As a legal recruiter, I spend my days speaking to lawyers about their job transitions and speaking to law firms about my candidates' Credentials. I work in a world where grades, law school, and law firm prestige seem to reign supreme. However, there are countless situations where lawyers with good, but not great, credentials are far more successful in their job searches than those with stellar credentials. I used to believe that, in these circumstances, the lawyer with the better credentials must have had weak interpersonal skills while the lawyer with lesser credentials had strong interpersonal skills, which must have accounted for the difference. While this was true on occasion, it often was not the case. As I studied these types of situations, I realized a common characteristic among the lawyers with lesser credentials that seemed to outperform the others on job searches: They believed in themselves in an uncharacteristically strong way and were extremely positive thinkers about their abilities. Regardless of their credentials or experience, they generated these undeniable airs of self-assurance, as if they just knew they would get the jobs of their choices. And usually they did, because their self-confidence was contagious.
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