For Women in Law By Women in Law

Hustle Until Your Haters Ask If You’re Hiring

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Hustle Until Your Haters Ask If You’re Hiring. This is my personal mantra. I have no idea who said it. I first saw it on a workout shirt (which I now own). Google is of no help. So, I guess kudos to someone in a marketing or design department at some unknown corporation. Your words kick my butt into gear on a daily basis.

Not everyone is going to love this mantra. And that is just fine. I have come to realize that nobody loves everything. Some may feel you should not measure your success against the opinion of others. They’re right. But these words – Hustle Until Your Haters Ask If You’re Hiring – just speak to me. So to those that don’t like it, I hear ya, but I still love it, and I live by it.

So what does “hustle” mean? Our trusty Black’s Law Dictionary has no definition. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary has many meanings for “hustle”, some of them with a negative connotation. The culturally informative Urban Dictionary definition is “to strive headstrong and voraciously towards a goal.” I don’t like the reference to being headstrong, but the rest of the definition is getting close to my definition of “hustle” in the context of my law career.

To Hustle (Until Your Haters Ask If You’re Hiring) as lived by me:

Always Be Learning

The best way to succeed (in anything) is to keep learning. Even when you’re an expert, there is always more to learn. This applies to the substantive law, but also to the business of law. Case in point. I’ve been practising for over a decade, but know that there is still more for me to learn. Recently, I was going to meet a new client that I was taking on due to the retirement of another lawyer at my firm. He was in his 60s and had enjoyed a successful career. This is exactly the type of person who has a plethora of wisdom that you should try to learn from. I asked him what he had done to build his book of business. He answered (honestly) that he never used social media as a business development tool except in the most genius (in my opinion) way: when he saw on LinkedIn that someone had moved to a new position or gotten a promotion, he sent a handwritten note of congratulations with a lunch invitation. Talk about delivering a message with a personal touch instead of an email or the stock LinkedIn replies.


Always Do a Good Job

Your work product is one of the few things that you have absolute control over. It is also one of the most important ways that you leave an impression in your career. Deliver a product that you are proud of – always. And make sure it is always delivered on time.


Always Be Motivated*

if you are not motivated by the work that you are doing, then you need to get new work. Because if you lack motivation, it becomes very hard to do a good job and to be happy. Doing a good job requires energy and a desire for delivering the best outcome possible for your client. If you lose that, you need to ask yourself if your current role, position, practice area, is right for you?

*okay, maybe not always, but most of the time. We all go through periods where getting things done is just a struggle. If that becomes your norm, then it is a problem.


Always Make Yourself a Priority

Delivering a good work product, being motivated, and being open to learning new things is, quite frankly, exhausting. If you have any hope of surviving and succeeding, you need to put yourself first on occasion. Doing that will look different for everyone – for me, it’s getting my workouts in, and going out with friends to enjoy a delicious meal and a wonderful bottle of wine (that we share, in accordance with Canada’s new “healthy” drinking guideline). For others, it is self-care at the spa, a quiet afternoon with a book, going to the movie theatre by yourself for a couple of hours of quiet and mindless entertainment (and buttery popcorn you don’t have to share). Whatever leaves you feeling rested and recharged, embrace it and make room for it in your calendar. A hustler needs her me time.


Whether or not you embrace the “Hustle Until Your Haters Ask If You’re Hiring” mantra, or have one of your own, just live by it. Figure out what you need to tell yourself to push through the struggles, to enjoy the highs and the wins, and to succeed.


About the Author

Alysia Christiaen

Alysia Christiaen is a corporate lawyer and Chief Privacy Officer at Lerners LLP, and is certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals as a Certified Information Privacy Professional/Canada. Her practice focuses on advising businesses and other organizations across Ontario on privacy issues, corporate governance, contracts and mergers & acquisitions. A focus of her practice is not-for-profit corporations. Alysia is proud to be serving as a board member for the London Health Sciences Foundation, the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, and as the Vice-Chair of the Parkinson’s Society Southwestern Ontario board of directors. She would describe herself as a fashionable foodie and is happy to offer recommendations for hidden gem restaurants.

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