Thursday April 17, 2014
 

The Never Ending Quest for a Promotion

It makes no difference if you were promoted last week or last year, it’s important to always stay focused on the next one.  No one wants to work diligently and see the promotion within sight, only to make that one blunder that moves you from the fast lane to the bumpy dirt road to nowhere.  A. Harrison Barnes, career coach and EmploymentCrossing.com founder offers these tips to keep in mind as you continue to move forward in your career.

  • No one has all of the answers all of the time and it’s okay.  Any attempts you make “to wing it” are going to fall short – and won’t be soon forgotten.  Promotions are given to those who acknowledge nothing and no one is perfect.  Besides, says A. Harrison Barnes, there is such a thing as “trying too hard”.
  • Any efforts made that come across as a “yes man” is perhaps one of the easiest attempts to recognize.  You can disagree with your upper management; it’s not written anywhere that the higher up you are in the company, the more right you are.  Managers like free thinkers; those who can make up their own minds versus following the consensus.

The Hound.com founder says it’s crucial for

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Oil and Water – One Region’s Efforts

Last week marked the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s annihilation of the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts.  This same region is also attempting, along with other states in the Gulf region, to pick up the pieces after a summer of oil coated beaches and a lack of tourists.  How can two catastrophic events, so close in time historically speaking, recoup and rebuild?  A. Harrison Barnes, career coach and EmploymentCrossing.com founder says that while it’s a slow – and painful – process, the people of the coastal region are doing what they do best:  moving forward with determination and commitment.

Retired Lieutenant General Russell Honore, who led the clean up efforts in the New Orleans area following Hurricane Katrina, said, “This area has been hit with two of the largest disasters in recorded history in the United States and you had just seen people start to get some hope back”.  While it’s true that ninety percent of the population had returned to the New Orleans area, the jobs had yet to come close to pre-Katrina numbers.  The recession played a role in the low numbers, says A. Harrison Barnes, but it only further complicated a near impossible scenario.

Along the coast in the summer of 2005, the unemployment numbers were generally below the national average, including the city of New Orleans, says the EmploymentCrossing.com founder.  Following Katrina’s landfall, those numbers rose quickly to 15% and higher.  No tourists due to the BP crisis was yet one more kick the residents weren’t prepared for.  Then came the announcement, that nearly coincided perfectly with the BP explosion, from the Pascagoula, MS Northrop Grumman shipyard.  It was preparing to lay off close to 600 of its 11,000 employees before the end of 2010.  One more hard knock.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced in late August, 2010, that $1.8 billion dollars would be made available to rebuild New Orleans’ schools.  That’s impressive, says some Texas and Florida residents who feel they’ve been let down.  Many forget Hurricane Rita’s landfall shortly after Katrina.  Rita’s Texas destruction was easily overshadowed by busted levees and annihilated lives in Louisiana and Mississippi.  Not only that, but Hurricane Katrina first made landfall in southern Florida.   Some state leaders in both Texas and Florida say that while New Orleans suffered greatly, they weren’t the only ones.  Jobs are scarce in their states as well.

Oil and water doesn’t mix, but as one Alabama shrimper said, “What’s the alternative?  Give up?  Not us.  Not ever”.  Those sentiments are indicative of the spirit of coastal residents, says A. Harrison Barnes.  That determination just might be what saves a region that’s had its fair share of environmental disasters in the past sixty months.

The job market will improve, and in fact, signs all along Highway 90 tell the tale of a region that’s not ready to give up, even if it means starting at the bottom once again.

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Environmental Compliance Jobs

Environmental compliance jobs may be available with any firm or business that engages in industrial production, manufacturing, packaging, transportation, or preparation of industrial raw materials or goods that may be in any manner cause harm to the environment. Environmental compliance jobs may be available in any city in US or any other country. Firms or organizations seeking people to take care of their environmental compliance jobs may post their jobs on www. Shorttask.com. The website allows seekers or employers to post jobs on the website to be completed or taken by solver or freelancers. Once the task is completed and submitted the seeker can check and pass the task for payment. The decision whether to make payments or to discard or reject the task is at the sole discretion of the seeker. Anybody from students, housewives, retired professionals, senior citizen, or working professionals can accept tasks for working on the website simply by registering with the website. By assigning work through ShortTask, employers are saved from unnecessarily hiring professionals to work on contract basis, which can be performed by people working online.

