Tag Archives: attorney jobs

So You Want to Switch Practice Groups?

As a recruiter, I speak with many candidates who want to switch practice groups and unfortunately, this professional dilemma is becoming more common.  Many candidates who joined firms within the last five years were not given much choice regarding their initial practice group selections.  Economic times were (and remain) tough; and their choices were dictated by which groups had enough work to keep them busy and employed.  It is fairly obvious that you have the greatest chance of professional success if you like your work so  . . . if you are working in an area of the law that you do not enjoy, then you need to make a change.

Investigate Internally and Be Realistic

I started my legal career as a litigator.  However, after four years, I realized that I did not really like to argue with people.  I am not sure why it took me four years to have this epiphany, but I digress!  I decided that I wanted to switch to a transactional practice and began to do my due diligence.  I quickly discovered that the M&A group at my firm were super busy and actively hiring.  In an ideal world, I probably would have chosen real estate or perhaps even investment management, but those groups were not realistic options at my firm at that time.  I chose to pursue the M&A group because it was the group where I would have the best chance of transitioning to a transactional practice.

Evaluate Yourself and Proceed with Caution

Once I made my decision to join the M&A group, I had to plan my approach and I knew that two things were required: a brutally honest assessment of my skill set and standing at my firm, AND diplomacy worthy of the Foreign Service!


With respect to standing, I knew that partners liked me and that even though I did not like litigation, my work product had not yet suffered from my aversion!  However, I knew that being well liked was not enough.  I needed to review my skills and make a compelling argument about how my experience as a litigator was not only transferrable but actually useful in an M&A context.   Fortunately, I had done a lot of complex commercial litigations involving deals that had gone awry.  Given my experience, I was able to make the argument that my skepticism (aka “jaundiced eye”) would be an incredible asset when negotiating terms and drafting deal documents.

I am a big believer in having three strong points behind any argument.  This belief may stem from my Catholic background!   My presentation to the M&A group was that I was a known quantity who (1) was a well-liked team player; (2) did good work; and (3) would bring a fresh and valuable perspective to the practice.  If you want to switch practice groups within your firm, then you need to conduct a similar self-assessment and figure out how your skills could be put to use, or perhaps even give you an advantage, in your target practice group.  It is not enough to say “Well, I think I will like X group because I have heard very good things about it.”    You need to evaluate yourself and make a compelling case about the ways in which you will benefit your target group.


There are risks when you ask to join another group at your firm so you must proceed with caution and be very diplomatic.  First, you must be certain that your target group has enough work to warrant bringing another associate on board.  Obviously, it is even better if you know that your target group is actively interviewing candidates from outside the firm.  Here is your opportunity to save your firm a recruiter’s fee!

When I was ready, I told my favorite litigation partner about my plan.  I did most of my work with this partner and trusted him.  I figured that if the M&A group did not want me, then my secret would be safe with this partner while I tried to make my move to a transactional group at another firm.  It was a risk, but a bigger risk for me was having this partner hear about my proposal from anyone other than me.

My next visit was to the partner who was the head of the M&A group.  I was lucky because this partner was also the managing partner and his office was on my floor quite close to my own office.  He was a gregarious person and we had become friendly from passing each other in the hallway every day.  I made my pitch; told him that I had already informed the litigation partner with whom I did most of my work; and crossed my fingers.


I was allowed to make the move to M&A; and I remained with the group for four years.  My transition from litigation to a transactional practice was successful because I followed a very simple formula.  I selected a group where there was a need; I figured out how to best package myself to fill that need; and I was extremely diplomatic!

Should I Submit My Resume Through a Friend?

I have fielded this question for over ten years, and my answer remains the same: it depends!  The good news is that you can make an informed decision and, though it is a statement against my own self-interest as a recruiter, there may be situations in which it actually is better to submit your resume through a friend.  However, in order to determine whether you are in one of those situations, you may want to ask yourself the following questions.

How is your friend perceived at the firm?

Your friend may be a wonderful person but do you really have any idea what his employer thinks of him?  He may even have been the star of your law school class, but academic success does not always translate into professional success.  If you choose to submit your resume through a friend and he is not highly regarded, then it is very likely that your candidacy will not be highly regarded.  It might be unfair and hark back to the old “birds of a feather” cliché, but you may have lost the opportunity for an interview simply because you were presented by the “wrong” person.

