How to Behave at the Bottom of the Food Chain?
Finding success in a professional environment depends in large part on capitalizing on your own personal strengths and minimizing your weaknesses. In a legal environment, in particular, where you are expected to work closely with colleagues and clients day after day and for long hours, honing your interpersonal skills is a must.
Although not everyone has the same interpersonal qualities, there are a few rules to live by:
- Be reasonable and even-tempered at all times. Do not display extreme emotions, and do not take frustrations out on anyone (this includes your administrative assistant—the best way to get in trouble as a new lawyer is to treat staff in a disrespectful manner).
- Be enthusiastic. Express enthusiasm at the prospect of working on any project assigned to you.
- Get to know your colleagues. Ask them about their work and their interests.
- Be humble. You are at the bottom of the food chain. Your likability, and not your credentials (even if impressive), is going to carry the day.
- Steer clear of office gossip or any office dynamics with which you are not comfortable. Use discretion, and keep your personal drama out of the workplace.