Candidates applying to environmental compliance jobs may have any qualification from engineering to any course in compliance related studies. Excellent academic credentials are essential for any job in compliance industry. Prior experience working on compliance related matters may be advantageous. Strong knowledge of environment compliance is a must.

For some of the existing users, the income is primary income whereas for some it is a source for some extra income to sponsor studies or pocket money. Day by day employers are posting more and more complex jobs and jobs that suit professionals with diverse backgrounds. Jobseekers should definitely checkout jobs or tasks at ShortTask for tasks in their area of expertise or simple data entry, editing or programming jobs. This has created a plethora of opportunities for professionals all over the world. For employers this is the most effective way to get their work done as professionals from different countries find the rewards very lucrative when the payments they receive are converted in foreign currencies. There can be no better way to cut costs than to start posting jobs at ShortTask right now.

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Changes in Miranda

The Supreme Court recently revised the Miranda warnings that people who find themselves under arrest will hear from the arresting officer. A. Harrison Barnes, attorney and LegalAuthority.com founder says the changes are important and will affect not only those charged with crimes, but lawyers, law enforcement and the legal sector in its entirety. So just what are those changes and what do they mean?

Many say the courts have traditionally leaned towards trimming Miranda, that begins with “You have the right to remain silent”, even when it’s not in the best interest of law and order. There are those who say these changes include “major revisions”. The decision, originally made in 1966 and was as a result of an Arizona man being questioned in a kidnapping charge, was put into place in an effort to ensure everyone’s civil rights were kept in tact, even during an arrest and any subsequent questioning, says the EmploymentCrossing.com founder.

The changes will now include attempts by law enforcement to question a suspect who had previously asked for a lawyer provided that suspect had been released from custody for at least two weeks, with no violation to the suspect’s constitutional rights and with no obligation to mirandize the suspect again. Many are questioning the logic, even as Justice Scalia, who wrote the majority opinion, attempted to explain:

“In our judgment, 14 days will provide plenty of time for the suspect to get reacclimated to his life, consult with friends and counsel and to shake off any residual coercive effects of his prior custody”.

Another change, and one that’s, well, interesting to say the least, includes that suspects must break their silence in order to tell police they’re not going to speak in order to invoke the “right to remain silent” aspect of Miranda. That’s a slow dance with way too many moves, say some legal experts.

Not only that, but some suspects, not knowing the Miranda rules had changed (really…how many bank robbers will check for any revisions to Miranda before donning his stocking face mask and gloves?) could find themselves against frustrated law enforcement officials who believe the suspect is kicking Miranda, when in fact, the suspect may only be invoking Miranda as he knows it. There’s sure to be a learning curve, at the very least as law enforcement officials and the court systems acclimate themselves to these changes.

The Court approved only one state version that does not include specific verbiage that suspects have a right to a lawyer. In Florida, Miranda is read that a suspect has the right to talk to a lawyer “before answering any of our questions”, versus the more standard “you have a right to have an attorney present during any questioning”.

Regardless, these changes, designed to keep Miranda in tact as much as possible, will need the proverbial “growing pains” before it finally settles in and becomes second nature to those who work to ensure the safety of the citizens and those who are determined to break that sense of safety, says A. Harrison Barnes.

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Define Your Own Success!

Lawyers who are set to graduate face many questions as they begin to plot the course of their careers. Most already know what specialty they’re going into and have prepared as best they can for their state bar exams. A. Harrison Barnes, who’s also an attorney and LawCrossing.com founder, says it’s up to each of us to define what success means and then to make it happen. “No one is going to hand you a diploma and say, ‘now, what can I do to make sure you’re successful as a lawyer’?” It’s up to you to pull your clients in or at least participate in keeping them once they enter the front door of the law firm you go to work for. You need to have that one thing that no one else has. That one thing, of course, is yourself. Learning how to market yourself is one key element in creating your success, says the LawCrossing.com founder. Your expertise is your commodity.

