Three Tips to Go F.A.R. – Q1 2023 Career 101
Whether you are just starting out in your career or are a seasoned professional, embracing a growth mindset can be the fuel for a stellar career journey. As paralegals, we work in an environment that demands Flexibility, Adaptability, and Resilience (FAR):
▶ Flexibility: the ability to easily modify in response to altered circumstances or conditions.
▶ Adaptability: the ability to adjust to new conditions.
▶ Resilience: the ability to recover or spring back after being modified, stretched, or compressed.
WHAT IS A GROWTH MINDSET?
As shared by Daniel Marcos in his article, “The Mindset You Need to Become a Better Leader”, a growth mindset is the belief that talent and ability can be developed through time and effort. However, a growth mindset is more than a collection of positive thoughts or good intentions. With the goal of becoming the best version of yourself, it focuses on your attitude, policies, and processes. Consequently, paralegals and legal professionals develop enhanced skills and abilities.
THREE TIPS TO CULTIVATE A GROWTH MINDSET
Tip 1: Focus on Your Attitude ~ Flexibility.
Marcos further states that an intrapreneur harnesses “attitudes and beliefs … that drive innovative ideas into reality.” An intrapreneur is a self-ambassador who takes the initiative to innovate, improve, and make a positive impact. As a self-ambassador, we should develop an intrapreneur attitude towards being a good corporate or firm citizen or serving as a brand ambassador at networking events.
Tip 2: Focus on Your Policies ~ Adaptability.
Policies to consider incorporating into your daily life include (1) lifelong learning (e.g. professional development and continuing legal education courses); (2) relationship building (e.g. connecting with like-minded people); and (3) embracing discomfort (in other words: get comfortable with being uncomfortable). Surrounding yourself with people working towards the same goals can be affirming and inspiring. Remember that knowledge is power and diversity stokes innovation and creativity. Lastly, facing challenges in our path head-on can and will build resilience. Keep in mind that without taking on workable policies, we run the risk of allowing a fixed mindset that can stymy our progress and growth.
Tip 3: Focus on Your Process ~ Resilience.
Growth is defined as a process toward increased value that requires a plan of action and a method of implementation. Think of the seed that is planted in good soil which is watered and given sunlight. Do you start your day with an affirmation or meditation? Are you prioritizing your health and scheduling water and stretch breaks regularly throughout the day? What are you intentionally doing to grow yourself? How “F.A.R.” are you willing to go to cultivate a growth mindset? Worry less about looking smart and place more energy towards cultivating a growth mindset. Focus your attitudes, policies, and processes toward cultivating a growth mindset. Take the time to assess where you are and where you hope to grow. The time is now!
Kristine Custodio Suero, ACP, is an award-winning legal professional, a published author and a highly sought-after speaker. A true servant leader, she has led the San Diego Paralegal Association and California Alliance of Paralegal Associations as President. Kristine teaches legal courses for a local San Diego paralegal program and lends her time to the program’s advisory board. Kristine is the Chair of the NALA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and a past member of the NALA Professional Development Committee, Continuing Education Council and former Ethics Chair. Kristine is a Senior Paralegal/Business Development Director for Butterfield Schechter LLP and may be reached at email: email@example.com.
Maureen C. Washington is a litigation paralegal, NALA Advanced Certified Paralegal and California Advanced Specialist. Maureen works for Latham & Watkins in the litigation and trial department on complex litigation matters across a range of industries including, but not limited to, Aerospace, Defense & Government Services, Insurance, and Technology. Maureen is an alumna of the ABA-Approved Paralegal Program offered through the University of San Diego School of Law. As a dependable and versatile aficionado, she has established her penchant for efficient prioritization and organization while continuing to cultivate her craft. email: firstname.lastname@example.org