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Minimizing Job Change Risk for Legal Secretaries

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In what may be a little known fact, many legal secretaries have no hang-ups about changing jobs.
 
There are lots of myths associated with employment during a recession, as well as an abundance of conflicting career advice. This article will attempt to bring some clarity to the issue.

 
Making a change in employment during a recession is not a wise move for every legal secretary, and there are certain criteria that should be considered before accepting a job offer during a recession.
 
However, there may be opportunities available during a recession that may never exist during a boom market. While many legal secretaries may wait for the economy to improve before job hunting, there are others exploring the current job market with amazing success. These are opportunistic legal secretaries who understand a basic interview strategy.
 
The following is a checklist of strategy suggestions for legal secretaries to consider when changing jobs during a recession.
 
Top 10 Strategy Suggestions
 
Exercise discretion
 
Be very careful. Do not tell co-workers that you are looking. Do not use company e-mail and fax machines to transmit employment information, and be conscious of your surroundings when speaking on the telephone. Also, be careful about what you wear. You do not want to look as if you are on your way to an interview.
 
Require confidentiality
 
Seek the assistance of an experienced, ethical and established recruiter who specializes in legal secretarial placement. A recruiter who works according to high professional standards will understand the level of confidentiality that is necessary and will coordinate, organize and manage all the communications throughout the search process.
 
Interview management
 
Schedule your interviews wisely. Many legal secretaries interview during lunchtime. If you are on a strict lunchtime schedule, you need to have the interview scheduled so that you do not interview on company time. An effective recruiter will coordinate your interview schedule.
 
Educate yourself
 
You should always look at the website of the law firm you plan to meet. There is information available that may help you better qualify the law firm as a potential employer.
 
Have prepared questions
 
Think about all of the issues that are important to you, and then write a question about each topic. Discuss these questions with your recruiter prior to the interview. During the interview, ask the employer the appropriate questions, and take notes! I am not aware of any employer who has ever objected to note taking during an interview. When you ask questions, it demonstrates to the employer that you are intelligent and that you have an interest in the position.
 
Have prepared statements
 
Anticipate the questions an employer may ask, and have prepared statements. You should know your reasons for leaving previous employers, your strengths, your weaknesses, why you are interested in looking for a new job, etc. An effective recruiter will help you organize your thoughts so that you may make a professional presentation. Practice, practice, practice.
 
Meet everyone
 
When you interview for a new position, you should meet with every person that you will primarily support. Legal secretaries tend to view "chemistry" as the most important factor during the selection process. If you need to return a few times to meet everyone, an effective recruiter will understand the importance of chemistry and arrange the remaining interviews.
 
Be thorough
 
Ask questions! During the interview, while you are taking notes, you should be thinking about questions to ask. If something does not sound right, explore it. If you have concerns, discuss them. You should inquire about the recent history of this position, why the position is open, what are the most important qualifications, etc. An interview is a time to gather the information that you need in order to make an informed decision. An effective recruiter will assist you with information-gathering techniques.
 
Pro/con list
 
This is one suggestion that has been around for years. It is simple to prepare and it is a very valuable tool. When you organize your thoughts, it is easy to determine your plan of action. Keep a pro/con list for each interview process. This will eliminate confusion later. Discuss the list with your recruiter. An effective recruiter is able to voice your concerns to the employer in order to search for a solution.
 
Informed decision
 
If you have implemented the suggestions above, at the end of the interview process you should be able to make an informed decision. You should know whether or not you want the job. If you have to think about it, then perhaps you are lacking some information critical to the decision-making process, or perhaps you are afraid of change. If you are not capable of a "yes" or "no" answer about your interest level, then the process is not complete. An effective recruiter will walk you through this stage of the process to help you organize your thoughts so that you are able to make an informed decision. This is the stage where you do not want to project a level of uncertainty to the employer — especially if you are interested in the position.

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