As I was working with a paralegal during a recent strategy session, she mentioned several times that she’s not where she wants to be in her career and she doesn’t see herself getting to “where you are”.
To get past this feeling of “not good enough” we worked on her specific concerns. She now has goals, a time line for her career, and an action plan – all of which suit her and no one else.
Still, her question made me think. How many other paralegals have similar thoughts? How many other paralegals let those thoughts hold them back?
It’s important to note that successful paralegals, me included, didn’t wake up one morning to a successful career. There are always tough times, everyone makes mistakes and — this is key — you learn from them.
Here’s a sampling of the frequent career mistakes I’ve seen over the years and the lessons learned from them:
- Mistake: Comparing yourself to others.
- Mistake: Thinking you have to reach the same level as someone else. You want your career to be just like his/hers.
- Mistake: Assuming you don’t “need” to belong to a professional association – you have all you can handle just with your job and your personal obligations.
- Mistake: Thinking someone else or something else is holding you back from career success.
- Mistake: Hesitating to write an article or speak at a seminar because the very thought frightens you.
- Mistake: Hesitating to take a certification exam – no time, don’t “need” it, blah blah blah.
There are several other mistakes I’ve both made and witnessed I’m sure you can add your own to the list.
Your Challenge: Please follow this link to leave a comment sharing what you’ve learned — it’s a great way to give back and help others while recognizing just how far you’ve come.
Do you want to use this article in your newsletter, ezine or Web site? You can, so long as you include this entire blurb with it: Vicki Voisin, “The Paralegal Mentor”, delivers simple strategies for paralegals and other professionals to create success and satisfaction by setting goals and determining the direction they will take their careers. Vicki spotlights resources, organizational tips, ethics issues, and other areas of continuing education to help paralegals and others reach their full potential. She publishes Paralegal Strategies, a weekly e-newsletter for paralegals, and co-hosts The Paralegal Voice, a monthly podcast produced by Legal Talk Network.
More information is available at www.paralegalmentor.com where subscribers receive Vicki’s 151 Tips for Your Career Success.