Legal Law

The Secret To Going In-Home

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Although I was born in Cali, I was raised in Small Town, Texas, and I was taught that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, then I shouldn’t say anything at all.

At the same time, this is for Above the Law, and a little snark is OK, right?

So in true form, following my introductory column, my first advice to all those inquiring minds who want to go in-house is …

Wait for it …


If the job looks interesting, if it’s your dream job, if you feel like you were meant to see it or it was written for you …

Or maybe you just had a really bad day and you can’t stand the thought of doing another day wherever you are …

No matter the reason –- my advice when you see a possible opening is to just apply.

You’re probably thinking, “Seriously, Captain Obvious? How did you get your own column?”

I don’t mean to be flippant.

I am not encouraging you to waste anyone else’s time (including your own) if you’re not qualified or actually interested in the opportunity.

Before you apply, you still need to have:

  • done the requisite self-reflection and soul-searching
  • dug deeply into your why (or why nots)
  • made your pro/cons list about your current job (if you’re a list person like me)
  • gotten really clear on what you’re looking for (even if just for greener pastures), and
  • determined that the position you’re seeking is a decent-enough fit.

Note that I use “decent-enough fit.”

That is intentional.

I personally don’t believe in the “perfect job.”

(As an aside, I do believe in a “dream job” as long as you know you are allowed to have different dreams).

Rather, my advice in encouraging you to apply is practical.

Because unless you are friends with recruiters (good friends to have by the way) or support talent acquisition like I have, most people don’t realize that the requisition (aka opening) can close quickly -– as others who are interested are actually applying –- instead of just deeply analyzing and list-making on whether they should apply.

Something you may not have considered is that some companies will keep the requisition open until they get a certain number of applications and then close it out while they explore their pool, which means –- if you wait, it may just close on you.

And of course, you could just sigh to yourself and say, “I guess it wasn’t meant to be,” rather than own the possibility that your decision-paralysis was the true culprit.

Other companies may keep the requisition open until they actually fill the position and select someone, giving you hope that maybe the company hasn’t found their unicorn (you), but while you hem and haw, they may have already started the second round of interviews or are negotiating salaries with a candidate by the time you decide to apply.

Wouldn’t you rather be in that first or second round of interviews or negotiating compensation?

Look, I totally get that people want to connect to others and explore their network to learn more about an opportunity to determine if it’s a good fit — and figure out if you have a solid “in,” but you don’t want to lose an opportunity if you’re really interested by waiting to apply.

Especially, if the person you’re hoping to talk to (like -– ahem -– me or other busy in-house counsel) has a schedule where we legit don’t have any openings for two weeks. (Please don’t put the burden of whether you’re going to apply on my shoulders.)

I love being in-house, and I am all for helping others get closer to their maybe, but there’s no maybe about this:

First, apply.

And then network.

Meyling “Mey” Ly Ortiz is in-house at Toyota Motor North America. Her passions include mentoring, championing belonging, and a personal blog: At home, you can find her doing her best to be a “fun” mom to a toddler and preschooler and chasing her best self on her Peloton. You can follow her on LinkedIn ( And you knew this was coming: her opinions are hers alone.

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