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Changing the Fortune of Your Paralegal Job Hunt

published February 21, 2013

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
Published By
( 2 votes, average: 4.6 out of 5)
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Who does not want good fortune? Americans are crazy about lotteries for a basic human reason: A part of us, however small and unconscious it might be, wishes for a sudden external act to lift us high above our daily life. When we are looking for a job, that seed can flower into a full-blown shade tree. The job search and our personal situation blend together to make us wish for an external entity to magically solve all our problems! And yet there is a very positive way to deal with this aspect of the paralegal job search.

There is a formula For Minimizing Bad Fortune And Maximizing Good Fortune, But It involves Work.

Assume for a moment that we are all subject to good fortune and bad fortune at the same rate. (It may not be true, but the truth will not be revealed to everyone's satisfaction in the near future.) If fortune/misfortune occur at a rate that is the same for all of us, then it is easy to see why those who do less are more dependent on fortune. They are counting on the same good results as one who is diligently working overtime at job hunting. It is also easy to see why hard-working, driven job seekers say things like, "People make their own luck"' If fortune occurs at the same rate, then in a way we do make our own luck. Other elements of the job search can help you make some of that luck.

200 contacts vs. 25 contacts

Any seminar in insurance sales will tell you that sales success is a matter of simple arithmetic. The phrase you hear in these seminars is, "It's a numbers game." This attempt to reduce the problem to a matter of arithmetic is designed to focus the salespeople on keeping up their numbers of contacts. If they spend too much time on old contacts that show little promise, they are not playing the sales game correctly. In the effective job search, the challenge is much the same.

If you make 200 contacts (or 25 contacts) over a given time, you will experience good fortune and bad fortune in a certain proportion. Of course, you disregard the bad fortune and maximize the good fortune. The one with 200 contacts has "more" good luck-more chances for good fortune to play a role-and so can play the opportunities against themselves and take more control of the negotiating process. The one who has made only 25 contacts over the same period of time is going to react more strongly to the bad fortune, and will "hope and pray" that the good fortune brings employment, thus minimizing negotiating power and confidence. This process is like a roulette wheel to the latter, more like a card game to the former.

Let's look at three job seekers

.Job Seeker #1, Anne, got the job offer. The next week she would get calls from two other people for interviews because her job search was active enough that she had "several arrows in the air" at once. Her "crop was coming in" and she was reaping.

Job Seeker #2, David, suffered a "downturn" for a time after his rejection because he was counting on getting that job. He was counting too much on one event. He stopped all activity on his job hunt while the interview process was taking place. He had a "special feeling" about that job from the first time he saw it advertised. The first interviewer made him feel so good that he was sure the offer was 80 percent complete. He was devastated when he was turned down. Since he had ceased all other activity, his sadness slipped into depression. It took him 10 days to get back in a proper job-hunting frame of mind, and then because he had not been making contacts there was less "crop coming in" as the weeks passed.

Job Seeker #3, Marjorie, was disappointed that she was turned down. She went home that night, talked it over with her husband and went to see a movie to get through the negative feelings. By Sunday, she had her nose back in the newspapers and was conducting a direct mail campaign for a practice area in which she was interested. But this was nothing new; she had been conducting a fruitful search ever since her graduation. The next week, she got two interviews from mailings and contacts she had made a month before. She had too much momentum to slow down. She was too busy making things happen to go into a two-week funk.

What is it that makes life exciting but at the same time tough to comprehend? It is the presence and mixture of both good and bad fortune. When three people have interviewed well, have conducted professional job searches, and are waiting on a Friday afternoon for a phone call, they are all subject to the fortune/misfortune factor. Assuming they all performed equally well, the hiring decision will probably be highly subjective and based upon the subtext of interview drama. It is 4:00 in the afternoon: One receives an offer over the phone. Two get letters in the mail. Fortune/misfortune has determined the outcome.

The natural reaction for the rejected pair is to blame themselves. In fact, there may be no blame to be placed. In the world of the job search, we seem to be only observers. The narcotic of blame and reaction and fatalism feeds off the process that we call the fortune/misfortune factor.

Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

More about Harrison

About LawCrossing

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

published February 21, 2013

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 2 votes, average: 4.6 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.