Networking Q&A: My Career Change

By June 5, 2015June 6th, 2020No Comments
J. Kelly Hoey - Build Your Dream Network

Question: What made you make a career change in 2002? Was networking your only resource to transition in this change?

My Answer: I’m one of those “former” attorneys who really enjoyed practicing law. It was not the long hours, foregoing vacations or giving up weekends, which caused me to seek a career change. After 11 years of court appearances and big transactions, I was not completely satisfied with the direction of my career and wanted to be in a work environment where I could contribute more to the success of the organization (and the individuals working in it). In 2001, knowing I wanted to say in the legal profession but in another role, I began the process of discovering the possibilities and transferring my skills.

Networking played a central role in my career transition and success in law firm management. Not only did networking land me the role as White & Case’s Manager of Professional Development, the informational interview networking process:

Connected me with peers in comparable roles at other firms, so I had a peer support from day one on the new job;

  1. Opened doors to thought-leaders in the field of professional service firm talent development/retention and alumni relations whom I could call upon and consult regularly;
  2. Introduced me to recruiters in the field (who guided me on salary negotiations over the years);
  3. Resulted in my appointment to a relevant bar association committee (which allowed me to easily network beyond second and third degree connections);
  4. Directed me to the top-of-mind issues in the training and retention field and enabled me to stay on top of trends; and
  5. Raised my profile in my new-chosen profession.
J. Kelly Hoey

J. Kelly Hoey

Kelly Hoey is the author of Build Your Dream Network (January 2017 / Tarcher Perigee). She has been lauded from Forbes (“1 of 5 Women Changing the World of VC/Entrepreneurship”) to Fast Company (“1 of the 25 Smartest Women On Twitter”) to Business Insider (“1 of the 100 Most Influential Tech Women On Twitter”) and Inc. (1 of “10 Most Well-Connected People in New York City's Startup Scene”). Empowering A Billion Women By 2020 included her on their list of the “100 Most Influential Global Leaders Empowering Women Worldwide”. Not bad for a former corporate lawyer. She’s a limited partner in two emerging tech funds (Laconia Capital Group and Lattice Ventures) and can frequently be found on Twitter @jkhoey.