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Job Wanted is Job Amazing

I receive emails from a legal service called LawCrossing,  that publishes job ads and applicant availability. The following was a post for a Legal Internship at a law firm in South Carolina. Here’s what arrrived in my in box:

Legal Internship

         The candidate must demonstrate excellent academic performance in educational program, sound business acumen, leadership potential, strong work and personal ethics and a team orientation, superior communication and excellent quantitative skills are also required.

Now, what do you think of that job posting?  The job ad has been posted since August 2012. When I saw it, I first had to look up the definition of “quantitative skills”. After reading several descriptions, I think that it means looking at things through numbers and measurements. Something to do with understanding the size of things. Honestly, I’m still not real sure.

The Bureau of Statistics (I know that the minute you read that, you looked up at something else. Come on… admit it!) reported in August that the unemployment rate is roughly at 7.3 percent. That relates to the amount of people looking for a job, who cannot find one.  It does not consider people who have given up on finding a job; An unknown number.

Jobless rates are reportedly up in 28 states. Half of U.S  jobs now pay less than 34K per year. The gap between the rich and the poor is growing larger. People are feeling tremendous financial pressure just making ends meet.

Why am I writing about unemployment in my legal blog? Well, in my practice, I see clients who get hurt from car accidents or truck accidents and simply cannot afford to miss a day of work. They cannot afford to go get treatment. Or, they are already unemployed and now are limited in what they can now apply for, because of their physical condition.

I suggest that the above legal intern ad is questionable as to whether it is really a real job offer because of the content of the ad. I don’t know anyone who fits that description. Wouldn’t it be great if we had political leaders that matched that, not just a legal intern.

As I write this Tuesday blog, I know that today I will talk to people under a lot of stress. They did not cause it. Someone else did. Instead of accepting responsibility, the defendant’s insurance company argues that they must not be really hurt, or my client would have missed work. I believe that there are a lot of people who are just living in fear. Fear of what tomorrow holds.

In evaluating the worth of a case, how much is fear worth? Unfortuately, that is a real damage that must be considered. What an awful damage that some carry.

DID YOU KNOW that ketchup was sold in the 1830’s as medicine. Early versions didn’t contain tomatoes. At the time, it was thought that tomatoes were poisonous. So, early versions had flavors like blueberry, lemon and grape.

The first ketchup recipe that included tomatoes is believed to have been in an 1801 recipe book titled the Sugar House Book. From the history of the Heinz Ketchup company, it wasn’t until 1876 that F & J Heinz launched their own tomatoe ketchup. (Did you think that you would learn about the history of ketchup in a legal blog? Somehow I need to work apple pie and ice cream in)

My little footnote is a good lead-in to our pic o’ day:

dog diet




Lawyer Perfectionism

I am in the process of interviewing lawyers to fill some positions at the law firm. I don’t follow any real textbook of questioning. I have seen outlines of questions that tell me to include “What are you most proud of?” or “Where do you want to be in ten years?”. I just can’t bring myself to ask those form interview questions. Plus, someone might say they are proud that they finished a 52 ounce steak or that they want to be in movies in 10 years. Is that good or bad?

At some point in the interview, I can usually tell whether the lawyer is a possible hire. The next step involves a psychological profile test. There is no real way of knowing whether a person is a worker. In basketball, I have heard coaches say, “You can’t teach height”. You can’t teach hard work either.

One question that I do ask and then test for,  involves perfectionism determination. There is a fine line between efficiency/good work and perfectionism, that causes someone to be paralyzed to get work done or to be an “A” employee.

Writing this blog reminds me of that. I suspect that you have noticed that I start with a topic and just head for the finish line. Sometimes, I find myself hitting delete on multiple sentences because I went wandering into a closet and can’t get out. When I finish the draft, I then hit the spellcheck. (So thankful for spellcheck!) Then, I re-read the blog. At some point, I just have to hit publish or I will have spent too much time. That sequence doesn’t come close to perfectionism which causes a few mishaps.

The Wall Street Journal just did an article on the perfectionism research of Minneapolis psychologist Tom Greenspon. He believes that perfectionism is passed from parent to child. Not passed by emphasis or achievement; but rather by genetics.

The article examines the perils of perfectionism. James Brown was known to fire backup singers if they didn’t have pressed shirts and shined shoes. Barbara Streisand’s career has been impacted by perfectionism in her inability to perform live performances on occasion; as well as letting small flaws that only she could perceive in her voice, derail her from releasing some songs.

The research cites findings in the comparison of twins. One study found that identical twins had greater similarities on the measurement of perfectionism than in comparing fraternal twins.  The research found that perfectionism can be debilitating at times and lead to depression, anxiety, procrastination, insomnia and other mental health problems. As Dr Greenspon put it, “Our research shows that successful perfectionists are successful in spite of it, not because of it.”

I still haven’t found the perfect interview question for perfectionism. Wait a second… am I suffering from interview perfectionism?

And, for pic o’ day, here’s more worry. Better not to know?

Resume Use and Confusion

We have been running ads for paralegals, assistant paralegals and investigators. We have hired several but continue to look for a few more.

Once you enter the “hiring tunnel” you really have to focus on information submitted from the candidates. It also reminded me that resumes really don’t help very much. In fact, some of the listed objectives or goals even confused me.

If you google information on resumes, you’ll find all kinds of entries (like this one)  on why resumes are absolutely useless. I won’t go that far, but I do think that the word resume will someday no longer be part of the hiring vocabulary. Instead, job candidates will probably just send video presentations. Then, it will be more like “resume play”. (I’m not sure if I made that up or plagiarized it!)

Coming across all that information led me to this crazy resume on the Internet. I have read it a couple of times and it still makes me laugh. I think it’s worth  being called the pic o’ day.

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