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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 is a problem solver who believes that most professional challenges—whether funding, landing a board position or getting a new job—are solved by tapping into networks.Kelly is a popular speaker on networking, community building and investing issues, especially as they relate to women, and has worked with the IEEE, PGA, Bank of America, Apple and countless others. Follow Kelly on Twitter @jkhoey and on Instagram @jkellyhoey and join the #BYDN community at