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Career Services Blog

Remote Work Tips & Tricks, Part 2: During Work & Social Connection Ideas

May 21, 2020

This blog comes from a workshop that Career Services and Student Affairs presented in early May 2020 to assist students with ideas and information to keep in mind for telework. It is formatted like a LIST so it’s easy to look over.

More of an auditory learner? Email us for the hour-long video that goes into these topics and more in greater detail!

Questions? Email Holly Puckett hollypuckett@lclark.edu

DURING WORK

  • Try to develop a set schedule that allows you to have structure and lets your employer know you are reliable. But be flexible if they have evening hours free to meet with you, or if you get a chance to work on a rush assignment that throws your routine off.
  • Take great notes when receiving assignments, or even record the video chat so you can play it back (with the employer’s permission).
    • Simple prompt to make sure you get key information to complete your work is: WHO WHAT WHEN WHERE WHY HOW
      • Who (is the client and who is the assigning person),
      • what (the details of the work),
      • where (where do you submit the finished product)
      • when (when is your deadline; if assigner says it is due “whenever” create your own plan and ask the assigning person if it works for them)
      • how (how should your product be formatted - simple bulleted email or a full on client memo? is there a template they can provide)
      • why (get a sense of the bigger picture or context of your discrete project)
      • how 2 (optional - how will your work be used)
    • Ask if you can review the overall file or documents not related to your piece of the project. Sometimes getting lost in a file is fascinating, insightful, and helpful as a motivator!
    • Don’t forget that the research librarians can assist you if you get stumped or just need a refresher.
  • You can email Student Affairs, Career Services, and Boley Library staff if you need help this summer with any work situation.
  • Professional tone:
    • re-read emails before you send them to a co-worker
    • seek feedback in appropriate ways (for example, if you submit a 30-page project, don’t ask to discuss it the next day because your employer will likely need more time than that to review it)
    • be willing and open to accept criticism so you can learn as much as possible
    • advocate for yourself with your schedule and what you need to make it a good summer
  • Ask for big projects to work on in your downtime. Are there classes, videos or case files that your employer thinks would be interesting or educational for you to review? Find free online resources from the MBA (Multnomah Bar Association), PLF (Professional Liability Fund), OSB (Oregon State Bar), OWLS (Oregon Women Lawyers) that might enrich you professionally. Joining these groups is typically free for law students.
  • Use work channels for work communication only, and if your employer provides a dedicated work email for you, use that email for all your work correspondence (not your @lclark email, which you can use for everything else but work).

NETWORKING AND SOCIAL TIPS

  • If your employer sets up social events or invites you to online all-office or other group meetings, treat these times to meet with others as just as important as a work assignment. Even if it is considered optional, this is your chance to meet colleagues, learn about the office culture and gain mentorship, as would happen naturally if you were able to be walking the halls in person. If you cannot be there, send your heartfelt regrets to whomever invited you.
  • Try to set up online face-to-face interactions that have nothing to do with work assignments. This goes for forming friendships and bonds with attorneys of all levels, support staff, or other law clerks no matter what school they attend!
  • Set up a slack channel, a group text, or any other social media platform (zoom happy hour, a google hangout, etc) that is outside your office’s firm sponsored platform. That way you can keep that professional channel totally limited to work conversations. If everyone has been baking bread, you can set up a recipe exchange, for example.
  • You also can use these side channels to help each other out with assignments and talk through projects – for example, you could set up a standing no-agenda lunch on Google Hangouts every Tuesday with the law clerks. This would potentially happen in an office setting, so definitely set things up so it can happen in telework, too.

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