What does it mean to make yourself marketable or sellable? Does it require that you quit your job, completely change careers or go back to school. Perhaps, but for this article it simply means making the most of your skills and abilities and continually looking for ways to improve. Whether you just graduated or you've been a paralegal for many years, learning to market yourself is an essential skill in maximizing your potential. Both financially and in the opportunities that come your way. If you are a seasoned paralegal you may want to sharpen your management skills, make the most of your client interviews or change your area of law. The most convenient and least expensive way to start your research is to go online. Reading articles on career and paralegal websites, like Total Paralegal is a great way to get ideas. As you get into your online research you'll find a multitude of resources. You will also realize that there are many others searching for the same information and the same answers as you. If you realize through your research that you may need or want to take a class or two to strengthen your skill-set to better position yourself for advancement but you simply don't have the time to travel to a physical classroom. No problem, because in today's online world, taking an online course is not only practical but very smart. The internet is also a great place to find other ways of getting to where you want to be, such as seminars and discussions for today's paralegal professional. Take baby steps while you're working the daily grind. If you try to do to much you run the risk of driving yourself into the ground. And remember, it's imperative that you are proactive in reconstructing your assignments and informing your supervisors of your interests, skills and extra effort. Let's face it, our supervisors are involved with their own deadlines, their own court appearances and their own business worries. As a result, they don't always notice extra effort because they've come to expect it. On the other hand, they always seem to notice our less than perfect work. Don't fret, stop mumbling under your breath, complaining to your family and co-workers, simply let your boss know about your extra effort. In other words, "toot your own horn". If you are a recent graduate marketing yourself means making the most of your school experience. Use your professors, counselors and fellow paralegals to create an effective job search. Keep in touch with everyone because you never know if you'll be working with or for them sometime down the road. Inform everyone you know that you are actively seeking a "full-time paralegal position in a large firm in... the city of your choice" or a "part-time paralegal position in a small firm close to home." Whatever your situation, utilizing your personal contacts will make your search less stressful, time consuming and much more rewarding... as in a better, higher paying position. You may feel that you are at a disadvantage trying to qualify for many legal positions, but many employers would rather train someone to do it their way than re-train someone who does things their way. I admire and encourage those of you seeking "second-careers" or for those of you who simply want to acquire new skills by going back to school. I went back to school, paid for it out of my own pocket and attended night classes. I can honestly say that I was a better student the second time around than when I was fresh out of high school. "Older" employees bring a lifetime of experience, expertise and skills to any position and are a good role models for younger employees. Studies have shown that mature workers have lower job turnover, better overall attendance and fewer on the job accidents than do younger workers! Studies have also found that the ability to learn remains constant throughout most of our lives. Regardless of your current situation. You CAN make it happen... where there's a will there's a way and there's always room for challenges and the accompanying mental and spiritual growth that will inevitably occur when you stick your neck out and go for it.
The next time you send an e-mail to your family, plan a vacation online, or send a photo of your newborn to your parents, you may want to tip your hat to technology. Technology, and its use, is an integral part of our everyday lives. It is so pervasive, we would be hard-pressed to live in a world without it. When Sandra Johnson was young, she thought an engineer was a person who drove a train. A few years later, she became the first black woman in the U.S. to earn a Ph.D. in electrical engineering. Now a Chief Technology Officer and Senior Technical Staff Member for IBM's Systems & Technology Group, Dr. Johnson believes it is imperative for black families to incorporate technology into their daily lives. "There are any number of reasons blacks can't live without technology," Dr. Johnson says. Here are her top five:1) Technology Levels the Playing Field: From small and medium-size businesses to visual, literary and recording artists, to information dissemination-technology brings the world to our fingertips. This offers a special advantage to members of the black community who have traditionally encountered obstacles to success in these and other areas. Technology levels the playing field, so that black voices can be heard, black offerings can be marketed and creativity and innovation can flourish.2) Economic Empowerment: Technology enables blacks to do some incredible things at the click of a mouse. They can shop for just about anything, pay bills, plan vacations, purchase entertainment, wine and dine at reduced cost and use online services to find the best banking services.3) Strengthens Family Ties: For many who are no longer living in physical proximity to their closest relatives, technology enables them to communicate on a regular basis in a cost-effective manner. They can exchange photographs, share videos, send e-cards, text message and call from one place to another at a fraction of what the cost was just a few years ago. 4) Careers in Technology Are Awesome: A career in a technology-related field can be extremely rewarding. It can also improve your quality of life. Technology skills are unique and in short supply, the work is exciting and gratifying and the financial rewards are relatively high. 5) Great Futures for Your Children: Through technology, the world is literally at your children's doorstep. Technology enhances the education of black children. Just imagine what could happen if black children spent time designing or improving games for the Xbox 360 and PS2, or used their ingenuity to create videos, films, music and literary works. The possibilities and opportunities associated with technology are endless.According to Dr. Johnson, there are a number of programs available, including Black Family Technology Awareness Week, that provide technology access and training. "If America is to maintain its competitive advantage," she says, "we must encourage our children to join the next generation of innovators, scientists and engineers, and our adults to build and improve their technology skills."