Barnes also says those days of picking and choosing clients are long gone. Everything, including legal services, has gone global. After all, there’s no shortage of talented, educated and brilliant legal minds. Look at it from a global perspective and it becomes clear the days of resting on our laurels are long gone (what few days there were, anyway). So how do you define your own success?

In many ways, it’s as simple as combining your personality, your skill sets and expertise to create the brand. Many people assume a proper presentation is all it takes, but that’s where they’re wrong. Become the lawyer who is enthusiastic, hopeful and confident. Become the lawyer who returns his own phone calls and treats every client as though he’s the only one. Instead of committing forty five minutes for a consultation, plan for an hour so that your potential client can leave feeling as though his questions are answered and his newly hired attorney actually cares in the outcome. Dale Carnegie once said, “attitude is the cure all”. Ensure you meet that mantra each day.

Another suggestion A. Harrison Barnes makes is to include yourself as you consider those you are in competition with. Challenge yourself each day to be better than the day before. Even if you’re a junior in the law firm and no hope of senior partners resigning in the next decade, treat each day as though you’re going to be offered partnership at the end of the day, whether you see yourself long term with this firm or not. It creates good habits and keeps your ethics strong and focused.

Finally, and as simple as it sounds, it’s a concrete as any other advice you’ll ever receive: treat others the way you want to be treated. Put yourself in your client’s shoes and understand that the legalities of life can be overwhelming for those without a law degree. Play fair, be honest, do your work and go home…it really is as simple as that.

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A Day in the Life…

Divorce Attorneys

For years, the divorce rates in America have hovered near the 50% mark. With recent announcements by a few well known celebrities of their marriages dissipating, including Kelsey Grammar, who is divorcing his wife and Melissa Etheridge, who is legally ending her partnership, divorce attorneys across the nation are staying busy. College graduates who have chosen to go into family law will likely always have a clientele; but what does a day in the life of a divorce lawyer look like? We asked A. Harrison Barnes, attorney, career coach and founder of LawCrossing.com. Here’s his take:

First things first, says the Hound.com founder, “Depending on the caseload, there usually is an effort to spend a few minutes alone in the mornings going over his cases before clients begin showing up”. A divorce lawyer who’s made his career in dissolving marriages learns quickly to be prepared for those clients who are emotionally charged. These lawyers know that while he may witness several divorces a month, his clients are often experiencing the painful journey for the first, or sometimes the second, time. A wise attorney knows John Doe is coming at two o’clock and the first thing he’s going to want to know is if his wife agreed to share custody of the dog. He’s prepared for that inevitable question. Maybe it’s a heartbroken wife who caught her husband cheating – he knows the moment his client walks into his office, he’d better have the Kleenex handy because she will most certainly shed tears.

There may be a deposition during the course of a day. These usually go smoothly, but too many times, it becomes a disorganized and charged atmosphere with only a conference table and two lawyers between a volatile couple. Accusations fill the air and negotiations are carefully worded. Most lawyers want their clients to walk away with some degree of pride and not feeling as though they’ve been taken to the cleaners even, when they’re facing off across that conference table or are presenting evidence in front of the judge.

Sometimes, says A. Harrison Barnes, a family law specialist will feel as much like a psychologist as he does an officer of the court. There are always those bruised egos and fears of losing custody of children both parties truly love and want the best for. This, says Barnes, can prove most difficult for a divorce lawyer. By the same token, there must also exist in the attorney’s psyche the ability to help a client through the realization that her husband is getting the house or the wife is getting all of the home furnishings. Fear, anger, rage and disbelief are all part of the daily game for these guys. Some days, it’s all about getting to the other side with some degree of satisfaction in knowing he’s represented his client to the best of his abilities.

Choosing family law is not always an easy decision. The LawCrossing.com founder agrees it takes a certain disposition to enjoy a successful career in this sector. It’s not surprising then that many young lawyers change their specialties once they realize the level of commitment it takes.

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You Could, but Why Would You?

Ask an interviewer – any interviewer – what the most frustrating aspect of interviewing potential new employees is. You might think the reply would be that too many people apply for positions they’re not qualified for or maybe even the number of applicants who arrive late or unprepared. Odds are, you’d be wrong on both counts. A. Harrison Barnes, a career coach and the founder of Hound.com, says the most exhausting part for many interviewers is the way many resumes resemble the next. Too many “Responsible for” and “Duties included” can make anyone’s head hurt. You need to create a resume that has impact, is creative and uniquely yours.

