Goals and Plans …. Ohhh My!!!!!!


Start of the New Year is a time when we are all setting goals and making plans or maybe you’re not. However, if you’re not, you should. Well, only if you plan on accomplishing something and succeeding at something. Don’t worry, this is not another one of those articles that will preach to you about how to make goals or what goals you should be making. Goals are very personal and without being you, I could never tell you what your goals should be. I can tell you that studies show that people who make goals (notice I said goals, not resolutions) tend to become more successful than those who don’t have goals.

So what is a goal? A goal is the end of result, the idea of what the future is going to look like. Sounds easy right? Well…. it’s not hard to make goals and then just sit back and wait for the goals to happen. However, that to me sounds more like a resolution. In order to accomplish a goal, one must create small steps which when put together will bring you to your goals. We’ve all heard of SMART Goals (I won’t bore you that). But it is smart to set SMART goals….. just sayin’

From the picture above you can see that TheParalegal has a few goals. This is is going to be dedicated to you, my readers and friends. 2017 was dedicated to my day job. I achieved all the goals I set out for myself…. not to say that I no longer have goals in that department, I do. There are few lofty goals I want to achieve in my day job but I’m going to put in more effort here. Even those lofty goals are things I can take less time to create. 2018 is dedicated to TheParalegal and to you.

I can hear you all telling me to stop talking and list on the goals I am setting for TheParalegal:

  1. Write an e-book
  2. Post at least once per week
  3. Create a section on the blog for templates we all use
  4. Develop Webinars on Paralegal Training and Maybe even Lawyer Training

For each of these I will have to set manageable steps. Keeping in mind that they will be accomplished at the same time as the other goals for my day job. Not an excuse but a reality which I have to take into consideration. Then there are those other smaller things I want to try to accomplish, like only using my own pictures. That means I will also need to take more pictures and learn how to edit them (thinking of take a photography course). I also want to be a little more active on Facebook so go join me there and keep me accountable.

I think 2018 is going to be a great year for TheParalegal and for all of us. I think we are going to accomplish so much together.

Send me your thoughts. What forms do you reach for the most that would be helpful to have here? What is the thing you’re always looking for help with that I can help you figure out? What types of webinars would you like to see? Should we start with live videos? What platform should we use?

I want to end this article by thank you all for spending some time with me in 2017 even though I know the articles were sporadic and I was all over the place. Happy New Year to all.

XoXo

— the photo above is of my actual planner while I brainstormed ideas for the blog.

The Handwritten Note


Perhaps we can bring up this lost art again. I can’t help but think and remember with nostalgia how great it felt to receive letters from friends when I moved from Portugal to the United States. I would read those letters over and over again. One of those friends even went as far as include a leaf from one of the trees on the street where we grew up. Why have we stopped writing letters?I know this post has nothing to do with being a paralegal and honestly I understand that at the end of the year there is a whole lot more I can be sharing with you. However, I was reading through my email this morning and one of the sites I read regularly had a post about the lost art of letter writing and I couldn’t’ help myself. Letter writing is an art, but not a difficult type of art. No need to go to art school and, if you can write an email, you can write a note to someone and it will be much more appreciated. Writing, putting pen to paper, gives your brain the ability to really make sure the words are exactly those you want to convey. There is a much stronger connection between you and your feelings when you are not clicking away at a keyboard. I’m determined to bring back this art and I’m starting with my blog family.

Notepaper, cards, pens….. Ohhhh My!!!!!

The next time you are out, anywhere, pick up some nice cards, post cards, notepads. Every time I am out and find a funny (I like funny) or pretty card, or a piece of stationery that speaks to me, I pick it up and put it in a box in my office. Not having to go out to find the perfect birthday card, feel better card is half the battle for me. I keep thank you notes, birthday cards, even condolences and feel better cards. I know, not something we want to think about, but things happen and having it handy is the best way to ensure the card is sent out.