If youre not sure what to do, heres a list that might help.1. Know thyself.Identify what really interest and excites you. Understand that these traits define you and use it to explore career choices and opportunities.2. Take a career assessment test.There are a lot of career assessment tests available online. Find the time to take one. The test gives you a lot of insights about your core competencies and work preferences.3. Ask others.Its actually quite difficult to see yourself as others do. It would be to your advantage to ask friends and family on your traits and skills. Your co-workers are also a good source of information. Knowing how they perceive you, what they like and dont like about you and what skills or traits need to be changed can be helpful in determining your professional profile. 4. What moves you?Would you be more interested in status or a six figure salary? Do you want to make a difference in your community and the world or just on your companys net worth?5. Take charge.In the 80s, when you worked for a large company, you usually could conclude that you would be working there for your entire career. In those days, the corporation drove your career path, advancing as it saw fit.At the turn of the century, times have changed. In the span of your career, you would probably work for at least five companies. In most cases, you will probably work for more than five. Know which career track you desire, and make sure that track brings you to where you wish to go. 6. Determine the company fit.With the current emphasis on streamlined and productivity-focused companies, the cultural and company fit are just as important as the professional goals. Consider the values and principles of the company and compare them with your own. It is important that you feel comfortable and fit in with company. 7. Free your mind.The career path you choose is about change and more change. It includes expansion and new opportunities. All of these changes require a desire to journey and discover.8. Balance is the key.A huge amount of time is devoted to your career when you are in your 20s and 30s. When you reach your 40s, your personal life might take precedence and maybe more important to you. Find a corporation that will provide you with a balance in your work and your life.9. Dont hang around.If youre not satisfied with the way your career is going, go do something. Always be in control of your career path to have a satisfying career.
Are you a fire-fighter? Many clever confident people are held back in the main by a single weakness. They are totally disorganised. This can lead to procrastination, fire-fighting and eventually total failure.Diagnosis is the first step to recovery. If you can recognise this weakness in yourself, you can take steps to eliminate this disadvantage. If you are disorganised you are at a disadvantage. Look at all of the most successful people in the world. They are all well organised. If they have a difficulty in this area, they employ a personal secretary to organise things for them.Assuming that you are not in a position to employ an organiser we will have a look at some improvements that you can make.1.Prioritise. The first thing to do is to look at the work that you have on your desk (or garden, shop, workplace etc.) and decide what must be done first. Decide what you must do immediately or pay the consequences, e.g. pay your suppliers. Then decide what should be done as soon as possible. Then what should be done if you can. Then what it would be nice to do if you can. Then dump the rest. Do not have it cluttering up your desk getting the way of important work. 2.Set deadlines. It is of no use at all setting deadlines and not paying the least bit of attention to them. You must stick to you guns and meet your deadlines no matter what happens. Deadlines prevent fire-fighting. Fire-fighting is when you have left everything too late and are franticly running around, trying to do things that should have been done weeks ago, to prevent certain disaster. Set achievable and realistic deadlines and do not be distracted from them unless something that absolutely must be done immediately comes up and must be slotted into your list.3.Do not procrastinate. If you find that you have finished a task early start the next one immediately. Do not decide that you have made yourself a bit of free time and put it off until tomorrow just because it was on your, should be done list list and not your, must be done immediately list.4.Meetings. If meetings are part of your usual routine that is ok. However, you must make the most of these meetings. Be prepared. Plan what you want to achieve at the meeting and make some phone calls to gauge the support you will get for the idea, and then adapt your approach accordingly. Meeting have a habit of becoming a place for fathers/mothers to talk about their children, sailors to talk about their boats and golfers to talk about golf. In fact, people so often spend too much of the time allotted for the meeting, talking about anything but business. If you are in a position to do something about this try to keep the chitchat to a minimum.If you do not need to attend a meeting then do something more productive with your time; like driving your way down through you new list of priorities. You will very likely get a memo about the business of the meeting anyway. So unless it is necessary to attend, DONT.5.Delegate. If you have people working under you then delegate some tasks to them. People in authority tend to take on more than they should; especially when they view a task as being important. They think, I better do that report for the vice-president myself, or something similar. Show some faith in the people who work under you. It will do you both some good. Besides, you do not want to be in the office doing that report when all your staff are out playing golf and the vice-president is wondering why you need to spend so much time getting your work done.Not everyone can be totally organised. Nevertheless, if you follow these guidelines you will go a long way towards improving your quality of life and work. These guidelines apply to any business whether you are a webmaster and internet guru or just at the bottom of the ladder in a large organisation.
Today's interview questions are becoming increasingly more difficult. I have compiled a list of questions that interviwers regard as the toughest to answer. There are no right or wrong answers to the questions, but be prepared to for them to be asked.1. Talk about yourself? (Prepare for 2 minutes)2. If you were a Leader of a country, which problem would you tackle first and why?3. If you made a film about yourself, who would play your character?4. Is a Tomato a Fruit or Vegetable?5. Describe a Tennis Ball?Be prepared for Questions like these as this will prove you really want the job, have a creative thought process, be able to sell yourself and be confident is a stressful environment.Paul Evans - FastFinders.co.ukwww.fastfinders.co.uk