Work

by Jinryu

Tomorrow will be my last day working at [The Institute].  I had a handover meeting with the CEO, Business Development and secretariat team today to figure out how my projects will proceed.  Yesterday I assisted at the annual general meeting of members.  I just have a few loose ends to tie up today in terms of paperwork, but tomorrow all I have left is essentially the fortnightly project leaders’ meeting, and then I’m done.

After that, I start working at [the Firm] full time as an employment lawyer.

 

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The CEO told me this morning that I’ve been invaluable in my role because of my ability to work in the office. As in, I don’t just know how to feed double-sided documents into the document feeder– but knowing how to work with people in a politically charged environment.  And, in a pinch, I can just stand around and be helpful at an AGM by passing a microphone around to members.

 

I didn’t really think very much of it, but I guess that I have my time in the healthcare industry to thank for that.  Looking back at it, I was in my early twenties when I started doing serious administrative work, and quickly was getting a taste of office politics.  Read: backstabbing.  I also remember that I hated it at the time, and I think that this was largely due to a disillusionment of how the world worked.  There I was, a young adult (or whatever you call someone who is no longer a teenager) doing a grown-up’s job, and wondering why was it that in reality, it seemed that grown-ups in a hospital were more concerned about office politics and power plays than helping patients. But I digress.  You can learn all sorts of things at any place at any time.

When compared to a lot of other people, I’ve had a pretty diversified work history– and that’s given me a very electic mix of corporate skills that have really come in handy.  Especially as I increasingly come to terms with the fact that I’m no longer supposed to be the office junior.  I’m no longer 16, and I can’t just look up to “the adults” to tell me how to do something– at this point, I am one of the adults, and I’m increasingly taking ownership of my roles in my companies.

There are a lot of people out there who got better grades than me in school, but grades really aren’t everything– finding someone who can work, and add functionality to an office, is very difficult.  Oftentimes, the people who put all their points into book smarts are some of the most awful people to work with.

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In the coming weeks, one of the things I’m going to be discussing with my boss at the Firm– who is also a university lecturer– is how I’ll be a guest speaker for her class.  I’m not sure what I’ll be speaking on just yet.  Not employment law– I mean, why get me to speak on something as a guest in  a class that my boss teaches? More likely, it would be something along the lines of career counselling or mental health and wellbeing advice.  I’ve been thinking about this casually over the past few days, and there are a few notes that I’ve been mentally keeping with regards to how I go about this.

 

  • I need to keep in mind that if people want career counselling, we have to “work with what we’ve got.”
  • This means that some of these students are going to be the types who have always lived at home with their parents, who have never held a part-time job in their lives, and who may very well be rich kids who were sent to law school by their parents.  They might be total assholes.
  • On the other hand, they might be super keeners who are perfectly book smart.
  • I suppose, basically, they can be any personality type imaginable– which means that they’d actually need personalised advice.
    • The challenge, therefore, is to give advice general enough that it can be useful to one group of students without villifying or insulting the life decisions of the other group.
    • Basically, this boils down to telling them all to pull a Neitszche or a Derrida.  Look deep into your deepeest of hearts and see where you need to improve.
  • I haven’t quite figured out what to say to International students except “learn to speak English.

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Anyway, more planning on that later.

 

Next week, the first order of business as a full time solicitor is to finish writing my own employment contract. It’s time to get an annualised salary, instead of being a casual worker.

 

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