wisdom that can come in handy for all of us. After reading their insights, we hope you'll use the take-away diagram at the end of this article as a handy reference for future inspiration and guidance. There's the bell ... let's go 10 rounds with our champs! —Michele Gossmeyer, President of ILTA's Board of Directors Make Your Own Good Luck TJ Johnson: I was a paralegal for 10 attorneys in a law department and developed the job into a law department manager role. This wouldn't have happened if I hadn't seen what was needed and took it upon myself to get things done. When I was the IT director for a law firm, I volunteered to be on the ILTA conference committee. Now I work for ILTA, planning the annual conference and managing other ILTA conferences as well. How much of that transition was a perfectly timed job opening, and how much was passionately attacking a volunteer role and looking for ways to add more value to it? No one will ever know for sure, but you can bet that it wouldn't have happened without perseverance, hard work and being completely open to the possibilities (as wild as they might have seemed at the time). Bill Mertes: One of the best things that worked for me while I was between jobs was keeping up the "work routine." I didn't lounge around the house; I did my regular morning routine, went downtown and did my work for the day, which was figuring out my next career move. I was fortunate that I had office space I could use, but a table at the library also would have worked well. This made me available for on-the-spot networking opportunities and interviews, and I stayed in the "work" mindset. 28 Peer to Peer

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