At this point, you may be asking yourself the following question: How do I know how my recruiter is perceived by the firm in question?  The answer is that you can ask your recruiter probing questions.  How long have you worked with ABC Firm?  How many placements have you made with ABC Firm?  Have you ever had any problems with ABC Firm that would negatively affect my candidacy?  These are questions that you should ask your recruiter, but they are questions that you could never ask your friend (that is if you hope to remain friends!)

Will your friend expend his own political “capital” for you?

Let’s assume for the moment that you have navigated the first hurdle:  your friend is one of the best associates in his group and your candidacy will only benefit from its association with his name.  You submit your resume through your friend and then the waiting game begins.  What happens if your resume gets lost in the recruiting department?  What happens if your resume ends up sitting on a partner’s desk for three weeks?  What happens if you get another offer and want to use it as leverage to get your friend’s firm to move faster?  What will your friend do in these situations?

In all likelihood, he will not do much for two reasons.  First, your friend will not want to be seen as a nuisance at his own firm simply to get you an interview.  He has his reputation to consider and he will not jeopardize his own standing with his partners and colleagues for you.  Second, your friend is busy with his own duties and responsibilities at the firm and simply does not have time to track down your materials and monitor your progress.

On the other hand, a recruiter is your advocate, and firms expect recruiters to behave accordingly.  It is a recruiter’s job to make sure that your resume is being reviewed by the appropriate people in a timely manner, and to keep the firm informed about the progress of your search (i.e. whether you have other interviews or offers.)  It is against your friend’s self-interest to act on your behalf whereas it is in your recruiter’s self-interest to act on your behalf; and these very different motives could yield very different results during your search process.

Is your friend really your friend?

The term “frenemy” has become part of our popular vernacular and it is a great word because relationships are complicated.  Friends often harbor a range of emotions toward each other, and you need to ask yourself whether your friend truly has your best interests in mind when he offers to submit your resume to his firm?  The idea that your friend may have a hidden agenda is not a pleasant thought and may even offend you; however it is definitely something to consider.

The recruiter may have an agenda, but it is not hidden.  The recruiter’s livelihood depends upon your success.  The alignment of your goals guaranties that the recruiter will take all necessary steps to ensure that your candidacy is handled in a professional manner; and that you are consistently portrayed in the best possible light throughout the search process.

What else will your friend do for you besides submit your resume?

Will your friend conduct a mock interview with you?  Will your friend tell you how particular partners usually conduct themselves during an interview?  Will your friend even know how particular partners conduct themselves during an interview?  Will your friend discuss common mistakes often made by lateral candidates?  Again, will he even know what those mistakes are?

Your friend, like you, is an attorney and even though he is a wonderful person who is viewed as the best associate in his firm, always puts his friends’ interests before his own, and has never harbored an unkind thought about anyone (and especially not you), he does not have the expertise to guide you through the search process.  Recruiters spend a lot of time preparing candidates for interviews and consequently, we know the questions that are asked, the partners who are difficult, and the pitfalls to avoid.  You would not call your recruiter to form your company, draft your bylaws or issue shares to your shareholders, so why would you call your friend (even if he is the best person on earth) to do the job of a recruiter?

What happens to your relationship with your friend if you decide not to join his firm?

At the outset, you may think that your friend’s firm is your top choice and that you will never be faced with this question.  However, you may want to rethink your position. Have you ever met his partners?  Are you joining the same group?  How alike are you and your friend in terms of work habits, schedules and expectations?  If your friend makes the introduction to his firm and then you opt not to accept because you have found another firm that is a much better fit for you, how will your rejection of the offer from your friend’s firm affect your friend?  Will his standing at his firm be diminished or damaged because of your rejection?  How much pressure will you feel to accept the offer from your friend’s firm even if you like another offer more?  If you do reject the offer, will your friendship survive?

Your relationship with your recruiter is professional.  Your recruiter has worked with many candidates and knows that the search process is a learning process.  Your recruiter has seen candidates change their minds repeatedly during the process, even to the point where after meeting with their five “top choices”, candidates decide to stay with their current firms, firms that they may even have claimed to loathe at the outset of the process!  In short, recruiters have seen it all, and you do not need to worry about how a recruiter will react to your rejection of any given offer.  Sure there may be recruiters who react negatively and try to pressure you, but these recruiters have overstepped their bounds, are not behaving in an ethical manner, and if your relationship is damaged, is it really a loss?