Pens……. Yes, the pen. I have recently re-found my love for the fountain pen and I have to say that it has made me want to write even more. I’ve been journaling and just enjoying the process of writing…. Heck I may write a book. I do believe that the writing utensil is as important, if not more important, as the paper you use.

True story — I do not have New Years Cards so this is now a problem for me. I received a Christmas card from someone I did not expect and now I’m at a loss. I can’t send a Christmas card because Christmas is over but I want to send a card to let the person know how appreciative I was of the fact that they thought about me. I need to go out and buy a New Years card or I can send a regular card (but that doesn’t seem enough). It’s been a week and I haven’t done either and now…….. if I don’t do it soon it’ll be too late and I will have missed my opportunity.

Handwritten! — operative word

The timing is perfect!!! This has been bugging me for a while. We all love the cards we receive with the family pictures and the family dog wearing a Christmas sweater but …. and I don’t want to complain because I think it’s kind of the sender to think about me and send me a card. However, when you’re merely just inserting pictures into an envelope, can you really call it a handwritten note? Fine, if you want to send me a picture I appreciate it but can you say a few words? Even if you just say “Merry Christmas from blah, blah family” Just something, anything. A few words wishing a the receiver well or thanking the receiver for a nice gesture made towards you.

I recently was listening to a blog, on my way to work, about a man who decided to write 1 thank you note per day for a year. That has turned into a thing and now he has a network doing the same thing and writing a thank you note to whomever every day. The crossing guard who helped your child cross the street this morning, the newspaper guy who sold you the paper on this freezing morning, the barista for making your latte just so :). Who doesn’t like to feel appreciated?

Let’s do this!

So, here is my challenge. Let’s do this. Let’s bring back the handwritten note. It does not have to be thank you. It can be anything. It can be a “just because you’re you” or “I found this funny card and thought of you.” Let’s write a note at least once a month to someone we know and let’s meet here at the end of 2018 and talk about how we changed the world.Thanks for reading this far. The next post will be about Paralegaling…….I promise (is that a word?)XoXoP.S. If I don’t write before the New Year, I hope you all have an amazing New Year’s Eve. Be safe and stay warm (for those of us in the North East)

That One Time at the Holiday Party


It’s that time of the year again.  Yep, you know the one, the office holiday party time.  We all now it all too well.

On the way back home from my office holiday party, as I sat on the train with the battery on my iPhone at 18% I decided that perhaps listening to a book or music or a podcast would not be a good idea.  Considering my charger was also depleted of charge.  I took the time instead to close my eyes and just think or maybe nap.  In front of me sat a young woman and next to her a man of, I would guess around her age.  The man started a conversation with the young woman and at the first “hello” I knew that I would probably not be getting that nap after all.  The conversation was harmless but it was definitely a topic that caught my attention.  I couldn’t tell if they knew each other and I couldn’t see their faces but soon I would get to know both of them a little better than I had expected.

Turns out the two of them were coming from their respective holiday parties. He, a small company in Jersey City, New Jersey and she from a large company located in the heart of Manhattan.  After the proper hello’s the man announced that he was coming from his holiday party and had a few too many too drink and was feeling buzzed.  She chuckled and announced that she, too, was coming from her holiday party but that this year corporate had decided to make the holiday event a dry event.  Apparently there had been a few “incidents” when people had a bit too much to drink and considering all  news lately corporate decided that it would be best to not have alcohol available.  If you ask me, it’s good news.  Sad, but a necessary step these days.

At some point they both got off he train and I was left with my thoughts.  So what are my thoughts?  Well, we are all adults.  At least in chronological years.  There should be no reason for someone to tell us what we can and can’t do but it appears that for some reason not all of us are able to behave like adults which causes the need to have others decide for all of us what is appropriate.  In other words, treat us like children.  When you go to a holiday party hosted by your employer you must behave professionally.  The fact that the party looks like fun and there are tons of people moving around, laughing, wearing funny sweaters or glittery outfits should not distract you.  Remember that you are in a fishbowl and management is looking at you.  You must be able to show them that you can act appropriately in all circumstances.  If you are looking to be promoted, even more so.  You must demonstrate that you are up to the task and you are a good representative for the firm.

