Saturday, December 18, 2010

Job Security? Take your cues from Santa Claus!

Santa Claus must hold the record for job longevity. After all, he's held the same job for years and years, through good times and bad, with nary a lay-off and, certainly, no downsizing. Really, Santa is indispensable because absolutely no one can do his job as well as he can.

In this time of employment uncertainty, paralegals should take a few cues from Santa:

Santa appreciates the importance of his team.
Santa understands that he can't do his job without the support of Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen, as well as Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.

He also recognizes that certain team members are uniquely qualified to do certain types of work. For instance, Rudolph with his nose so bright was invaluable on that foggy Christmas Eve when he was called upon to guide the Santa's sleigh.

Santa multi-tasks. When he barely has time to sit down for Thanksgiving dinner before the holiday rush begins and he's expected to be everywhere all at once, Santa makes a list and checks it twice to find out who's been naughty and nice and also to be sure he's got everyone covered. He's practically guaranteed no detail will slip through the cracks.

Santa dresses appropriately. Granted he gets to wear a uniform (I suppose that's what you'd call his red velour suit) but even if he doesn't like it, he wears it like a true professional because he knows he needs to look the part. After all, it just wouldn't be right if Santa showed up in jeans and flip-flops.

Santa doesn't waste time. Remember how Santa slid down the chimney and said not a word but went straight to his work? He knows that the only way to finish a project on time is to stay focused and minimize interruptions.

Santa delegates. Knowing he should do only what only he can do, Santa delegates a bunch of the work to his elves. He also utilizes plenty of "stand-in" Santa's to cover all the malls and Christmas Parties. This frees him up to do only what he personally has to do to be sure deadlines are met and an excellent job is done.

Santa does even the dirtiest parts of his job with a smile. Who else would slide down a sooty chimney and land with twinkling eyes and dimples so merry? Santa's not a slacker...he gets the job done regardless of what he has to do to make it happen.

Santa fulfills wishes, often without being asked. Anticipating what someone wants or what needs to be done is just part of his job description. Johnny wants a pair of skates? Suzy wants a doll? Nelly wants a story book? He's all over it! Two front teeth? You got it! Elephants, boats and kiddie cars, too? Done!

Santa uses appropriate language. There's only one permissible 4-letter word for Santa: Hoho! Other than that, Santa speaks in complete sentences without the need for foul language to make his point.

Granted, Santa enjoys a lot of perks: he flies around the world without a passport or airport pat downs and he gets oodles of f'ree cookies. When things do get stressful between Thanksgiving and Christmas, though, Santa doesn't complain, he just does his job...and does it well...and then hunkers down at the North Pole to get ready for the next year. Things may slow down but he never quits working toward his December 24-25th deadline.

Your challenge? Think about Santa's practices and work ethic. Which can you apply to your own job to not only make your work more challenging and interesting (without sliding down any chimneys!) but also make yourself indispensible to your employer?

©2010 Vicki Voisin, Inc.

Do you want to use this article in your newsletter, ezine or Web site? You can so long as you include this entire blurb with it: Vicki Voisin, "The Paralegal Mentor", delivers simple strategies for paralegals and other professionals to create success and satisfaction by achieving goals and determining the direction they will take their careers. Vicki spotlights resources, organizational tips, ethics issues, and other areas of continuing education to help paralegals and others reach their full potential. She publishes a weekly ezine titled Paralegal Strategies and co-hosts The Paralegal Voice, a monthly podcast produced by Legal Talk Network. More information is available at

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