The Friday Five
Gird Yourself for the Holiday Season!
The winter holidays draw nigh. The time has come to gird those loins and make provision for the long and breathless marathon ahead. To that end, this week’s Friday Five is dedicated to the proposition that, “He who is best prepared can best serve his moment of inspiration.” (Thank you, Samuel Coleridge!) No matter what or how you mean to celebrate, or what events are on your season’s plate, tuck into this feast of wisdom for work and play from the Attorney at Work archives.
1. There will be groups. Some of them will be big. Others intimate. Regardless, inevitably you’ll be called on to act like an extrovert, even if you’d really rather not. Mary Ellen Sullivan has timeless advice for Attorney at Work readers about overcoming social anxiety and priming the pump for excellent small talk.
2. Be ready when opportunity knocks. Since these weeks are filled with get-togethers, and as is always the case when you’re in socializing mode, there are new people to be met and connections to form. Even if you are a networkin’ fool, your tools need tuning up from time to time. To that end, uber-networkers Roy Ginsburg, Ruth Carter and Roberta Montafia have great ideas and a lot of inspiration.
3. Do try to behave. Throughout the season’s raft of events, your reputation is on display. So you’ll want to make a good impression, networking or not. You can start by minding your table manners and impressing the multitudes with your ability to remember everyone’s name. It really is important.
4. People may need your help. For some, the holidays are the worst of times. If a friend or colleague is wrestling with the blues — or, more profoundly, depression — you will be giving them the best-ever holiday gift if you can intervene in a meaningful way. Georgetown Law’s Marcia Pinnington Shannon provides help identifying the symptoms. And here is some powerful guidance to make sure you really know what you’re doing before stepping up to help out.
5. Baby yourself. As they say on the airplane, you want to put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others. You won’t be in any shape to help if you’re a soggy, whimpering mess. So take our careful advice for a very mellow holiday, and hold the burnout at bay. Watch the scales (even if only occasionally), and who knows — maybe you’ll pick up some good habits to carry with you into 2014!
Bonus: Speaking of provisions, if you haven’t browsed Reid Trautz’s list of holiday gift ideas for lawyers, now’s the time!
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