A number of Brussels law firms are facing the same kind of challenge: retention of highly competent and well-performing women who tend to leave the firm after 5 or 6 years at the bar.
It is no secret that law firms are highly demanding work environments: often high paced and competitive, with focus on objective career success (i.e. external recognition and career advancement as criterion for success).
Aware of their joint challenge, these law firms took the bold and courageous decision to set up a joint development program for supporting these women throughout their careers in their firms.
The program - built with the frameworks of sustainable careers in mind - offers lectures, mentoring, networking events, leadership development, … and also, for each individual participant, a career development session based on the CareerCoach® report.
The aim is to help women find out what subjective career success means to them, in other words, finding out what makes them happy in their careers. Moreover, the aim is to support them in growing their capability of shaping subjective career success within the given context.
The partners are aware that not everyone is cut out for a career in this line of work, but if people decide to leave, it should be for the right reasons.
Today I am happy to say that by the end of 2017, over 45 women will have received an individual debrief session about their CareerCoach® report.
The first observations show that these women are keen and willing to reconnect with themselves, showing more consciousness when it comes to their careers. Also, within the participating firms, the openness to discuss subjective career success increases.
Participants report the CareerCoach® report has added value to the program as a whole, and I am glad and grateful to have had the opportunity to contributing to it: growing consciousness and putting people in a state of action.
A next step will be to make recommendations towards the partners with respect to career management policies. Here, an important question is to understand how self-management and subjective career success can be facilitated further within this specific context. To be continued…