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Thought-provoking Things Worth Sharing - Issue #102
Job Searching is Different For Everyone
Welcome to this week’s collection of thought-provoking things. I write this weekly newsletter so subscribers can see some of the things I’m writing and sharing without depending on social media algorithms to show them to you. Each week I’ll share information about careers and workplace culture, mental health in the workplace, talent development, and important information about privacy, security, and legal tech.
You can find out all about me here - Mike McBride Online.
I saw this post the other day and something about it nagged at me:
First, let’s admit that Adam is right. When we are out here looking at job postings the most important question should not be “Can I do it?”, it should be “Do I want it?” As I’ve spent the last few months applying, interviewing, having exploratory conversations, etc. I’ve come to the realization that as varied as my background has been the Venn diagram of roles I could do versus roles I want to do is not a circle. I “can” do a number of roles in training, eDiscovery, technology, etc. but not all of them are roles I would want to do again. For example, I recently had a conversation with a recruiter looking for someone to do trial support, comfortable sitting in the “hot seat” at trial.
I’ve done that kind of work at times. I met the qualifications of what they were looking for, and I feel fairly certain I could do the work. I just didn’t want the role. Trial Presentation is an all-consuming kind of work when you’re in the midst of a trial. It’s a life I don’t want.
So, clearly, I agree with Adam, job seeking is about finding the thing you can do, and want to do. But, that only works if you have some level of privilege. Savings, the ability to get affordable health insurance, maybe a partner that works, etc. I have those things. I wasn’t living paycheck-to-paycheck when I was let go. I have some runway before I need to turn to taking the job I can do regardless of whether it’s the one I want. There are a whole lot of people who do not have that luxury. Our current hiring processes and career advice mean nothing to them. Not having a job is, literally, a matter of life or death. A matter of having a home and food on the table, or kids with school supplies, etc.
I’m not sure that the status quo is worth keeping when that is the outcome.
I’m going to have more to say about things like hiring processes, unemployment insurance, networking, and the unequal impacts our current policies have on different groups. When you are in the middle of some of these things and have some time to truly understand them, it’s not a pretty picture. I’ve got a few blog posts outlined, I expect to be publishing them in the next few weeks. In the meantime, tell me about your own layoff and jobseeking experiences. What common advice just seemed silly to you in your situation?
Careers and the Workplace
As I read over the list of six conditions that Drucker believed enabled productivity, I came to the conclusion that I have never worked in a place that provided all six. Usually, that last one, being seen as an asset as opposed to a cost, is the easy one to see. Management loves to remind you that you are a cost, especially if you work in a tech or training position. Heck, anything other than a sales position in some organizations is a "cost", and we all know anyone who isn't directly billing more hours to a client than they get paid in legal is a cost. As we have seen over the last year, you can do great work, but when shareholders and Boards decide it's time to cut costs, that great work won't grant you immunity from mass layoffs.
How to Do Great Work - Paul puts together a lot of ideas and experiences in this piece. Take some time to read it if you’re questioning what you want to do when you grow up, even if you’re already grown up.
Intention, communication, setting expectations, and living the example will go a long way with your team. There's no reason to not follow these commandments for working as a team, regardless of location. This is a great outline for how to set the rules of engagement, provide the proper tools and solid communication, and continually measure the effectiveness of what you're doing.
If you're a leader of a remote team, you have connections that your people may not be able to access without your help.
Help them. They might just make you look good in the process.
Related - people remember you when you’re kind to them. Why Kindness at Work Pays Off
Training and Development
One of the biggest challenges of any public speaker, but especially someone doing day-long training engagements, is keeping your audience’s attention.
When you train your managers your business sees better results. Not surprisingly - Investing in middle managers pays off—literally
Mental Health in the Workplace
Making Time for Our Mental Health and Well-Being within the Hybrid / Remote Workplace - I argue that it’s important for everyone, in any work situation.
For many of us, this is an important reminder - Caring for Yourself and Your Mental Health During a Job Search
Privacy, Security, and Legal Tech
When I’m testing eDiscovery stuff in M365 as part of that newsletter, I usually try and look at the metadata, because it can make a huge difference - Want to Know Why Metadata Matters in eDiscovery?
Jordan is starting a deep dive into AI and its effects on law firms. In this first installment, he makes the obvious point, billable hours as a pricing model should be on the way out. It doesn’t make sense.
How many times are we going to see this before law enforcement stops? - Police Make Wrongful Arrest Based on Bad Facial Recognition... Again
Wells Fargo, other Wall Street banks fined $549 million for record keeping failures - widespread use of text messaging, WhatsApp, and Signal by people in regulated financial industries is a no-no, but how would you stop them from communicating on outside channels?
That’s all folks. If you found something interesting in this week’s newsletter, please share it with your friends. It’s the best way to help support the effort I put in each week to share this with you.