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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People Skills 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...

Is Your Mentor Invested In Your 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 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...

How To Prevent Anxiety During Interviews

by Paula M. Jones
“To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one’s self..” – Soren Kierkegaard I have several colleagues who get really nervous during interviews. They are all very accomplished in their fields and any organization would be lucky to have them. One man sweats uncontrollably, to the point where the damp begins to seep through his shirt. Another colleague loses her train of thought and forgets to make the most salient points about her work. A third colleague gets so nervous he really is unable to listen to what questions are being asked and he comes across as vague and scattered. Unfortunately, all report that they have been unable to land opportunities that would have been a perfect fit,...

Hitting the Glass Ceiling?

by Paula M. Jones
You are not given a dream unless you have the capacity to fulfill it. – Jack Canfield It’s a Monday morning at 8 am and I’ve just jumped off the elliptical machine. I don’t have to get in my car to race through traffic for any reason. I don’t feel any pressure to show up at an office full of people who insist on face time. I don’t have to worry about finding enough work to meet an impossible billable hour requirement. Instead, I know what I want to accomplish today and I will do it in the way that works best for me and for my clients. I haven’t felt that kind of freedom in…well, ever.

Recently I made the monumental...