There may be situations in which it is preferable to submit your resume through a friend. However, in order to determine whether you are in one of those rare situations, you need to ask yourself a variety of questions and evaluate factors that may make you uncomfortable. Or you could simply work with a reputable, ethical and professional recruiter!

How To Get Placed At A Top Firm When You Are Unemployed

A concern on the minds of those that have been unemployed is how to get the best position in light of the fact that they are not working. It is important to show prospective employers that you are staying busy, being productive with your time off, and staying involved in your practice area, even if you are not employed.  There are many ways to show that you are utilizing your time off to better yourself, and enhance your expertise.  You can write articles on topics relevant to your experience, go for that LL.M. you may not have had time for, or previously never considered a priority.  One of my unemployed candidates, who accepted a position recently, began networking with all of his contacts.  This effort resulted in him taking on several new clients on his own, in his field of expertise, which kept him up to date on the law, showed off his interpersonal skills, and ability to work well with clients, and even told employers he can bring in business.  As a young associate with only a few years of experience, this was very impressive during his subsequent interview process.  In addition to helping you stay sharp and focused, remaining involved in your given practice area will help you maintain a positive attitude during the important interview stage.

You want to be extremely proactive about getting your resume out to the appropriate law firms, and to make sure you are properly represented.  This means working with a good recruiter, who has significant contacts and market knowledge in your specific territory.   You will have to be extremely well versed and confident in discussing not only what you have been doing recently, but also the specific circumstances surrounding your departure from your last firm.  How you present this information will be key to how you are perceived by future employers.  I once represented a candidate who was moving to NY from out of state, and who had not worked in over 6 months.  She was a litigation associate and I was working with her at a time when litigation associates were not in high demand.  However, she had such a positive attitude, and she spoke with such confidence about her work experience and her abilities, that she walked out of a first interview I was able to arrange, certain that she would get the position.  Within two weeks, after a second interview, she received an offer and is still with this mid-sized firm.

While you may be primarily interested larger, most prestigious law firms, it is important to keep your options open and pursue all opportunities, if you are currently unemployed.  This means considering firms that may be smaller, or less well known than you would ideally like.  The longer you are out of work and the greater the gap between employment, the bigger the obstacle being out of work can become with regard to your next placement.  You may be concerned with how a less than stellar firm will reflect on your long term career path, but you can gain valuable hands on experience at such a firm, and it is better than remaining unemployed for an extended  period of time.  That is not to say that you should necessarily accept the first opportunity that comes your way, but you should remain open-minded about all opportunities and cognizant of the time frame of your unemployment.

Very very temporary?

I recently had a conversation with someone who didn’t want to add a contract position to their resume.  I am of the opinion that all positions, including contract positions, MUST be on the resume.  This lawyer disagreed.  She felt that because the position was brief, she hated it, and the work was so unlikely to create a future conflict it was unnecessary to put it on the resume.

I get what she’s saying–especially because a firm may view contract positions negatively, a short contract position seems like a likely candidate to fall off the resume.  Even so, I think it absolutely has to be on CV.  The truth is that partners and administrators at law firms will view it differently, but there are plenty of folks who will view the omission of ANY job, no matter how brief, as lying on one’s resume.  Certainly this is one side of the spectrum, but that’s the side I think it’s prudent to cater to.  If, during an interview, your conversation gets derailed explaining that you worked somewhere and then why you didn’t include it on the resume, I think it’s unlikely that the meeting will end on a positive note.  You’ve just caused a distraction–a distraction from the firm thinking about anything other than what a good job you’d do if they hired you.

I know it’s boring and conservative, this 100% disclosure and writing a resume to appeal to the most meticulous of hiring professional.  As time consuming as a job search can be, I promise it’s more time consuming to back-track over your rationale for omitting a job from your resume–and potentially will completely derail your efforts.

Sixth Year Associate in Good-Standing at Branch Office of Large Firm Wondering Whether He Should Consider Moving to a Firm with Better Opportunity for Partnership

I was recently speaking with a friend who is a sixth year corporate associate with a large firm in Los Angeles. This year the firm promoted only two associates to partner and neither one works in the Los Angeles office. My friend has consistently had very good reviews, and the Los Angeles partners have told him they will go to bat when he is up for partner. However, he believes the Los Angeles office does not have the pull and power it used to which is partly why the firm did not promote anyone from his office. While my friend is happy at the firm, he can not help but be concerned for his future and opportunity for advancement. He was wondering what he should do.

