Last week was an economic nail biter and the psychologists discussing the national psyche were getting as much play in the media as the economists analyzing the situation and giving their thoughts on a fix.
Only time will tell whether the change in course will move us to calmer waters in the financial community and the closely related legal community. As recruiters, we have a front row seat to the stress and strains that individuals impacted by these events are experiencing.
In reading and listening, some of the advice out there has been more global in nature and perhaps worth serious consideration given the obvious widespread anxiety and fear in the marketplace. Here are the highlights:
Take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise and get enough sleep. Handle your stress in productive ways rather than destructive ways. Get back in touch with your goals and why they were important to you. If your career strategy was fundamentally aimed at providing security for your family, keep your family involved in the process of defining and obtaining that outcome. During times of instability in employment, linking arms with your loved ones, communicating well, and being flexible and creative can bring people together.
If your goals were aimed at career accomplishment, mastery and recognition, you don't have to be someone's employee to continue to grow, at least in the short term. Stay involved in your professional organisations, write for publication, go out and meet with colleagues. There is no shame if your job is unstable in the current environment. Stay connected and don't isolate yourself.
Don't "catastrophize." Anxiety can lead to being frozen. Educate yourself about the legal markets. Each market has vitality in certain sectors. If you are in a position that is not perfect but that is stable (in a slow practice area), don't try to leave for petty or minor reasons until the market in your practice area improves. Your search may not be successful and you may only add to your current frustration while decreasing your performance and increasing the chance of negative reviews.
Firms are still hiring. We are still making placements. We have adjusted our priorities, our contacts, and our rhythm to find jobs for attorneys and help attorneys get offers. We monitor daily changes and evolutions in the market. Some of the news is encouraging.
Let's continue to treat ourselves, our families, our colleagues, our clients and our communities well. Let's be strategic and creative. Let's make adjustments when necessary. Let's avoid negativity. Let's focus on what we can control and not sink into malaise about what we can't.