Wikipedia lists 234 positive personality traits – and if Wikipedia says there are 234, it must be true, right? Not always. The list did not include “ethical.” But that’s another article.
As I reviewed the list, I decided all 234 were good traits to have but there are some that paralegals must have to achieve career success.
Today I’ll cover 11 of those traits – 11 traits I’ve observed that are possessed by paralegals who have successful careers.
Anticipative – You must foresee what needs to be done. Don’t wait for instructions for every step of a project but develop that sixth sense of what’s coming next. Be sure to use checklists to document the steps you take for later use.
Confident – The legal industry is no place for Timid Tillie. If you qualify to use the title paralegal, be confident in your abilities, skills, training, education and work experience. You can do this!
Conscientious – Do your work carefully and thoroughly – always.
Consistent – Deliver on a regular basis. Do what you say you will do; show up when you say you will; keep appointments and commitments.
Disciplined – Stay with your project until it’s done, even though you’re tired, bored, and would rather be cruising the Internet.
Discreet – Exercise prudence and self-control in what you say and what you do. Remember the rules of confidentiality and privilege. Do not discuss cases or clients with anyone who doesn’t need to know.
Efficient – Produce the desired results without wasting materials, time, or energy. Always look for the best way to do things instead of relying on the way things have always been done.
Ethical – Work in accordance with accepted principles of right and wrong that govern the conduct of the legal profession. Remember: members of the legal profession are held to a higher standard. Know and practice ethics rules.
Flexible — Be willing to change and try different things. Adapt to situations as they arise. Situations may include a difficult co-worker, a change in working conditions, or an emergency project. Whatever the situation, you must adjust and get the job done.
Focused – Give everything you do your undivided attention until completion.
Hardworking – Work with energy and commitment; always put effort and care into your work.
There is no such thing as a quick fix or an easy outcome when you work as a paralegal. There is no quitting when the going gets tough. And things can get tough – very tough.
There will be times when there is too much work to do and not enough time to do it. You can count on times of stress. These personality traits will see you through on your path to career success.
When you possess these traits, you will be able to move your career in the right direction: forward!
© 2013 Vicki Voisin, Inc. Do you want to use this article in your newsletter, ezine or Web site? Please contact Vicki Voisin. She will contact Stephanie for her approval.
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 is the co-author of The Professional Paralegal: A Guide to Finding a Job and Career Success. Vicki publishes Paralegal Strategies, a weekly e-newsletter for paralegals, and 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.