A ‘to-do’ list is a powerful way to organise yourself and to reduce stress. Have you ever written one and never achieved what’s on it? Or maybe you’ve written a to-do list but kept putting off the tasks to another day because something ‘more urgent’ cropped up? If either of these sounds familiar, perhaps you need to consider whether you’re writing a to-do list or a ‘wish-to-do’ list. Being realistic with what you put on a ‘to-do’ list is key to being able to achieve it. The sense of achievement at the end of the day is motivating, so you’ll want to do it again the next day! Here are the top ten tips to help you do that:
It may be fair to say that Home Information Packs (HIPs) have not exactly been the most popular move of our Labour government in recent years. In fact, many estate agents, who have been questioned about these, have stipulated that HIPs are of no real benefit to buyers at the moment. Furthermore, they are an additional expense that people looking to sell their home can ill afford as the country enters an increasingly deepening recession.
As of 1 April 2009, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) inspectors will have more powers to help them to deal with corporation and income tax evaders. In fact, inspectors will have the same right of entry to business premises or even home offices as is currently relevant in relation to VAT tax investigations.
Think what might happen if you were more proactive at work. If you show more willingness to advance your skills and take on increased responsibility, you will be able to make the most of your role. This will have a mutually beneficial effect, both for you and for the firm you work for.
Say, for example, you were able to take over some of the less involved work from a fee-earner and save them an average of an hour’s billable time per day, enabling them to cost that half hour out elsewhere; you could increase the firm’s gross profit. If a fee earner costs their time out to clients at, say, £200 per hour, this would mean that your firm would gain an additional gross profit of 5 x £200 per week, or £1000. This would amount to £52,000 per annum, minus time for holidays.
Achieving Your Full Potential
With the right training and attitude, you really can achieve anything. Consider the example of Britain’s longest serving judge - Lady Butler-Sloss. She took a secretarial course and then worked her way up to the top of the judiciary becoming the first woman justice of the Court of Appeal. This is not the usual path to legal eminence but shows what can be achieved if you are determined enough.
Lady Butler-Sloss was Britain’s longest serving judge at her retirement in 2005. When she was called to the bar in 1955, she was one of only 60 women among 2,000 barristers. Not only was she able to tackle the very male dominated legal profession of the 1960s, but she did this while raising her three children.
Proactivity means not waiting to be asked, but having an ability to think ahead and anticipate needs, difficulties and different ways of achieving a necessary outcome. Proactivity also means being able to identify and solve problems by making decisions. To do all this requires knowledge, which needs constant updating plus a conscious effort to seek it out. So here are the top ten tips to help you develop proactivity in your role:
1. Seize the opportunity for training. No matter that you think you’ve been doing your job for years - you can always pick up one new bit of knowledge and so turn it to your advantage. Training is also an opportunity to network. Sometimes it isn’t only about what you know, but who you know.
Wanted: Great Legal Secretary
‘A well-known law firm is looking to recruit a highly motivated and skilled legal secretary. Work 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for a competitive salary and the opportunity to develop your own professional skills in a challenging and fast-paced environment.’
Does this advert look familiar? If you have been job hunting for any length of time, you will have seen dozens of adverts similar to the one above. You might get a few more details, like these:
- A very high-caliber, polished candidate needed
- Solid CV a must
- Experience is an advantage
In the best adverts you might be lucky enough to be told such things as:
We should all be aware of the civil proceedings that may be brought against a business for certain types of unfair commercial practices. There are a number of statutes which aim to protect consumers in this regard and entitle them to seek compensation, mainly through the County Court. Much of the power to bring more serious charges and sanctions against such businesses rests at present with official government bodies. People would need to approach departments such as the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) or their Local Authority Trading Standards Service to see the unlawful business become subject to any criminal proceedings.
In this difficult economic climate, it is even more important to give yourself an edge over your competitors. So why not do yourself a favour? Paralegal skills can be useful in marketing yourself as a Paralegal Secretary and can give you a better chance to gain employment.
Having a job in the legal profession is looking good, as Pannone LLP was No. 3 on The Sunday Times’ list of the top 100 companies to work for in 2009. More than 200,000 employees took part in the newspaper’s survey, which asked questions about general well-being, opportunities for professional development and fair pay.
Pannone is a legal practice based in Manchester, with 768 staff members at an average age of 35. The company displays a good work ethic, seeing positive results even during an economic downturn. Pannone has deservedly received a lifetime achievement award to mark five years as one of the top 10 companies to work for in the UK.