by Jamie Wright, millennial lawyer and political pundit
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, African Americans make up less than five percent of the lawyers in the country.
But you cannot rest on your laurels and wait for the statistics to get better before you blaze your own trail into your career of choice. You have to be the one to help change those statistics. You have more strength than you may realize. You can do a lot more than what you, or even the messages you may be receiving from society, may have led you to believe.
Here are 5 super tips on how to succeed in 2017:
Many people think it’s a weakness to get help from people. That’s just not true. It takes a strong person to seek out the right kind of support. Get to know successful people in your chosen field, so you can get support and advice from them. If you are lucky enough to find a mentor, take good notes. Take the support and advice now, knowing that someday you will be in the position to provide it to someone else. While you surround yourself with good connections, never cease to be independent. Independence and being strong enough to move forward even if you are taking the next step alone is crucial in being successful.
2. Think positive.
Often times, we get in our own way, because our minds are consumed with all of the negative thinking. Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want, and immediately replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Use the laws of attraction to bring to you what it is that you want in your life.
3. Banish excuses.
Too often, people are caught up in their own excuses for why they can’t do things. This year, get honest with yourself as to whether something really is a hurdle, or it’s just an excuse. Banish the excuses and keep moving forward. Make individuality a priority, so you leave the excuses behind, define who you are, and stand out.
4. The Golden Rule.
In all areas of life, including in your career pursuits, you should be treating people the way you want to be treated. The way you treat people will always come back to you. Put good things out, so that good comes right back to you. It feels good to treat people with kindness and will open many doors. Having integrity in all you do is important and will help you get ahead.
5. Forget expectations.
It doesn’t matter if something has always been done a particular way, that’s not a legitimate reason as to why you can’t change it. In other words: Blaze your own trail, don’t feel you need to stick to the ones that others before you have set forth. Use your instincts to help navigate your way.
It’s easy to get caught up in the negative and just add to the stories and thoughts that hold people back. Make this the year where you set concrete goals, take steps every day to work toward achieving them, and drown out the noise that can hold you back. If you want it, you can succeed, but you have to stay the course and persevere. It will be that much sweeter once you do!
Jamie Wright is a millennial attorney who specializes in millennial issues, government affairs, crisis communication, and conflict resolution, among other areas. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, she practices law in Los Angeles. She is also a partner in the Millennial Government Affairs group, and is a political pundit and crisis communications expert.