2014-03-07 - 11:11 a.m.
One of the nice things about me is undoubtedly my ability to get excited about what is before me in the moment.
So when I was interviewing with the hosting company I was just so excited as it was THE PERFECT JOB FOR ME.
I am also discerning and good at recognizing when something is not a good fit. My last job was actually a PERFECT fit for what I was looking for (and I know I met their needs! I won't forget my boss saying "You turn out A LARGE VOLUME of contracts for us. Don't worry about that" when I had inquired if my productivity was up to par.
(That was year two before I was for SOME reason out of her favor. I always thought of that simple cost benefit analysis and KNEW they were getting their worth from my labor which is why I refused to quit as it was clear that only SOMEONE was interested in me not being there but it HAD to be personal and not based on how I benefitted the company as I was a clearly positive performer.)
OK have to get off that obsession of not really ever understanding why ANYONE would EVER want to FIRE ME!
I TOTALLY get it why some would NOT want to hire me to begin with. My personality is not everyone's cup of tea. The frank honesty is not something EVERYONE appreciates. But typically once in a group after time folks who didn't get me at first grow to appreciate and respect me. I even became good friends with some who initially didn't like working with me way back when at Autistic Services and PEOPLE, Inc. ages ago. There were personality clashes before, but they were always mutually navigated successfully in my past.
Maybe it is because as lawyers in a corporate office no one EVER has the comfort level to have that drag out , let it all out argument where you hash through all the issues! SERIOUSY I never worked at a place LESS COMMUNICATIVE than the recent company. Without communication you can't get over concerns well. Sometimes it takes that hearing it out of an argument even - in a constructive way, to grow understanding. Boy we had those at PEOPLE and then developed a really cohesive team. But at my last job there was really just a reluctance at some point to ENGAGE AT ALL with each other. People seemed more AFRAID to me overall, and preferred to avoid issues rather than address them which fascinated me to see in LAWYERS!
I never was let go of a job before, so need to just get over the lack of understanding of what the REAL reasons were.
I never shied away from working on solutions, so I don't get why folks wouldn't WANT someone with honesty and integrity that actually is fearless in addressing BS when they see it around.
Unless one is a BS artist.
The thing is I NEVER would have envisioned the folks I WORKED with as such! But somewhere I stepped on SOMEONE's toes apparently...
OK time to let go as I never will know the WHOLE Backstory that was there.
I just KNOW I could not have been let go because on a few contracts I phrased things just a little different than another would have. I mean really- To organize a paragraph with 1 a. b. c rather than organize the material with 22.214.171.124. was the kind of just flat out bullshit "constructive criticism" I was being given at the end. There WAS NO SUBSTANCE to it.
I mean if the ONLY criticism of my legal acumen that showed up was when I ASKED FOR A SECOND SET OF EYES on an indemnity provision (as frankly I HATED THOSE and wanted to be sure I GOT it and they were tight)- well that says a lot ! There was nothing ELSE to attack so when I asked for help I was attacked.
It is SO HARD to have to get through the interview process however and figure out the BEST WAY To frame the termination.
Termination is a hard thing to overcome in this job market, which while improving is still a tough one in the legal field that was hit particularly hard.
That should be reason ALONE to explain my termination- as YES MY WORK WAS BEING AUTOMATED! Funny my two strongest references are the sales team I supported who KNOW I cranked out contract amendments immediately have left my former company to work for a company which does precisely that- sets up software for streamlining and enhancing efficiency of sales processes to cut out the middle men! (Gee I wonder if their company now has a contract with my former employer? Would NOT be surprised!)
When service orders are put in a system such that the sales team can spit out an amendment for a new service order without a legal drafter- well that job is no longer needed.
Lawyers USED to be used to review every amendment. But when you are just adding or deleting services and not the TERMS of those- that is really a total waste of time and labor.
Outsourcing to legal staff in India and elsewhere is ALSO now perfectly acceptable. Legal rulings have been mad eon that and validated it is fine as long as there is an attorney reviewing the work.
I just have to remember to LIMIT the discussion of why I was let go to that clear reduction of force as my tasks were automated and outsourced.
The thing is, there is always the question "Why TERMINATED? not a RIF?" from those who do not realize that it has become THE CORPORATE NORM to terminate employees in the hope of not having to pay into unemployment.
My alma mater actually REDUCED its class sixe from 250 to 200 which is the only responsible thing to do when you see a shrinking market for jobs. It is also the wisest thing to do when applications are dropping and the school wants to remain competitive in the market itself and produce really bright capable lawyers. The dean indicated that they just couldn't actually fill the 250 spots with students that met the academic standards they want to remain high for admission. He indicated in this market the brightest students are in positions of getting scholarships and negotiating WHERE THEY CAN GO TO LAW SCHOOL.
It's not longer a question of whether one will get in at all, but for top students its a question of whether there is scholarship money.
Applications to law schools are down by about 60% from when I went to school, in direct correlation to a decrease in jobs for lawyers.
The reasons for the decrease are rather obvious-
Globalization and outsourcing (Yes the attorneys in India are TERRIFFIC ! Maybe I was canned as I wouldn't lie and say otherwise!) ;
I mean you can now even punch in a legal question and out with pop a computer generated BRIEF which my law school dean said is scary in HOW GOOD IT IS!
He of course finds that disturbing, and emphasized that an attorneys unique role CAN NOT ever REALLY be replaced for many things. However the truth is that for SOME things, there is no longer a viable need for an attorney. One can pull basic contract forms off the internet which are actually rather good.
Templates are available for the daily legal transactions people encounter.
I see the future of the legal profession as one of working toward that commoditization.
I can see law becoming a basic part of education along with civics stating in elementary school one day. Why do our school's teach Euclidian Geometry which has little practical application where there are so many other areas of math most never hear of? I can see basic legal skills becoming at some point part of standard education along with basic math skills that are not currently actually taught all that well.
But I really came back on to write that ONCE AGAIN I FOUND THE PERFECT JOB!
I did touch base with the company I was excited about in the cloud computing space that indicated they are not proceeding with a hire just now.
Either that is true of they are being gentle in letting me down. IR WAS A GOOD FIT
Working in the international development space.
If I could break into that arena it would utilize my international law and finance study, business and contract background, and I REALLY COULD take a job at a place that changes the world.
I wasn't entirely sold on the idea of looking in the government sector for work. I studied government contract management as a tool to remain employable in this market but really have been focusing on the commercial sector (while sending out those applications to government contract specialist jobs as well not really expecting an interview from them.)
This posting is very different. It is a job I WANT TO BE CONSIDERED FOR as although it would require knowledge of FAR, DFAR and all those other theoretical areas of study in government contracting that I didn't really think I would necessarily want to have to learn inside and out-
this job WOULD make it worth venturing into that new world. Seriously it is a WHOLE NEW WORLD OF JARGON Government contracting is its own unique beast of an area that is highly regulated.
Public Private Partnerships are the source of funding for most development projects around the world.
So I spent this morning working on that job application in earnest.
After this MPRE exam it will be time to then move onto the next professional step and study and take the Certified Federal Contract Management Exam.
Even if I CAN break into an area requiring government contract familiarity without it, the study and focus on that will of course be very beneficial in learning more about that area and refreshing to improve my knowledge.
At an alumni event I also met a really neat attorney who had the responsibility of creating the government's social networking policy and procedures. It was interesting talking to her about work in the federal government and she actually had great insight as to what agencies are those with greatest job satisfaction among their employees. She also talked with me and gave me advice as to where she thought I would be a good fit.
And just jazzed to have found a job that actually does synthesize the interest in saving the world(HA HA) with the practical training and experience that I have!