I understand that some may need some help feeling relaxed in order to deal with the stress of networking — I confess that walking around talking to “strangers” and feeling judged is not my cup of tea (conversation for a different time).  Some times a glass of wine may help make me a bit more relaxed and able to approach the boss.  However, one glass is different from many glasses and for the love of whatever you consider holy, please eat something.  Being a little uncomfortable is not such a bad thing all the time.  If you don’t think you can stop at one glass, please do not go near the bar or if you must go, order a soda or a water.  I find that having something in my hands helps me feel more a part of the event.  You’d be surprised how even if just holding a glass of club soda or water will help you feel more at ease.  It gives you something to do with your hands while you’re planning your networking strategy (also a topic for a later discussion).  It’s also a good excuse when you need to get away from some boring conversation….. “excuse me, I must get a refill.”

Keeping in mind that some careers are made and some are broken at holiday parties.  I’ve seen a few instances where this is true.  Don’t be the one they’re talking about the next day unless it’s going to be a good kind of talk.  Keep your professional persona intact and enjoy the party.

Thank you all for reading and following my blog

 

Finally Here


It’s been a very very very long time since I have posted here.  I am pretty sure it was something I did but for over a year I was not able to find the blog.  I’m not sure what I did but I most likely clicked when I should have kept myself from clicking ….. the blog went missing.  I kept seeing your comments and your questions but I was not able to interact.  I’m so sorry.

Again…. not sure what I did today but here I am.  I have regained access to the blog and I am ready to go.

So……… without dwelling in the past and trying to figure out what happened, I want to concentrate on the future and figure out where to go from here.  I know I want to post more about what it is that we, as paralegals do.  I want to help you navigate the career development maze and help you learn from my mistakes so that hopefully it won’t take you as long as it has taken me to get ahead.  Most of all, I want to work with you and be here for you.  Please continue to send me your emails and your thoughts and your requests.  I am sincerely happy to be back and I can’t wait to have a cup of coffee and a chat.

Ana

In The News – What has the Paralegal Been Reading


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As most of you know reading is one of the ways I relax.  I’m not much into watching television so, after a long day, while the husband relaxes watching whatever shows he enjoys watching I am usually sitting or laying down next to him reading on my iPad.  These are some of the bits of the things which caught my interest.

After a Summer full of activities and sometimes spending more money than most of us budgeted for the fall is a great time to revisit our spreadsheets, or Mint or whatever method you use to make sure you are going to have enough to enjoy the holidays.  Mint published a great list of Money Moves for Fall.

Are you guilty of pointing fingers?  Do you sometimes get annoyed at how some people seem to have it so easy and seem to be struggling to get ahead?  Well, I know I am guilty of that, sometimes.  We’re all human and sometimes we can’t help but be a bit jealous or envious of those who seem to have it all.  This week I read a great article in brainpickings.org.  Sometimes what looks like privilege to us is actually the product of many years of struggle.  Take a moment to read this article and then take some time to actually assess if you agree.  Some Thoughts on “Privilege.”

Every morning and every evening when I’m commuting from New Jersey into New York for work I wonder if other people go through the same annoyance as I do.  For instance, last night, the subway was so crowded I couldn’t find a place to hold on to.  I’m short, so I can’t reach the top railing — you know the one that hangs above you head — so I need to rely on the poles. Well, unless I morphed into Gumbywoman I was not going to be able to hold on.  I tried to balance myself without holding on which makes for an interesting commute.  Good thing I was not wearing heels.  This morning I found some pictures Proof that Rush House is Kinda Terrible Everywhere which made me feel much better.  Misery does love company, after all.

