The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Business

January 31, 2014

Career Coach: How to get partners to listen; escaping a career

Career Coach Joyce E.A. Russell answers questions from readers

— Q: I am a paralegal who has worked with the same three partners for more than 10 years. None of them exhibits any leadership skills, and they all blame everyone else for any shortcomings. They have developed only minimal relationships with lawyers in other offices around the country who could share work with us. Nor are they interested in hearing my suggestions and questions concerning business development. Short of leaving for a winning team, do you think there is anything else I could do?

A: Are they making money and still successful? If so, it will be hard to get them to think about doing things differently. In that case, you might share with them data on how law firms are collaborating more and gaining more clients this way, but it may fall on deaf ears. They need an incentive to listen to your ideas.

Q: How do you escape a career path that you have just started to hate? I have always been a writer, but the more I do it, the less I like it. I keep going from writing job to writing job (the last one was five years long) in government contracting because that's all I know. But I am getting quite jaded with contracting, and frankly, tired of the hours and the stress. I also really hate sitting in an office writing when I could be out and about, talking to people or working with clients. I think I need to get out of this back end of contracting and go into some other line of work, but I don't know where to start. All the career tests I have taken say I should be in media and writing, but I hate it!

A: Sometimes the career tests indicate a field is a good one and yet it could just be the industry itself is a good place for you. In other words, maybe working in a marketing or communications department is appealing while the actual writing is no longer interesting to you. Did you ever take the Career Leader? This is a good career tool that also looks at your interests and can help to map your interests with a variety of fields.

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