Have you ever found yourself performing an assignment that you know perfectly well, given a different name and a different case, would be the same assignment you have performed over and over ad nauseam? For example, deposition summaries, indexing, boiler plate contracts, subpoenas, and the like. Same assignment, different story.
This action, my friends, is a sure sign of the quickest path to burnout - doing the same assignment over and over with little or no growth, particularly those assignments that are more clerical in nature. Perhaps it's time to consider a more challenging or stimulating environment.
Not in this economy, you say? You're probably right. However, this recession is not going to last forever (if you believe the pundits). No recession does. Eventually, things do get better. And when they do, are you prepared to allow yourself the opportunity to grow, change and accept new challenges?
Maybe the key for you is not in the same-old same-old paralegal job. I just read an excellent blawg by Lori Robinett called Mid-Missouri Paralegals. In it, Lori discovered a job for a paralegal at the Arkansas Lottery. The position pays around $55,000 per year - a hefty salary for Arkansas given that a position in the government in MIssouri is around $34,000.
Reading this unusual position brought to mind other positions that paralegals may not realize are out there. Fun, stimulating, well-paid jobs that you go to willingly and happily without crying in the shower every morning. Now, I realize that there is a tremendously high rate of job satisfaction with paralegals, however, for the more adventurous, something different is always attractive. Here are a few positions I researched for my book, Hot Jobs & Amazing Careers: Smart Moves for Paralegals.
- Sr. Immigration Paralegal Supervisor: A position in an in-house Fortune 1000 corporation bringing chefs, jewelers, star athletes and others to the U.S.
- Paralegal at the Kentucky Derby
- Paralegal at World Wide Wrestling
- IP Paralegal for Victoria's Secret or other clothing manufacturer such as Guess or The Gap
- Paralegal at the Archdiocese
- Paralegal Specialist at NASA
- Contracts Paralegal for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
- Paralegal at the U.N.
- Contract, Entertainment or Litigation Paralegal at Movie Studios
- Paralegal for the Judge Judy Show
- Criminal Justice Paralegal for the Southern Center for Human Rights
- Contracts Paralegal for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- American Paralegals working abroad in London, Dubai, Brussels, Hong Kong
- Paralegal for the CIA or FBI
- Paralegal on an Indian Reservation
and - my all time favorite - paralegal working for Weight Watchers. Boy, oh boy, now that would fix me up!
Whatever your background, experience level or specialty, there is a paralegal job for you. In my opinion, just to be a paralegal, you have to be above-average in intelligence. Give an above-average paralegal a routine and repetitious job and what do you have? Burnout. Plain and simple.
So if you're working away on auto-pilot and can't figure out why you are somewhat unhappy even though the environment is nice, the pay is ok, the people around you terrific, you may be a victim of routine. You may have to wait out this recession but in the meantime, investigate those paralegal jobs that can lead to contentment, happiness and financial security. You just never know what you will find.