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The HUSTLE Principles for Getting a Paralegal Job Interview

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The final strategy in a job hunt has to do with the quality of your effort. Very little of this comes naturally, unless you are a natural hustler. The first spirit of America is fierce independence. The fiercely independent declared that without the shackles of the old world binding a person to a state or class, an individual by dint of competition, energy, drive, and persistence could and would succeed at any fully engaged endeavor. That ideal still exists. In fact it is never more true than in the Synergistic Job Search. If there is any natural order that emerges in this realm, it is the one that says: Those who must survive and succeed will!

Simply outlining the basics of networking and delving into the myriad details of the job hunt will not aid you without your unqualified effort. If you hustle, you will notice how you are building a circuit of contacts that take on a life; you are planting a crop that will eventually yield a harvest. In the end, this is not only about getting your first job, but subscribing to the idea that your self-development and your professional development go together. We are all interconnected and interdependent, not unlike the law. The concept of hustling involves the self-awareness that your future is always being planned for you, unconsciously or consciously, by your daily effort and by the interconnectedness of your daily professional life.







H Is for ''Hit the Streets"

The truly competitive person is out there shaking hands, having lunch, and meeting people. You will be sitting down and discussing your profession with people from whom you can learn. These people will constitute your network. Those who try to hunt for a job solely by responding to ads are not hitting the streets. Go out on every interview you get; the experience of interviewing is invaluable, and it is difficult to fabricate. Any interview, even a bad one, can be useful experience.

U Is for "Use Every Move"

I am not speaking of moves that are outside ethical and professional standards. We should use all the legitimate methods that work in the job hunting process. Some people use only half the methods available to them because they are lazy or reluctant or disbelieving. Those who hustle are headed for their goal; for example, the idea of writing a thank you note is not that hard to do because their focus is on the big picture.

S Is for "Stay Cool"

Anyone who is an entrepreneur or salesman can tell you that you cannot permit yourself to look hungry. Perceived hunger has a way of driving people away. As you proceed with your job hunt, look the part, feel the part, dress the part, and act the part of a professional paralegal.

(Remember, you are in the self-promotion business at this point.) You always want to communicate the message and exude the confidence of someone who will "be a catch" If you do not stay cool, your energy and hustle will work against you.

T Is for "Tell Everybody"

The hunt for your first job is actually even more than a job. It is an occupation, even a preoccupation. Though you should stay cool, your agenda should be jammed with one message: "I must tell everyone who cares about me what I am doing? This time might be a time to lose some false pride, because one thing this quest will show you is that you do not know where your fortune will come from. When something starts to work, you may be amazed at its originating point.

L Is for "Let Things Be"

Waiting is a hard game, and it may go against your natural drive to "do something" but remember the analogy of the crop coming in. You cannot coax a seed to sprout, nor yell at a plant to make it flower. The whole process requires time and waiting and patience; you'll make good moves, then wait. Like an echo, your job search efforts have a response time. Some may be one week, others two days, still others may take three months. How do you stay cool? By knowing there is a process going on. This is one of the reasons you should undertake a great deal and work hard on several projects. The crop sometimes comes in all at once. Sometimes nothing happens for weeks, and then by some eerie synchronicity, everyone seems to be interested at once. But remember, do not become a pure nuisance by calling back too much on a lead. After you have done what you can, let things be.

E Is for "Expect Good News"

The job hunt is emotionally arduous because you must be at your best when you often feel your worst. Undertake this process with the most optimistic outlook you can muster. Why? Because it affects your daily performance, your interviewing, your writing, your personal networking, your sense of worth, and your professionalism. All these things are buoyed by your optimism. The true hustler can see the results of worthwhile activity, just as the farmer sees the crop coming in when he is plowing, digging and dunging, and watching it rain. Some of the worst interviews occur because the interviewee is exhausted emotionally and fighting self-doubt and discouragement. One of your chief strategies and opening moves is to begin with (and stay in) a state of hopeful and optimistic expectation.

Once you are prepared to undertake this task with the proper opening strategies and first moves, then you can employ your resume, interviewing skills and written presentations with persuasion and effectiveness.

All the effort, education, handshaking telephoning, letter writing, hand-wringing and stamp-licking come together in one moment: Your interview.

See the following articles for more information:

About Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is the founder of LawCrossing and an internationally recognized expert in attorney search and placement. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

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LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit

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Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts

You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives

Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.

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