When it comes to growing in our careers, we often realize that the skills that initially got us ahead may not be enough to take us further. This idea reminds me of the ancient story of Exodus, where Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt but couldn’t enter the Promised Land. Let’s dive into why this story matters and how it relates to our personal and professional lives, using my experience in the law as an example.
The story of Exodus tells us how Moses freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, but he and his generation weren’t allowed to enter the Promised Land. Instead, they wandered in the desert for 40 years. More importantly God waited for the next generation to come along. This decision make sense when we think about the Israelites’ background as former slaves. They only knew oppression and servitude, so they didn’t have the knowledge and experience needed to thrive as a free nation. It was the next generation, led by Joshua, who understood freedom and led the Israelites across the Jordan River.
This ancient story holds valuable lessons for various aspects of our lives, including professional growth. Let’s take your journey, for example. After graduating from law school, success is often defined by individual achievements that were accomplished alone. Collaborating with others was discouraged, seen as cheating. However, once in practice, things change, as teamwork and collaboration become crucial for reaching excellence.
To illustrate this point, let me share my personal experience. At first, my practice consisted of only myself and my legal assistant Dorothy. I handled everything meticulously, from initial client calls to drafting documents. I drafted documents late into the night, while fielding client calls asking for changes and updates on their files. I lamented that if they would just leave me alone, I’d be able to complete their work!
Like the Israelites in Egypt, I felt like a slave to my practice. I almost left law entirely until a colleague asked why I spent most of my time on the commodity of my practice (the documents)? This colleague’s question made me think about the true value I bring to clients beyond just paperwork. Yes, the documents are vital. But what did my clients truly want from me?
I realized that it’s important to distinguish myself from other lawyers and even online platforms like LegalZoom. While clients appreciate the importance of documents, they may not always understand the qualitative differences between various legal service providers. This realization led to an important question: What makes clients choose a lawyer over cheaper alternatives or standardized services?
This revelation marked the start of a transformative journey. I set out to discover the skills needed to take me from the slavery of my practice to the freedom achieved when building something that truly resonates with clients.
We all desire professional freedom. We want to break free from monotonous chores yet enjoy the fruits of our work. Recognizing our desire for personal and professional growth opens doors to new talents, perspectives, and strategies that brings to our own version of success, our “Promised Land.”
The story of Exodus reminds us that relying solely on the skills that got us to where we are today hinders future growth. By embracing the lessons from this narrative, we can navigate the necessary transitions for personal and professional development. Just like the Israelites transitioned from slavery to freedom, we too must adapt and acquire new skills to enter our own “Promised Land” of success and fulfillment.
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