Sadly, the chances of making partner these days at a large firm are slim – even in a booming economy. There are many factors that come into play as to whether someone is promoted to partner, including likeability of candidate, potential of candidate to bring in business, political savvy of candidate, candidate’s practice area, hours candidate billed over the last 3+ years, and the economics of candidate’s firm. In the case of a large firm’s branch or satellite office, you also need to consider the office’s overall reputation within the firm. It is important to consider whether the partners in your office have the “pull” to help advance your career. If the firm has routinely promoted associates in your office to partner and this happens to be an “off” year due to the economy, then my best recommendation would be to stay put but explore other opportunities as a precaution.

If the Los Angeles office has not been self-sufficient and has relied on other offices for work for over two years, it would be wise for my friend to explore other options very seriously. As you get more senior, it will become more and more difficult to move to another firm without having an existing book of business. Now is the time to look into other opportunities. 2010 is already showing signs of being a stronger market for laterals.

You can expect a firm of ANY size to take at least two to three years before they even consider a lateral associate for partnership. There are NO guarantees. It is possible to be turned down for partnership, but then make partner at a later time. Of course you may be promoted to Of Counsel (if the firm has attorneys with such a title) and then promoted again to partner. At this stage in my friend’s career, ANY law firm – no matter what the size – is going to hire him with an eye toward partnership. The hiring process will take much longer than for more junior associates, and he will certainly be asked to provide a conflicts form and possibly a business or marketing plan. A firm is going to ask him questions about his existing experience but also about his relationships with firm clients. Ideally, any firm that hires him will hope he is able to bring in work and certainly will expect him to help generate more work from existing clients.

Many believe it is “easier” to make partner at a small or mid-sized firm. This assumption is usually true, but the factors that come into play in making partner at a large firm are the same factors that a small or mid-size firm considers. With more and more large firms focusing on their core or top 10 institutional clients, more and more of the “middle market” companies are being referred to the small and mid-size firms. Also, generally these firms have lower billing rates (although not always) making it is easier to bring in new clients who simply can not afford large firm billing rates.

It would behoove anyone in my friend’s position to speak with a seasoned recruiter who would offer advice for his/her particular situation. Work with someone who is honest and is going to look at the big picture. You need a recruiter who is not motivated by money but rather helping people and doing the right thing. Particularly if you are in good standing at your firm, like my friend, and not necessarily in a rush to leave, work with someone who is going to offer good advice based on what is best for your career and not the recruiter’s need to make a placement or fill a job opening. Of course, I would recommend BCG Attorney Search (www.bcgsearch.com) to find such a caliber of a recruiter!

Offer received from firm. Should you ask for moving expenses too?

I have always given a word of caution to lawyers in regards to negotiating the terms of an offer. Although your request may be perfectly reasonable, any time you attempt to negotiate the terms of an offer- you are at risk of the offer being retracted. Since this market is a tough one and there is a lot of stellar legal talent currently out on the market- you may not want to quibble with the firm over a small detail like moving expenses.

In a different market, it might have made sense to negotiate this point. In this market, where there are plenty of unemployed attorneys who would welcome any job offer- you may want to take the safe route and just accept the firm’s current package. If you decide to negotiate any points of your offer, please proceed with caution.

See Opportunities Where Others See Obstacles

If you are looking for a job then one of the most important things you can do is see opportunities where others see huge obstacles.  Most of the world sees huge obstacles to everything.  There are always obstacles to anyone and everyone doing the absolute best that can be done at something.  If you want to get the best possible job and go as far as possible in your career then you need to insure that you are not seeing obstacles and that every obstacle you see is, in fact, an opportunity.  When you look at the lives of people who have done exceptionally well in the law and in most fields you will generally find that they see opportunities where most of us see obstacles.

George McGovern was nominated by the Democratic convention in 1972 as a candidate to run against Richard Nixon.  In the midst of the convention, McGovern decided that he no longer wanted Senator Eagleton to be his vice-presidential running mate. At the time there were thousands of bumper stickers and pins that had been made up that said “McGovern-Eagleton”.  A young sixteen-year-old entrepreneur bought up approximately 5,000 of these buttons and stickers for around 5-cents each.  Within a short time the same entrepreneur sold individual buttons and stickers as historical memorabilia for as much as $25 each.  The person’s name?  Bill Gates.