Don’t allow one verb to become overused in the course of your resume. Think “develop” here. There are other words that allow for a better flow of your resume and serve your purpose nicely. How about:

” Instituted

” Introduced

” Established

” Implemented

The Hound.com founder also recommends words such as “enhanced”, “refined”, “cultivated”, “generated” and even “produced”. These are all words that usually aren’t the first ones that come to mind when putting together a resume. Better still, A. Harrison Barnes recommends a resume writing service, such as the one found on Hound.com. A team of experienced writers can really make your resume shine and stand apart from all others competing for an interviewer’s attention.

While using stale verbs won’t put you out of the running for a position, if you can avoid them, why wouldn’t you? Take a step back and try to see your resume as an interviewer would. Remember, it’s your career at stake and you can be sure you’re not the only candidate that’s applying for an opening. Not only that, but the resume and cover letter are the first introductions of you to a potential employer. And you get one shot to make it count. As much as an employer looks for talent, ability, education and all the other “must haves”, employers are also looking for creativity and someone who thinks outside the box. This is the ideal opportunity to show that ability.

You develop a plot of land. You create/implement/write a standard operating procedures manual. Keep your resume tight and focused and steer clear of the same tired catchphrases and verbs – you’ll feel better about submitting it for consideration and you can be sure it’s a refreshing change for an interviewer.

It just takes a few extra minutes of proofing and if you have problems coming up with something different, a quick internet search will work wonders, says Barnes. A resume can be flawless but still be boring. Shake things up and ensure your resume not only gets noticed, but is remembered, too. You never know when it’s a small detail that makes the difference between a polite letter thanking you for your time, but that they’ve chosen another candidate and a phone call that says “Welcome aboard!”

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A Lawyer’s Contribution to the High Schools in His Community

Most lawyers report doing pro bono work allows them balance. They’re afforded opportunities at cases they might otherwise miss out on, especially in those areas they may not normally practice in. But many lawyers across the country are recognizing they can making a contribution in another way, too. A. Harrison Barnes says some lawyers are discovering high school students who are considering law as a career benefit greatly from mock trials. The LegalAuthority.com founder says it’s the ideal way to spark interest in those who’d not considered the legal profession while also planting a seed of curiosity of those who always wanted to “grow up and be a lawyer”. Mock trials open up a world of potential and give these kids direction after high school. It’s an exciting way to learn the rules of the game in an adult world and also gives them an idea of how crimes affect society and how society expects those found guilty to pay. Not only that, but A. Harrison Barnes says it’s also a good deterrent for some kids who have no direction and who might have otherwise fell through cracks and found themselves on the wrong side of the courtroom.

There are always opportunities to motivate high school kids and a mock trial is one of them. It lets them know someone is interested in their well being and the choices they’re making and it’s something they take pride in. Knowing they’re participating in such an exciting event is magical for educators and lawyers to watch as it unfolds. It’s not surprising, then, that many blossom just by having some attention and interest paid to them.

The LegalAuthority.com founder is quick to agree that it can sometimes be difficult to find the time or energy to participate in a high school mock trial, but when attorneys and even paralegals do find that time, their rewards are returned ten-fold. If you’re interested in working with a local high school, you’ll need to contact the school board to work out the details. Of course, there will need to be interest by the kids and since it likely won’t mean credits needed for graduation; you, the teachers and students will need to commit to time in the evenings and even a few weekends. It’s a big sacrifice, but one worth making and one that will stay with these kids the rest of their lives. Remember, it’s those small sacrifices that define the great men and women in our country. There’s no better way to build that foundation than to take an interest in a teenager and help nurture it into a passion that allows him to make his own way and someday, give back to the next group of high school kids looking to pave their ways. And so the cycle continues.

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5 Great Specialties for Lawyers

With so much competition in the legal field, and even strong competition for admittance into law school, some lawyers are wondering which specialty is going to offer the most opportunities (and salaries) for them. The Bureau of Labor Stats has its scientific methods for determining which of the legal avenues will present the best odds for lawyers. A. Harrison Barnes, lawyer and founder of LegalCrossing.com says there are a lot of factors besides the income potential one should make his decision on.

