Throughout my career at O’Melveny & Myers, I have been fortunate to have had trusted mentors and challenging work experiences. From those relationships and experiences, I have learned any number of lessons which have been critical to the growth of my career. I share below a few of my favorite lessons learned with the hope that others may benefit from them.
Be an inspirational leader. When leading within your workplace, mix expertise with intensity, perspective and a sense of humor. The leaders who have most inspired me are those who combine these characteristics. They are those rare breeds for whom you will walk through walls. While it is not easy to summon these traits all the time, I work hard to invoke this potent mix in my role as a practice group leader at O’Melveny.
Invest in others. I have been the beneficiary of incredible mentors who taught, supported and platformed me at the firm. Do the same for others within your workplace. Some of the most satisfying and rewarding moments at work for me include watching a colleague in whom I have invested grow and thrive. These individuals will come and go from your immediate workplace, but they will be a source of loyal friendships and opportunity throughout your life.
Take advantage of “inopportune” opportunities. There will be a few moments during a career where you are presented with THE case or project which will be career-shaping. Take and relish those opportunities even if the timing is not perfect. Such a moment presented itself to me when I had just given birth to my second child, Grace. One of my good mentors offered me the opportunity to take the lead in an important class action. The case ended up being a seminal building block in my development as an employment class action litigator and placed me on a stage alongside some of the best litigators in the country. While jumping into a case during my pregnancy leave was not in my plans, my decision to take the opportunity was career defining.