Blog 3 – Hiring the Boss: Is the job right for me?

When finding the right job, setting criteria for yourself is important so that you know exactly what you are looking for. These expectations that you set for a future career is key because you do not want to be stuck with a job that bores or fails you. The biggest part of your life is your career, so you want to work in an environment that you are comfortable with and be great at what you do. Saying this, the criteria you set for your job is what will make your job feel less like work and more of something you enjoy and look forward to. Since I know that the job I maintain after graduation will hopefully last a few good years, I have set many standards for when I am searching for one. I want to be able to wake up and want to go to work and brag about all of its successes to my family and friends. I want a job that will make others happy and have the same values that I have for myself. These are just a few of the criteria I keep in mind as I am looking for a potential job opportunity. I make sure I have a checklist of everything I look for when searching for a job, and these are what I believe are the most important:

Q: What field of work am I most interested in? A: After earning my undergraduate degree from NC State University, I plan on attending law school at either Wake Forest University School of Law or University of Virginia School of Law. Once I have obtained my Juris Doctorate degree, I plan on partnering with a major law firm that focuses on real estate and investment law. Being a lawyer has always been a dream of mine. Sometimes I doubt myself because I feel like I will not have a chance at attending a law school in the future. The best thing to do, is to not write or type up a backup plan on your checklist for your future career. If you set one really amazing goal for yourself, focus only on that one goal, and do not think about the easy route or a back-up plan if you think it will not work out.

Q: What type of location would be the best for you to work in? A: I have always wanted to work in a gigantic building in a prospering city. Big cities mean more people which means more potential clients. I am not exactly sure which city would be the best fit as of right now. North Carolina will always be at the top of my list because all of my family lives here, so I won’t have to travel so far to visit them. If I stay in North Carolina for law school, I want to look for jobs in Charlotte or Raleigh. If I were to leave North Carolina, I want to look for jobs in the southwest region of the United States like Houston or Albuquerque. I feel like I could live a comfortable life in outside of the city and be able to drive into the city everyday for work.

Q: What type of work environment are you looking for? A: I want to be able to work in an environment where people are excited to accomplish goals and help others. I do not want to work an environment where everyone is competing against each other. Businesses succeed when everyone works together. I do not want to fight over which cases I work on. I rather be assigned the cases I need to be responsible for.

Q: What is your ideal schedule for work? A: Being a lawyer, schedules are not usually the regular 9-5 work day. Cases could be presented in court at 7pm or a briefing could be scheduling for 8 in the morning. I plan to be pretty flexible when it comes to scheduling, but once I have a family, I want to be able to make time for them. My main focus will be my job right outside of law school. Scheduling will not be a big deal, as long as I have a job and am making good money.

Q: What is your desired salary? A: Since I will have attended a university for about 7 years before searching for a job, my standards for a starting salary are fairly high. Law school is not cheap. so student debt will be a big weight on my shoulders for a very long time.

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Shown in this picture, the average starting salary for a lawyer is around $66,000. I expect to earn about this much during my first five years as an attorney. Once I have experience and am ready to own my own practice, I hope to be making around six figures. This may be a long shot, but there is no shame in aiming high, especially when it comes to money. The reason I want to have a substantial income is because I want to have a family one day and be able to travel and experience new adventures with them all the time. I also want to be able to live comfortably without the thought of not paying a bill or mortgage in time. I want to live a happy life by keeping my family happy, and if that means working more for an increase in pay, I am all for it.

Q: What are your long term career goals? A: After working at a large firm for the first few years out of law school, I hope to have obtained the experience I need to open up my own practice. Once I own my own practice, I will hire other attorneys to assist me in my cases and legal/clerical assistants to keep my schedule organized and updated. During my time as an attorney, I plan to run for judge either locally or for the state. I have always wanted to go into politics, but more so on the judicial side. It just seems to be less hectic over there. If I am appointed or elected to be a judge, I will pass my practice onto one of my trusted attorneys and plan to retire pretty early so I have time to travel more with my family.

Q: What benefits are you hoping to get from your job? A: When working for a large firm, I expect to receive healthcare/insurance coverage. If I am expecting to travel more than 100 miles for my job, I expect to be reimbursed for gas or drive a company car. As a potential mother, I hope to receive maternity leave for at least the first six months after each child’s birth. I am planning on having my own practice by then, so I may not have to worry about that since I will be able to make my own hours.

Q: Would you mind taking work home? A: As I said before, I am sure that my schedule will not be a set 8 hours a day for work. Sometimes lawyers have to go to court really early in the morning or really late at night. I fully intend on taking work home for the preparation of court for the next day. In order to be a good lawyer, one must know exactly what they are talking about in court and not refer to any notes or documents.

