Allison GuidetteAllison Guidette’s path to managing director for Thomson Reuters’ Large Law Firm segment “went up, went sideways, but finally, got me where I wanted to be,” she said with a laugh.

One thing that has remained consistent for Guidette, though, is the value she places on having a solid network. Not “networking” in the sense of handing out business cards at a happy hour, but rather a scaffolding of supporters who encourage, challenge and promote one’s career goals.

“Make sure your boss knows what you want. Make sure your mentor, if you’ve got one – and get one, if you don’t – knows your aspirations,” Guidette said. “Build clarity around what you’re looking for, and make sure your network understands that. The jobs aren’t going to come looking for you. You have to put yourself in a position where you can find them.”

Guidette was sharing her career narrative as part of Thomson Reuters’ “My Career Story,” an ongoing series in which leadership at the industry’s leading legal solutions company discuss their careers and offer insight into professional development.

Guidette, who joined Thomson Reuters in 2002 as the director of retention in the Large Law Firm segment, briefly left the organization for another position. She said she worked conscientiously to make her departure as graceful as she could.

“Never burn a bridge,” Guidette advised. “Work really hard to make your exit as easy as you can. When you do that, you leave fond feelings behind, and that’s really valuable.”

Guidette said she took extraordinary care to leave her good working relationships at Thomson Reuters intact because “if you find somebody in your career who has your back, that’s not something you find every day, so you really need to make sure you make that relationship a real priority.”

And in Guidette’s case, that decision paid off. She rejoined Thomson Reuters a short time later after she realized she missed the organization and the legal industry as a whole. Because Guidette had been tactful, delicate and conscientious in her departure, she was able to rejoin Thomson Reuters with a constellation of solid business relationships already in place, as well as a bountiful reservoir of goodwill ready and waiting for her. That has helped Guidette make great strides toward her goal of driving Thomson Reuters, and its clients, into a new era; an era in which law firms need strong and useful legal solutions to help them meet swiftly changing client demand.

As managing director of Thomson Reuters’ Large Law Firms Segment, Guidette leads the business operations that serve the top 1,500 U.S. law firms. She has been recognized both within Thomson Reuters and externally for helping the company further strengthen its core assets, including Westlaw and its print Knowledge Management offerings, while also nurturing cutting-edge products in e-discovery, know-how content and case management software.