Here is what BLS reports as fast growing legal sectors:

Environmental Law – This one is much of a surprise, considering our current global situation. It’s the perfect opportunity for those who appreciate the outdoors to make the most of what would otherwise be an “indoor” kind of career. If you’re going into environmental law in the next year, you have chosen what is likely the best time in this generation to do so, says A. Harrison Barnes.

Intellectual Property – Copyrights, patents, fair usage policies…this is all a part of this lawyer’s job. Toss in the internet and its unique intracies and it’s an exciting choice for many.

Criminal Law – This one’s always a sure thing. Trying to eradicate crime is akin to erasing your memory of the 1980s and the severely distorted belief you had on what “high fashion” was. Criminals will always exist and the need for those legal minds who can represent them and protect their rights will always exist as well.

Civil Law – Three words: BP Oil Spill.

Military Law – With so much at stake and so many of American soldiers being charged for the crime of doing their job, those with a military background who can successfully represent these men and women will be in big demand.

This is just five of the many different avenues an attorney can pursue. A legal career is exciting and rewarding for most; the trick, says the LegalAuthority.com founder is finding what you’re most passionate about. Let’s face it, if your work isn’t rewarding and you find yourself becoming resentful, you’re likely not serving your client’s needs as well as could. There are no hard and fast rules that say you must commit to only one area for the entirety of your career. Also, don’t forget the other dynamics that play into your satisfaction: the size of the firm you work for, it’s track record for pro bono work and anything else that’s important to you. Just because the partners believe you’re a good fit for the firm doesn’t mean you have to agree.

Remember, only you can determine what’s best for your career. Use your passion, your education and your sense of right or wrong to guide you – provided it doesn’t guide you back to the 1980s, of course.

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When You Have A Law Degree But No Passion For Practicing Law

So you struggled through law school, did quite well and passed the bar. How do you tell those two loving souls you refer to as Mom and Pop that you dont want to be a lawyer? And are there any jobs that will allow you to incorporate your education without taking on the traditional lawyer job? A. Harrison Barnes, lawyer and founder of LawCrossing.com has a few suggestions that will make everyone happy- even Mom and Dad.

Many positions require an understanding of employment law and even other legal specialties. Employers who dont want to leave themselves vulnerable look for attorneys who want to shake things up in their career. For instance, many companies have full time investigators on board. When that investigator has a law degree, these companies rest easy knowing theyre not trampling on anothers privacy rights. Everything from contract law to concerns over employee theft and how to handle it all require a certain set of skills. Lawyers do really well in these positions and the salaries can be impressive too.

Another great position includes those lawyers who specialize in all things financial. Stock options, creating flexible spending accounts, medical insurance these are all important to a business, but can be a landmine when trying to navigate the sometimes unclear waters. These guys can not only help the company with threats to its financial health, but can also double as a personal advisor to employees. Its a win win for everyone involved. A benefits manager with a background in law is in big demand and now that the countrys on way back after a long recession, these guys are more important than ever.

Employment mediators are also finding themselves in big demand. Employment law can be tricky and when an employee feels hes been wronged, its to everyones advantage to settle the problem outside a courtroom. This is where an attorney can flourish as a mediator. These positions also include impressive salaries and benefits packages, says A. Harrison Barnes.

Finally, the LawCrossing.com founder says teaching is always an option. Its both rewarding and never dull. It ensures a lawyer is not boxed into any particular specialty and is also a great way to broaden his horizons. Teaching positions often lead to other unexpected opportunities.

Any of these positions are rewarding and will allow one to incorporate that costly education on a daily basis. No one wants to work in a position where theyre not happy and your law degree ensures you always have options. Most come to realize its not the profession they abhor, but rather, the constraints some positions place on them.

For some of these jobs and other great ways to use your law degree, be sure to visit LawCrossing.com. With thousands of jobs added daily, a new career avenue awaits you. Where you take your education is up to you and where you ultimately land just might provide satisfaction in ways you hadnt even considered possible.

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