Over the past week, we have had a couple of law firms tell us about their frustrations of having someone accept a position at their firm, only to rescind their acceptance a week prior to starting. 

I can understand the firm’s frustration.  There is a lot of preparation that happens before a new hire joins a firm. Computers are set up, training is coordinated, internal conversations take place, schedules are re-arranged, etc.  Not to mention, after you have accepted your offer, your new firm has stopped considering other applicants.  That means that if you then rescind your offer, the firm has lost out on not only time and money, but also all the other candidates they were considering as those ones have most likely moved on and are off the market. 

But, at the same time, I can understand things from the Candidate’s perspective.  Life happens, people change their minds, and new opportunities arise and ultimately you the candidate, needs to make the best long-term decision for yourself. 

However, the legal community is small, people change firms and you do not want to burn a bridge and have it follow you.  So, how you rescind your offer is important!  If the situation arises, you should:

  1. Let the firm know as soon as you have made up your mind. Don’t wait until the last minute. 
  2. Give the firm the courtesy of knowing why you are rescinding the offer.  Now, you don’t need to get into the specifics of your “Why”, but you should give a reason.  They have just invested time and money preparing for your start.  The firm’s initial reaction will be to see if there is anything they can do to change your mind.  Further, the firm will wonder if it was something about them that caused the change of mind.  Is there anything they need to change moving forward, so this doesn’t happen again? They just need some closure. 

While we are on this topic, we also have candidates sometimes ask us why their new employer wants to know if they have handed in their resignation yet.  They tell us, that they have signed the offer letter, indicating they are coming on board, why does it matter when they resign. 

The firm wants to know you are fully committed to making the move.  Yes, you have signed the offer, but you still need to successfully resign. When you are leaving one job for another, a two-step process is involved.  The firm will want to know this for a) peace of mind, but b) they will also want to know that you are fully committed before investing the time and money in preparing for your start.   

So, if you do need to rescind your acceptance, make sure that at the very least you take these 2 steps. 

Thanks for reading!  If you have any questions about this or any other job or interview topics, be sure to contact us.

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

Have you ever started a new job and right off the bat felt overwhelmed with how much there was to learn and do? 

Given the competitive landscape of the business world, it is very common for people to start off in a new job and feel that they are in a sink or swim environment.  The work can come fast and furious.  On top of learning your new firm’s software, their procedures, your colleague’s names and how they like to work. 

When you do encounter these sink or swim environments and you most likely will, the question is how do you succeed and thrive in them. 

When you start in a new job that is like this, it is easy to second guess your decision about accepting the job.  But, it’s important to remember that growing pains are common in a new role, and given how competitive the job market is, instead of doubting yourself, it’s best to do everything you can do to not only succeed in this new environment but thrive!

So, here are some things you can do to ensure you thrive during this time:

Dive in

You need to take the initiative and jump right in.  Be a sponge and soak up as much as you can.  Also, putting in a little extra time and effort, in the beginning, will help shorten the learning curve. Further, don’t question how the firm does everything.  First, learn their processes.  Down the road when you are settled and more embedded in the firm, you can offer up suggestions.  But for now, jump in, take initiative and do what you can. 

Ask Questions

Ask for help if you are having a hard time understanding something or struggling to find something or unsure how something is done.  Just make sure you are not asking the same question over and over.  Ask a question, make note of the answer and then put it into practice. Build on it from there.  Remember, the people who hired you, want you to succeed.  So they will want you to have the knowledge you need to do so.  So ask!

Make Friends

Make connections with as many of your teammates as you can.  Introduce yourself, have lunch with them or invite them to have lunch with you in the beginning.  You want to have as many connections in the new firm as possible so that you can turn to different people when you have questions.  You will limit the risk of peppering one person with all of your questions. 

Things are going to be tough in any new job!  But it’s important that your patient, dive in and learn as much as you can in those first few months so that you can build a strong foundation. 

Thanks for reading!  If you have recently started a new job and have questions about how you can better thrive in the sink or swim environment, feel free to contact us.

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

Talking about your strengths during a job interview seems like an easy thing to do.  Of course, you know all of the things you are good at! Obviously. 

But, are you answering the question properly? 

With this, today we will go over our tips on the best way to approach the Strength question in an interview. 

Often, we hear things like “I’m a hard-worker” or “I’m dedicated”.  These are buzz words that are often overused and only saying that about yourself will be too vague.   

Rather, when you are in an interview and asked to talk about your greatest strength or to talk about one thing you do really well, you need to be addressing a strength of yours that matches up with what is required for in the job you are interviewing for.  For example, if you are interviewing for a busy, high-volume, fast-paced litigation legal assistant role, answering this question with, “I get along with everybody” is not the best answer.  Rather, you would want to focus on multi-tasking skills, working with a sense of urgency and being highly efficient. 

Once you have a strength that aligns with the job, you need to get specific.  You will want to focus your strength and anchor it to a specific example.  If you have not yet seen our video on using examples, you can watch it to get a better understanding of how to best frame your example.  But essentially, your example is unique to you and will help illustrate your strength in action.  The example will provide as evidence to your claim.

Now, do you think of these strengths on the spot?  You can, but I suggest you prepare before your interview.  The best way to approach this is to sit down before your interview and write a list of your skills that match the job description or are needed in the job.  Then narrow down the list to your top 3-5 skills.  For each skill, write a brief example of you putting that skill into action. 

Thanks for reading!  If you would like to discuss further how to best answer the strengths question in an interview, feel free to contact us!

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

The beginning of a new year tends to see a lot of job movement! December was a busy month, people had planned vacations, company holiday parties were going on, and some people were waiting for their year-end bonuses.  Others come back from the holidays and make it their New Year's resolution to find a new job.  Whatever the reason, the reality is that there will be a lot of hiring and job movement going on to start the year which means a lot of opportunities will be available if you are looking to make a change. 

With this, here are some of our tips to ensure that you are starting your job search off on the right foot to start the new year!

  1. Reflect and get a better understanding of what you want and don’t want in a new job.  Don’t get caught up in all of the excitement of a new year and want to change jobs for the sake of changing jobs.  Take a step back and think about what you want and where you want your career to go.  Figure out what steps you need to take to get there. What moves make sense?  Will you need to make any sacrifices to get there (i.e. taking a pay cut or flexing on the size of the company or location)?
  2. Stay on top of what is happening in the market.  Explore job boards and speak with industry professionals to know what skills and jobs are in demand.  What do current salaries and opportunities look like?  How does this affect what you are looking to do?  You need to stay plugged in and keep your figure on the pulse. 
  3. Focus more on networking.  Get involved in industry associations and make an effort to get out to as many events as you can. If you cannot get out to events, look at networking on social media.  Look at LinkedIn.  Don’t just have an account and think you are done with it.  Connect with others in your industry, join industry groups and engage with relevant content. The aim is to meet and build relationships with new people in your industry.  Follow companies within your industry and look them up regularly to see if they are hiring.
  4. Update your Resume and LinkedIn profile.  The job market will move quickly at the start of the year.  Therefore, when you see something you like, you need to be able to move quickly and apply.  Further, you will want your LinkedIn up to date so that people looking to fill positions that match your skillset can reach out to you. 

Thanks for reading! 

If you have any questions around this or any other job searching or interview topic, be sure to contact us!

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

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