People like Bill Gates have massive lessons to teach the world because they can see opportunities where others may simply see obstacles.  In order to do well in a job search you absolutely need to make sure you are looking out for where the opportunities are to succeed.

“I did not go to the right school”
This is ridiculous.  Most of the highest paid attorneys in the United States did not go to good schools either.  In fact, the very, very highest paid attorneys may have barely made it through law school.  What these attorneys did is they focused on their strengths and made the absolute most they could of them.

The law school you went to simply does not matter.  Yes, the law school you went to may hold some importance for the very highest paying law firms; however, for the most part your law school should be looked upon as a positive.

If you went to a terrible law school, find people who also went to this law school and connect with them.  Find the most successful attorneys and learn from them and ask them all sorts of questions about how they overcame the law school they went to.  Send them letters thanking them for the lessons they taught you.  Incorporate what they told you. Work hard to overcome what you may lack in an exceptional school pedigree by working on your personality, reading books about how to bring in business, making sure you work harder on your legal skills than someone else does.

Nothing is more common than people who go to a good law school and believe based on this that they can stop trying harder.  The best thing that ever happened to me personally was not getting into a certain ivy league school my father and a lot of my family went to.  This taught me right then and there that I could never rest on my laurels and needed to keep working and working.  Not getting into that school was probably the best thing that ever happened to me.  People who go to the best schools often believe they can simply rest on their laurels due to that one achievement.

If you did not go to the best school then realize that while those who may have gone to a better school may rest on their laurels you are going to keep working on yourself and getting better and better.  You will surpass them and when you do they will not even have seen you coming and you will not need to look back.

“I do not have the right experience”
Regardless of the experience you have, you have some experience doing something.  The experience excuse is crazy to me.  Everyone has experience!

Maybe you used to work in an oil field as a roughneck and put yourself through night law school.  You then could then use you knowledge and connection to oil workers to connect with people injured in accidents in oil fields and then represent them.

Regardless of your experience, there is some sort of experience you have that you can put to use to get the position you want.  You need to think of what you have done that is related to what you want to do. You need to connect with others in the law who have had similar experiences to you.

Perhaps, however, you truly do not have any experience which is relevant to what you want to do.  I doubt this-however, it is possible.  If this is the case then the way to look at this is to take the experience you do have as something that is a fantastic lesson that you need to find ways to get the experience you want to get the sort of position you want.  This may mean taking on a given responsibility in your current job, or seeking out new sorts of work.  Whatever you are seeking to do, you can get the experience.

For example, one of the most attractive things to potential employers is when someone is so serious about doing something that they have taken classes, volunteered, or done something extraordinary to the experience that they need in order to do a job.  People (naturally) want to assist those who are trying hard to advance.

“I live in the wrong part of the country”
Regardless of where you live in the United States there is tons of legal work to be done-and the sort of legal work you want to do.  The belief that you cannot get a job because of where you live is completely fallacious.

One of the most important abilities of anyone-in any profession—is the ability to create work.  Very good lawyers are experts at creating work for themselves and are constantly doing it and able to create this work.

Imagine, for example, you are in a small rural town and want to practice patent law.  You could find local inventors and get to know them and also ask them for referrals.  You could also put up a website.  You could write attorneys in other small law firms around the country for work.  The list of possibilities is endless.  In order to get the work you need you do need to find opportunities and you can find them wherever you are.

One of the secrets of selling anything is you need to put people in pain by identifying a need they may have that they did not know they had.  This is something you can do quite easily once you adopt the mindset of seeing the sorts of work people are likely to need done.  If you see an inventor discussing something he is working on you could go up to him and say “Are you crazy?  You need to patent this before you talk about it!”  A solid and good attorney is always creating demand and finding ways to get work no matter where they are.

In a small town this could be traveling to other towns and giving talks.  This could be speaking with local organization.  There are tons of ways that people can get business.  You simply need to insure that you are making the most of each opportunity you have to get the work you want.  It does not matter where you are-you can do anything if you try hard enough.

“I do not have the right personality to fit in”
Then change your personality-or better yet, do not change your personality.

