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Paula M. Jones

Personal development, self-awareness and relationship skills have the greatest impact on our careers and yet these subjects are never part of an academic curriculum.  Throughout my career, every time I learn something valuable in these areas, I think, “Why didn’t anybody tell me that sooner?”  and more importantly, “How can I share this with others?”  Much of the dissatisfaction people experience in the workplace – and many of the problems organizations experience in all areas of operation – can be traced to interpersonal skills.  My blog is dedicated to sharing Everything Nobody Ever Told Me, to help my readers identify and realize a satisfying, purpose-driven professional career – one that is an integral part of a well-balanced life.

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    Blog Posts

Ensure Job Security In Your Legal Career

by Paula M. Jones
“If you don’t manage yourself, someone else is going to manage you.” At a recent conference I was speaking to a man who had worked for a large company and had been downsized after about twenty years.  The loss of his job had been devastating to him.  He felt there was nothing else he was qualified to do for a living and had absolutely no idea what to do next.  He had gone home, tried to regroup and went back to looking for a job the way he had twenty years before – by looking through job listings.  Nothing appealed to him.

Fortunately, a good friend of his sat him down to talk through all possible options.  Doing this helped the man...

Why Some Things Trigger Us - And Others Don't

by Paula M. Jones
If you’re hysterical, it’s historical. - Anonymous I had been having problems with my email lately. I dreaded calling technical support, since my experience in the past involved sitting for a long time on hold and listening to someone reading from a script instead of thinking creatively about my problem. However, since I could not fix the problem myself and I felt I had no other options, I called my internet service provider’s technical support line.

True to form, after thirty minutes on the phone we had barely moved past the point where I had repeated my name and account number to four different people. Then, after another hour on the phone while attempting to solve my problem, the technical support representative...

People Skills in the Legal Industry Can Make All the Difference

by Paula M. Jones
It is you – and no one else that creates your thoughts, your feelings and your actions.  – Peter Shepard Yesterday my colleague called me up for a vent session.  She had prepared a really complicated tax filing for a client and the client responded by sending a list of about fifteen things she thought was wrong with it.  Well, the clients concerns were all unfounded and my colleague patiently and politely addressed each and every complaint.  The client apologized for her snippy e-mail and stated that taxes made her anxious.

It was really nice to get an acknowledgement from the client that her behavior was unacceptable.  Everyone gets snippy once in a while and its entirely forgivable.  Unfortunately, this particular client...

How Young Lawyers Can Pick A Mentor Invested In Their Success

by Paula M. Jones
People who are ‘brutally honest’ are more interested in brutality than in honesty. – Alan Cohen Every now and then a new attorney reaches out to me and asks for career advice. I am always happy to help, since mentoring is rare in the legal profession and I remember how difficult entering the profession was for me almost twenty years ago. It is not uncommon for attorneys of all experience levels to need support, either. After all, a competitive firm culture can turn into a cutthroat one fairly easily. There is a good reason why there are the same number of attorneys leaving the profession each year as entering it. The legal work isn’t the problem – it’s the fact that...

Five Myths About Gender That Inhibit Workplace Equality

by Paula M. Jones
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.” – Alice Walker Once again the issue of equality and respect for women in the workplace is making its way into the headlines. I’m inspired by the new vitality in the hopeful younger generation regarding the issue because I have been quite tired from the lack of progress for women over my 30 year career.

Despite practicing law for the past 20 years, I have never viewed law as a means by which we can change human behavior or the way people think. Plato said, “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the...