The thought of losing your paralegal job is a frightening proposition. While there are many reasons why a person may get fired, many of these reasons boil down to your own mistakes and not the company downsizing (although, this is definitely a possibility). The majority of law firms don’t have a problem firing a paralegal if they engage in misconduct or continuously make huge mistakes.
Although there are many reasons why you could find yourself in the unemployment line, the following mistakes are the top reasons why paralegals find themselves without a job.
Mistake #1 – Harassment
Many law firms and legal departments within the corporate world feature a zero harassment policy. In fact, this policy is likely found within your hiring contract. What you may consider a socially acceptable joke may actually be incredibly offensive to another person. Therefore, the most important element to remember is to keep your conversations and body language as professional as possible. Sticking to this rule will guarantee you’ll never find yourself in the Human Resources office for making an inappropriate joke or comment.
Mistake #2 – Only Doing The Minimum
Lacking the necessary skills is one of the most common ways you’ll find yourself without a job. Moreover, if you do hold the skills necessary to perform the job, but you only do the minimum throughout your day to pass by, you’ll find yourself unemployed. Poor performance within your job, which may include missing deadlines, procrastinating and lacking respect when it comes to communicating with your employer or clients is the fastest way to lose your job. Always strive to go above-and-beyond what is expected of you. This guarantees your job security and really does make a difference within the workplace.
Mistake #3 – Lack of Team Mindsets
As a paralegal, you’re part of a much larger team. As the old saying goes, “there is no I in team.” This couldn’t be more true within this industry. The most important element to remember whenever you walk into your job is to see what you can do to help the entire team out. Accept additional work and always be available to assist wherever you can. If you clearly showcase you’re a team player, you’ll not only look great when it comes time to performance reviews, but you’ll actually help everyone around you perform their jobs better.
Mistake #4 – Bad Behavior
Never forget you’re working in a professional environment. Therefore, your behavior must mirror this. If you engage with bad behavior, such as inappropriate discussions or annoying your co-workers, you’ll quickly find yourself without a job and without a positive reference for future employment opportunities.