CIVILITY IN THE WORKPLACE

Since this very divisive election cycle there is no way to avoid conflict in dealing with others.  It is happening everywhere we go – grocery store, coffee line at Starbucks, at sporting events, and apparently on airplanes as well.  What is happening in our world is on everyone’s mind – which is a good thing – but how we express our thoughts and opinions is more important than ever.  Law firms have always been filled with bright, motivated and driven people and conversations about a wide range of topics take place.  It is extremely important to remember that everyone is entitled to their opinion, and being able to listen (that is the key) and still respectfully disagree should be a priority for everyone.  If family ties are being torn asunder, imagine what holding different viewpoints can do for working relationships.  Surrounding ourselves with like-minded people isn’t the answer – so take a deep breath and be willing to listen, and summon up all those old lessons in manners and politeness – and put them to use.  We must be able to work together despite our differences and somehow find common ground that will allow us to work productively and collaboratively.

LARGE FIRMS VS. SMALL FIRMS

As an experienced recruiter I get this question all the time:  “which is better?  A large firm or a small firm?”  Impossible to say – each firm has positive and negative things about them, and about the available positions within their firms.  I encourage each candidate to think carefully before ruling out either firm – salaries are not always better in larger firms;  growth potential can be available in both, or stymied in both.  Again, it will totally depend on the firm in question, and the position that firm is trying to fill.  We encourage candidates to think about their goals when trying to find the right match, and those goals may be met in a firm of any size.  Some generalizations tend to be true:  we see a higher level of technology in larger firms, and a better level of training;  make sense – they have more funds and more personnel to dedicate to these areas, and more to learn;  more flexibility in smaller firms also tends to be true – there are less rules to follow, people tend to share work burdens more collaboratively and it is easier to have knowledge of other staff member’s jobs/responsibilities so people can more easily cross-train and cover for each other.  However, there are exceptions to all of these, and each firm must be taken individually and evaluated.  Once the candidate is aware of their goals, and what they want, they can determine if the fit is right.  Don’t rule out any firm based on size – learn more about how they are structures, and what their values are before making that decision.