This is a true story as told to JustJobs Academy which houses career interviews and job search advice for professionals in any industry. Visit to read about how to search for the perfect job and get promoted once you’ve found it. I have worked as a paralegal for two years. I work in the law field with an attorney in the city I live in. The work that I do varies depending on the types of cases that the attorney has during the week. Most of the work that I do involves researching former trials that the attorney can use when they go to court. I also type papers and depositions for the attorney when he needs them. I think that most people think all I do is sit behind a desk and do paperwork during the day. This is not the case if the attorney is very busy with trials. Sometimes I will deliver papers to the courthouse for trials in session, and I will go talk to other attorneys to relay information about the clients the attorney is working with. On a scale of one to ten, I would rate my satisfaction with my job and eight. If the hours were a little shorter during the week, I may be able to enjoy my job more. During weeks that there are several cases, I don’t get out of the office until after hours and then I miss out on things at home. There are some cases that have made my heart melt. The cases that involve children being reunited with their parents after being in foster care are what make me love my job. I enjoy what I do, but I would like to try to go further in the law field. I would like to try to go to school to be an attorney. I am a single mother with three children. I did not start school to be a paralegal until my children were in school. I was a mother who came home from school to attend to children, and now I come home from work to take care of my children’s needs. The way I got started in this line of work is ironic. I was a client of the attorney I work for. He represented me in a case and he had a job opening after I graduated school. I interviewed for the position and he hired me. If I could go back and change things, I would have started school sooner than I did. I would also have taken more classes in computers so that I would understand more about operating a computer and how to type papers in a better way. I have learned that not everyone is treated equally. There are some attorneys who do not like the fact that I work for the attorney I work with. In the city I live in, there are several types of attorneys and I happen to work for one who represents people who have been in all variations of trouble and it can be disheartening listening to some of the comments I hear. The one thing I have learned about the working world is that most people are genuinely thankful when you help them. When you see the smile they give you after they have been released from jail or after the attorney has won their case, it warms your heart and soul. As a paralegal, there is not really anything strange that I have seen. One of the things I have seen on occasion is when someone comes in to the office and wants to have representation from the attorney only to find out that the person who has filed charges against them has already sought out the help from the same attorney. The reason I get up and go to work each day is to support my children. I also enjoy what I do in the office. I like the variety of cases that I get to be involved in. I have learned a lot while working in the office. I would say some of the most irritating challenges I come across are people who have been drinking or who have been in disputes because they have hit a female that make me mad. Overall my job is not that stressful. The only time I feel like I can’t handle it is when the attorney has several cases in one week to get done. As long as I can get in a lunch during the day and I can stretch at some point I can lead a fairly relaxed life. I make about $35,000 a year. However, when I started out I did not make this much. It is a paid position that I have earned and I do live in a larger city. Some of the smaller cities near me have paralegals that only make in the $20,000 range. I take about two weeks of vacation during the year, and I get holidays off. This is plenty of time for me to spend with my children and to get things done for myself. The schooling that I have is a two-year degree in criminal justice. Computer skills are necessary for this field. I would tell a friend who wanted to enter this field that they need to be able to organize their work. They need to know how to deal with other people without getting upset. In five years I would like to be in school to be an attorney. Job path paralegal image from Shutterstock
Recently, a list of companies that have the happiest employees was circulated online. The companies were commended on their ability to promote a healthy work environment and sustain work-life balance. Pfizer came out on top with Kaiser Permanente coming in second, followed by Texas Instruments. Looking at these lists, one wonders how these companies are able to promote such a positive productive environment for their employees.
Many would think this is due to compensation packages or other related perks. But then, is work only about earning money? Is it the most important aspect when employees join a new company? What about the other factors that play an important role in building a strong bond between the employee and the organization?
- A bond that stems from mutual appreciation and respect for the value system that both parties shape together
- A bond that is dependent on many diverse factors such as recognition, open communication, and teamwork
- A bond that strengthens over time when the employee performs well
The importance of core values is illustrated by a quote from famous author and inventor, Edward de Bono: "Effectiveness without values is a tool without a purpose."
This analogy really hits home. A purposeless tool is a worthless thing and so is a company without a campus—a culture that is formed on the basis of core principles.
Core values serve to constantly guide both the employee and the company in achieving their mutual goals, in a manner that is based on an ethical and ideological framework. Every business is different, and so are their core values. Having said that, there are some principles that are alike for all, even though they may be phrased differently.
Here are four such core values every organization should have:
1. Integrity And Ethics
Simply put, the two principles of integrity and ethics translate into doing the right thing, in an honest, fair, and responsible way. Building your entire business on the foundation of honesty and integrity goes a long way toward building a strong, trusting relationship with your employees, stakeholders, and customers.
Truthful conduct on everyone's part can create a strong, credible reputation for the company in the market, which is beneficial for everyone's interests.
Without dedicated employees, a company is nothing. Period.
Committed employees form the backbone of the entire corporation. They work together with the system in order to achieve growth and profitability.
A company has a responsibility toward its employees and, if one of its core principles is showing the utmost respect to its employees, it's likely management will have a low employee turnover rate.
Respecting all employees means respecting their individual human rights and privacy, and eliminating all kinds and forms of discrimination, whether based on religion, belief, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, or physical disability. Moreover, ensuring a safe and healthy work environment for all employees is an important part of giving respect to them.
Many organizations across the globe adopt an attitude whereby the entire company interacts together like a close-knit family. Such an atmosphere helps boost the confidence of employees and makes them feel like an important, even indispensable, part of the organization. This inspires feelings of commitment and a drive to do even better.
3. Innovation (Not Imitation)
Companies that focus on being ahead of their competitors and introducing new ideas in the marketplace follow the principle of "innovation, not imitation." This is crucial if a company wants to be a trendsetter and introduce new products that consumers appreciate.
Employees in such companies are encouraged to be dynamic and come up with innovative ideas that can translate into successful products for the company. Constantly imitating others won't take the business far.
The thirst to constantly improve can be achieved if one is never satisfied. Organizations that have this principle as one of their core values try to provide a dynamic platform for their employees, where they can explore their creativity and skills and further enhance themselves.
While celebrating successes is an important thing, just sitting back and getting complacent over them is unacceptable for such companies. The reason why some companies habitually do well is because they know that employees are the most valuable resource.
Nothing compares to an employee who is dedicated and willing to go the extra mile. This requires a company to cultivate an environment that promotes respect and frowns upon politics. If you want to achieve this type of work environment at your company, these four core values are a great place to start.
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