Q: Are you open to take business trips or travel for your job? A: I want a job that I will enjoy and I love to travel, so being able to travel while on the job would be awesome. Even if the trip requires me to be in meetings every hour of the day, I would still do it because I like to be in new environments and meet new people. The only exception for traveling for my job would be if it was an all-expenses paid trip or not. If my job does not pay for my travels, then I would not want to travel for them because I am not going to shell out my hard-earned money to go do something for them far away. That may seem hypocritical to my first statement, but I do like to travel. I more importantly like to travel cheap, so if they send me off to a fancy hotel in a nice city and I have to pay for it, then I would not enjoy it as much.

Q: What tasks will I enjoy if assigned to me? A: As an attorney, I hope to be assigned cases that improve my professional skills in and outside of the courtroom. I want to be able to discuss my clients needs and wants with them and be able to figure out a plan to give them the customer satisfaction they deserve.

Q: What management style do you prefer?

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A: By looking at this infographic about different types of manager styles, I have come to the conclusion that I am looking for a boss that has the combination of consultative and democratic managerial skills. I learn most from observing others and what my subordinates have experienced. I also feel as if I do not do my best unless I receive input from others. My work can always be improved when other people give their criticism. Moreover, I like to work together with my coworkers and higher-ups. If everyone inputs their ideas about certain tasks, then the workplace will be more productive.

Q: How do you want the workspace to feel like? A: When I come into work, I want to feel comfortable and accepted. I want my coworkers to feel like they can ask me anything and I will be able to help them with whatever they need. I value growth, so I hope to work with others that value it as well. By value growth, I mean that not everyone is going to be at the same level as everyone else. We grow through experience and I hope to work with people who will accept that.

Q: Do you hope to gain professional/career advice and skills internally? A: At my future job, I hope to attend meetings and seminars where I am taught or refreshed on professional skills that will help me advance in my career.

Q: When you come home from a day of work, how do you want to feel? A: I want to feel like I have accomplished helping others when I come home from work. The feeling of satisfaction from helping others is something I yearn everyday. When I come home, I do not want to have work on my mind, though. Home is where you focus on your personal life and family. When looking for a job, I rather not have to take work home, but that is something I could compromise if it is not so much of a burden to where I can not get sleep.

Q: What are you willing to compromise? A: Salary is non-negotiable. I hope to make at least 60,000 for a starting job at a big law firm. I can, however, negotiate benefits and hours. Going into a starting position at a big law firm, I am not expecting 9-5. Although, I hope to only be working 9-5 or 8 hours in a day, I am fully prepared to have to work overtime on a case or bring work home with me.

This is my personal criteria when looking for a job after earning my Juris Doctorate at either Wake Forest or UVA. I hope my questions can give you a good idea of what I am looking for and will maybe help you in figuring out what you are looking for in a career. Although this is my criteria for now, I one hundred percent expect my thoughts and ideas on my future to change as the years pass. These are also more preferences than actual standards for a potential job. Never be too specific about what you want because you’ll never find what you are looking for. I hope you liked and understood my preferences and criteria for my personal job search and good look with your future career!

Creativity Blog: Mary Beth Cole

Hey all! I hope everyone is having a fantastic semester and staying safe! I am glad the topic of this blog is creativity because I feel like during these unprecedented times, it is all we have to keep us entertained.

After reading “Steal Like an Artist”, I noticed how the author’s and my thought on creativity are very similar. In my opinion, creativity is not something that everyone is born with, it has to be experienced. Creativity is how people are inspired to invent new things, explore the world, and anything that possibly relates to the imagination. Those who have experienced creativity have an imagination that can expand to infinite ideas and thoughts. In “Steal Like an Artist”, Austin Kleon has the same view on creativity. He believes that nobody’s thoughts and ideas are original. Everyone has experienced something, either through a concert, seminar, lecture, sports event, etc., and made it better or used that idea to create something new and improved by using their creativity and imagination.

Confidence is very important to writing. I believe it is one of the key aspects that goes into writing a great paper. If a writer starts writing a paper with zero confidence, it will turn out bland and boring. Even someone who has a moderate amount of confidence will not have a great paper. This is because the person might have confidence in one area of the paper and not another. Say a person was given a topic to research and he or she absolutely had no idea what to write about. Being assigned this topic was already a confidence “downer” because the person believes that he or she will not be able to write about the topic to their best of their ability because they do not know anything about it. They begin writing their paper and they gain a little confidence because their introduction is good. Then, they start writing the body paragraphs and lose their confidence because they realize the subject they are talking about is boring. Once the paper is done and the only thing that the writer is feeling confident about is the introduction and the conclusion, the paper will not be good. If the writer thinks the paper is boring, the audience will think it is boring. From experience, this happens a lot to me when I am assigned a research paper for a certain class. This is where creativity comes into play. Once you start to realize your paper is becoming tiring and boring, take a moment and see how you can make it better. Once you work hard to make it better, you gain more confidence and have a better written paper.