While we’re on the subject of pictures….. What’s this about?  I do’t even know what to say to that.  Is it really necessary to post a notice like this?  What are we coming to?

You all know I really enjoy being a paralegal.  Maybe I’ve always been lucky and I have never been treated disrespectfully because I’m a paralegal.  Sure, I have been disrespected.  However, not because of my chosen profession but because some people are just jerks.  They can’t help that and honestly not something I can change.  It’s their problem and I can only feel sorry for them.  When I saw this article in Legal Cheek, I thought it best to write something here in case some of you are thinking about becoming paralegals.  It’s funny and some of them are probably going to wind up in my Pinterest but it’s not what the profession is about.  Remember you do have a choice in everything you do.

XoXo

Ana

Sunday Funnies


Yes, I know…. last week was a dud.  I wound up getting a sinus infection as well as some stupid upper respiratory infection and have been coughing ever since.  I’m feeling better now.  No more fever and nothing else except for this stupid cough I can’t get rid of.

Don’t think for one minute that I would forget the Sunday Funnies.

$250 per hour

You know this one is going right into my Pinterest….. hahahaha

XoXo

Have a great weekend.

In the News This Week


Hello, it’s me again. This week has been pretty slow reading week. Besides trying to get done with the book that I’ve been reading and getting my yard ready for the fall, I have barely had the time to read much else. There were, however, a few articles that caught my eye….

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So, if you don’t know already, I have don’t watch much television. Actually throughout the day, if and when I’m home the television doesn’t even get turned on…. If it does it’s the news or some mindless home show. If I’m going to sit in front of the television, it’s normally to watch a documentary or my guilty pleasure (of which I don’t feel guilty at all), The Big Bang Theory. So on Monday, you better believe I was parked in front of the television to watch the double episode of the Big Bang Theory…. I love nerds. Which leads me to another show which I may start watching. New this season it’s called Scorpions and it comes on right after the Big Bang Theory….. why not. I’m in front of the television already.

Anyway, I much prefer reading, if I have time to kill (I don’t have much of that these days).

If you follow me on Twitter, and if you don’t you should, you probably saw when I tweeted the article from thelegalinteligencer.com, Why I Became a Paralegal in the Diverse Area of Corporate Law. Sometimes we need to take on things which may at first blush sound and look boring to us. You never know what can happen. I never thought I’d be so happy doing regulatory work at a bank but I am truly having a lot of “fun” at work….. don’t get me wrong, it’s still a job and I still get frustrated, but it is a great area to be in these days. Go ahead, take a look at the article and tell me what you think.

The Corporate Counsel also had a great article about titles. I don’t know about you, but I don’t get hung up on titles. As long as I’m doing what I like to do, I don’t really care what you call me. I know that the title usually dictates what is budgeted for raises and other compensation. However, I believe that if you are doing a good job and your manager is happy with you, he/she will find a way to circumvent the title thing. I would hate to have a title just for the sake of having one and be totally miserable every day. No thank you!!!!

I’m not really sure how I came upon this blog, A dude With a Blog, but one of the articles really caught my attention. Have you ever wondered if the people you meet on line are really what they claim to be? Apparently, in Amsterdam, this student found how how easy it is to “fool” everyone online. Sometimes the people we “know” are really not the people we know. We can be anything we want online. Zilla Van Dan Born, the student mentioned above, pretended to be traveling all through Asia and was able to lie to her entire family about it. She was not being mean at all, so don’t all start hating her. This was a project she was doing for school…… No harm was done to anyone and I’m sure they are now having a good laugh about it. Take a look at the article. I found it very interesting.

As you can see, I did not spend a lot of time reading this week. I have a lot of catching up to do. What have you been reading this week? Send it over, don’t just keep it to yourself.

Hope to see you soon and while you’re here, go check out my other blog The Paralegal At Home. See you there?