I remember listening to a lawyer talk about business generation once and hearing him say that the biggest nerd in Los Angeles was also the biggest business generator.  That is to day: Just be who you are-it is probably good enough.

Everyone fits in wherever they are because there are a variety of people everywhere.  You need to look for reasons why you fit in.

“I have a learning disability”
Incredibly, I heard an attorney say this once and use this as a reason for not succeeding.  You know what this guy did?  He found a job representing foreigners who did not speak English and they never caught on that he was not the sharpest tack around.  This guy is having more fun and making more money than the majority of attorneys out there.  And while the work he is doing is not that difficult, he is charging a fair price for it and doing good work.

“My grades were not good enough in law school”
Who cares.  I know someone who got a “C-” average at a mediocre law school who got a clerkship with a Federal Appellate Judge and also got a job at a firm routinely ranked as one of the top 10 most prestigious firms in the United States.  The judge and firm never asked for her grades!  Then I placed the same girl at an AmLaw 20 firm and the firm that hired her never asked for her grades either.  To answer your suspicions, this girl was no “knockout”.  She just got lucky.  You can too.  Lots of attorneys do.  The secret is applying to as many jobs as possible and looking the part.  In this girl’s case she had written herself onto the law review at her school and was also elected managing editor.

“The Best Recruiters Will Not Work With Me” Who cares.  I do not have as an exciting life as a rock star.  There are lots of things you could have that you do not.  If the best recruiters will not work with you then find a job on your own.  There are some easy places you can find opportunities when you are seeking for a job regardless of whether or not you use a recruiter:

LawCrossing.  Yes, I am the founder of LawCrossing.  Yes, LawCrossing costs money each month.  Nevertheless, LawCrossing does have over 250 people working for it looking for jobs for you each day.  It has a multimillion dollar database that searches every legal employer’s website daily and the people at LawCrossing also do a ton of this work manually as well.  LawCrossing also searches literally thousands of newspapers around the United States each day in search of jobs.  LawCrossing is an excellent way to put hundreds of people to work for you finding opportunities.  The fact that many people do not want to pay the nominal amount this service charges is fine. Those are the same people who are not competing with LawCrossing members for jobs!

Legal Authority.  Yes, I am also the Founder of Legal Authority.  I happen to really believe in the service and am quite passionate about it.  Legal Authority is probably the most effective method of finding a position out there.  With Legal Authority you can literally apply to all of the firms of a size you choose and in a interested in practicing litigation in Aurora, Illinois with a firm of less than 10 attorneys you can apply to all of these firms at one time.  The benefit of practice area you choose in an area you specify.  For example, if you are using a service like this is huge because you will find firms with a need that might not even be advertising.  In addition, as part of the Legal Authority service you will have your resume and cover letter professionally done.  This can make a huge difference when you are applying for jobs

Regardless of how you are doing your job search, if you are looking for a position the very last thing you should do is limit the number of places you are applying to.  The more places you are applying to the more opportunities you are likely to get.  You need to look for a position in a comprehensive and far-reaching way.  The more places you apply to the better chance you will have of getting another position. In addition, the employer you are applying to may put you in touch with someone else who does have excellent opportunities.  Insure you are applying to many places at once.

“My resume stinks”  Then make your resume better.  Buy a book about attorney resumes such as one I wrote (Attorney Resume Secrets Revealed available from my company Attorney Research Group (www.attorneyresearchgroup.com)) and make your resume perfect.  Better yet, hire a professional resume service such as Attorney Resume (www.attorneyresume.com) to do your resume (yes, this is also a company I founded).  Set professionals to work on your resume and make your resume outstanding.  You owe it to yourself to get a fantastic resume completed.

Regardless of whether you hire a company like Attorney Resume or work on your resume yourself, you need to get the most professional resume possible done.  A professional can help you bring out your strengths.

The best possible thing you can do with your career is start seeing opportunities where the rest of the world is seeing obstacles.  Even obstacles should be something that you see as actual opportunities.  Do not let the world get you down-take action and improve and go where you want to go.

I firmly believe that you can accomplish whatever you set out to do and to be.  I believe in you and have dedicated my life to providing you with the inspiration and career tools to get to where you want to go.  Take your career to the next level and become who you want to become. Never let any perceived obstacle hold you back.  You deserve better than that.