I genuinely enjoy helping people and spending time with family and friends. I could bring what I enjoy most into my work by helping customers to the best of my ability so that I know they are satisfied. In the future, I aspire to become a lawyer and their main responsibility is to help their clients receive justice or find assistance for them. Helping people is what I want to do for a living because it is something I enjoy so much. At work, I always consider my co-workers my friends. To build connections with my co-workers, I could spend time with them outside of work. It would be beneficial to the workplace to have co-workers who get along and know a little about each other.

On page 21 in “Steal Like an Artist”, Austin Klean says, “save your thefts for later”. He encourages his readers to start bringing a notebook and pencil everywhere they go and write down everything they hear and see that interests them. Then, he explains that this notebook will come in handy when you are feeling creative and need some inspiration. This was definitely one of the best pieces of advice that he gives in his book. I will definitely try to start doing this, if not with pen and paper, then the notes section of my phone. This is a great idea because you never know when you get a spark of creativity and want to elaborate on an idea to make it better. There is nothing that I disagree with in “Steal Like an Artist”, but the one thing that I could argue is when the author says that, “nothing is original”. I believe that even when ideas are “stolen”, but are improved or reworked, they should be considered original. I know that the idea was taken from someone else, but the way that the person had the creativity and imagination to make it better and not leave it alone makes it original.

Mary Beth’s Introduction Blog

Hello! My name is Mary Beth Cole and I am from Greenville, North Carolina. Greenville is about an hour and a half east of Raleigh and about an hour and a half west from the coast. People always ask me why I didn’t attend East Carolina University, and I always tell them that I wanted to try new things and explore more opportunities. I felt like I was stuck in Greenville for 17 years of my life, so when the time came to apply to college, I broke free. Now, I am here at NC State University, the best university in North Carolina in my opinion.

While attending NC State University, I study Economics with two minors in Spanish and Law & Justice. After graduating from NC State in May of 2023, I plan to attend law school and earn my Juris Doctorate from a highly acclaimed university. Right now, I am more focused on passing the LSAT and getting into law school, so I have not stressed about applying for jobs. However, I have acquired three jobs on campus for the time being. I work in Talley Student Union as an Information Assistant and a Reservations Assistant, and I also work at the Wellness and Recreation Center as a Member Service Specialist. I do have to say that taking a personality test right before I interviewed for these positions helped me immensely. Once I took a personality test, I could get to know myself a little better and be able to explain my strengths and weaknesses to my interviewer.

My MBTI type is ESTJ. I felt like the website was pretty spot-on when figuring out my personality. E, which is extroverted, means that I am an outgoing person, and that is nothing but the truth. COVID-19 really put a toll on me since I can’t interact with people face-to-face very often. I love to meet new people, and that is one of the reasons I went to a university in the first place, so with the many regulations on campus makes it really hard to be entertained with nothing going on. Secondly is S, which is sensor and more specifically, introverted sensor. The website explains how I have a good feel of the world around me, and I have a good understanding of how we are impacted by the past. If this means that I think a lot, then they are absolutely correct. I do think all the time, so I am not surprised that T was in my MBTI type. I tend to use my mind rather than my heart to make decisions because I value common sense over someone’s feelings. I am still a sympathetic person, but when it comes to making big decisions, I would like them to be thought out using facts and details rather than emotions. Lastly, I am described as judging. However, I am not a judgmental person at all. I am focused on myself 100% of the time, and I am always criticizing myself rather than other people. I am very hard on myself because I have certain goals and aspirations I want to achieve, so I like to be very structured.

My relationship with writing is relatively strong. If all classes had the option to either write a 10 page paper or a 100 question exam, I would choose the paper every time. My mind works best when it is clear and not full of useless information that I will never need in my life. Writing papers makes it easy to talk about something I am interested in and diving deeper into the subject. Ever since I was little and I was assigned a creative writing essay, I would always base it off of my own life. I would write about my life as if it were perfect and it would help me cope with all of the tragedy I have experienced. Writing is how I escape from the reality of the world and focus on myself for my own wellbeing.

Personally, my goals for this course is to earn an A and become a better writer. I have learned so much about writing research papers and creative stories, but I have never been taught how to write a business email correctly or how to write up a report. I am excited for this class and I hope with the information I learn, I will be able to use it when applying for jobs in the future.