Bernadette Mcdonald

Are you a lawyer contemplating a transition into a new career path? Whether you’re seeking greater fulfilment, exploring new challenges, or desiring a better work-life balance, embarking on a new professional journey can be both exhilarating and daunting. Here are some emotional steps to guide you through this transition:


Take time to introspect and understand your motivations for seeking a new career. Acknowledge any feelings of dissatisfaction or restlessness and consider how a change could address these emotions. Identify and write down your fears. Fear of failure or uncertainty is to be expected, but by working through your fears you can get past the ‘freeze’ stage where you just plan, but never put your plan into action. if you know that these feelings will appear at some point, you can identify them when they do and be more confident in dealing with them.

Embrace Uncertainty:

Transitioning to a new career can be accompanied by feelings of uncertainty and fear of the unknown. Embrace these emotions as natural parts of the process and trust in your ability to adapt and thrive in unfamiliar territory. Reframe the natural fear of the unknown into excitement for the new. When we travel, we are excited about all the new things we will see and do; this journey is no different.

Clarify Your Values:

Reflect on your core values and what matters most to you in a career. Identify how your current role aligns (or doesn’t align) with these values and use this insight to guide your decision-making moving forward. Understanding, and being true to yourself, is one of the benefits of a portfolio career and it will propel you forward in your journey.

Seek Support:

Reach out to trusted friends, family members, or colleagues for support and encouragement during this transitional period. Having a strong support system can provide reassurance and perspective as you navigate this journey. Simply having a listening ear when you have a bit of a wobble or crisis of confidence is so helpful. We all need someone to be our cheerleader when doubts set in. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, call me! Let’s set up a community where we can share our fears and our successes, and be open about our failures because let’s face it, some failures will be inevitable.

Practice Self-Compassion:

Be kind to yourself throughout the transition process. Accept that setbacks and challenges are inevitable, and treat yourself with the same level of empathy and understanding that you would extend to others facing similar circumstances. Imagine you were listening to a friend, what would you tell them in your role as their cheerleader?  That’s the inner voice that you need to be listening to. You CAN do this. You WILL succeed !!

Take Calculated Risks:

Embrace opportunities for growth and advancement, even if they involve stepping outside of your comfort zone. To stretch we NEED to feel uncomfortable. Be willing to take calculated risks and seize opportunities that align with your long-term career goals. Networking is a great example of taking small risks. We all feel some fear walking into a room of strangers, but that uncomfortable feeling goes away when we succeed by talking to someone new in the room, and not by hiding in the toilet panicking. I speak from experience here!

Stay Persistent and Flexible:

Understand that transitioning to a new career may take time and require perseverance. Stay flexible in your approach, be open to unexpected opportunities, and remain resilient in the face of challenges.

If you are thinking of designing your own legal portfolio and are not sure how or where to start, why not book an exploratory session with me,

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