How to cultivate a positive mindset

The benefits of a positive mindset for legal consultants

The nature of consultancy work requires legal professionals to equip themselves with a wide range of skills that will help them succeed – from keeping up to date with the latest developments in the legal, regulatory, and legal tech landscape to mastering the art of interviews, taking control of personal financial planning and knowing how to make a great first impression.

Yet there is another, less tangible tool that is beneficial to legal consultants: a positive mindset.

Inspired by a recent discussion between Lucinda Acland, Learning and Development Partner at Obelisk Support; Jane Leader, Recruitment Manager at Obelisk Support and Golnar Assari and Mark Hanlon, two of Obelisk Support’s  legal consultant community, we explore three top tips for cultivating a positive mindset.

#1 Making time for self-reflection

Given that most clients require support within specific timeframes, it is not uncommon for legal consultants to spend time ‘between roles’. This can at first be a daunting prospect for legal professionals who are used to always being in role. Yet approached with the right mindset, these periods can prove very beneficial.

After all, one of the incentives to working on a consultancy basis is having more time to engage in activities that would not be possible in a permanent role. This can involve caring for a loved one, spending some time in sunnier climes, learning a new skill or taking up an old hobby, amongst many other things.

Time spent ‘between roles’ acts as an ideal opportunity for you as a legal consultant to review your last assignment and decide what exactly it is that you are looking for in your next role.

Self-reflection and self-awareness are fundamental to mental wellbeing and a positive mindset. It is also important and beneficial to take charge of your career development – especially as a legal consultant where you have the benefit of getting to work across a variety of clients and types of projects. 

At Obelisk Support, we are committed to helping you thrive as a legal consultant as you develop a portfolio career, return to work after a career break or adjust to working flexibly around caring commitments. We have provided over 20,000 hours of professional development and mentoring support to our legal consultants and our dedicated Talent Team is always ready to help with CV advice and career guidance – so do get in touch!

“Working through Obelisk has provided me with a wonderful opportunity to remain in the market as a senior legal professional in a model that is flexible and beneficial for both the client and myself.”

#2 Buoy your positive mindset with success stories

Despite the number of legal professionals choosing to work on a consultancy basis increasing, it’s only natural to question your decision to opt out of permanent roles.

One of the best ways for you to stave off such feelings is by immersing yourself in success stories.

Get in touch with former colleagues who have made a successful transition to legal consulting or with people who have made a successful career transition. Our consultant stories share inspirational personal journeys from some of our Obelisk Support talent community who have benefited from working flexibility.

Listening to podcasts or reading books which share success stories is another great way to be inspired and to maintain a positive mindset. Plus, research shows surrounding yourself with positive success stories will not only quell feelings of doubt, but also energise you and minimise stress which leads to improved health – both physical and mental.

“After some years spent dedicating most of the time to family, flexible working has meant I’ve been able to go back to what I used to do on terms I’m happy with.”

#3 A dose of optimism goes a long way

Having a cheery disposition and positive mindset can influence more than just your mood.

According to Suzanne Segerstrom, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky, “”People who are optimistic are more committed to their goals, are more successful in achieving their goals, are more satisfied with their lives, and have better mental and physical health when compared to more pessimistic people.”

For example, when embarking on a new assignment, remaining focused on solutions, having an optimistic outlook and a cheery disposition can have a positive impact on forming robust relationships quickly in role.

But what if you’re naturally more of an Eeyore? Strengthen your sense of hope: The trick is to act like an optimistic person, even if you aren’t feeling particularly hopeful. “If you think that the future can be positive, you’re more willing to put in time and energy to make that come about,” says Segerstrom.

“These are the soul’s changes. I don’t believe in ageing. I believe in forever altering one’s aspect to the sun. Hence my optimism.”

Virginia Woolf

In conclusion

There are several ways in which legal consultants can cultivate a positive mindset. For some, it might simply be a case of better utilising their time ‘between roles’, whilst for others it might be learning to embrace a solutions-driven approach when on assignment.

Most important is to continually focus on honing this facet of your skillset. Take time to regularly reflect on your mindset and be intentional about thinking positively. It can benefit not only your mind and body but also improve your work experience. Research from Duke University following a group of MBA graduates found a positive correlation with landing a job, job satisfaction, higher starting salaries and quicker career progression amongst optimists!

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