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Career Paths Are Rarely Straight Lines

They very often twist and turn. And sometimes land you in unexpected places

June 01, 2022 Photo

I recently watched a livestream of my niece’s graduation from Columbia University. As I reflect on the motivational words of wisdom in the commencement speeches, it prompted me to think about my own career path and how my journey took me in directions that I never imagined. Even though I didn’t fulfill what I thought was my grand plan, I am professionally fulfilled today.

When I passed the bar at 24, the plan was typical: become a trial lawyer, associate, then partner. I loved when I had the opportunity to try cases as a baby lawyer. I beamed with pride when I argued in front of the Ohio Supreme Court as a first-year lawyer after I had written the underlying appellate brief. Depositions and mediations pumped me up.

But I realized I didn’t want the nights and weekends that were required to be an effective trial lawyer, and eventually found myself in an in-house role at an insurance company. By 30, I was managing a department of attorneys and other claims professionals. And I loved it! Setting the strategy, supporting our internal customers, developing people—I found a passion that I never knew I had. And now I am fortunate to give back to my industry. My team and I are laying the foundation to build on CLM’s rich history of providing professional educational and networking opportunities for claims, risk, litigation management professionals, and attorneys, and I could not be happier.

So, while your career path may take you in unanticipated directions, be open to opportunities. Think about what excites you and follow that path. Listen to yourself. You may wind up in that dream job that you never even knew you wanted.

All the best –

Ronna Ruppelt




About The Authors
Ronna F. Ruppelt

Ronna F. Ruppelt, Esq. is chief executive officer of The CLM. ronna.ruppelt@theclm.org

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