I've been at new job for a week and a half. Three days then one full week and now a 3 day weekend, which is a very nice way to ease into a new job. There are lots of new people who just started, a mad rush to get people in before the end of the fiscal year. I was one of the last to start. The other paralegals I have interacted with so far are nice, helpful and patient with my cluelessness. I haven't had much interaction with the attorneys yet. The paralegals are more patient with me than I am with myself. I want to know everything right away but that is not going to happen, it is too complicated. One paralegal told me she had worked at the state level in the same practice area and when she came to this office she felt as though she went straight from kindergarten to college, skipping everything in between.
In addition to trying to understand the procedures and steps that these cases go through there are the paralegal responsibilities to learn. The volume of the case files is really overwhelming. I thought complex real estate transactions and patent files were large! Now they seem quaint, I have one case that has 8,000 electronic pdf files ranging from 1 page to 500+ pages and that is not even considered very big. Plus dealing with voluminous files at a government agency is nothing like big firms which for the most part have great resources and support. Only a week and a half is way too soon to say if I like it or don't. However, I still believe in the mission, even though one of my cases would test the resolve of even the most diehard believers. These cases are not for the faint of heart and involve the highest stakes possible (hint) but that is why I find them so intriguing. I want to feel like what I do matters and I think I actually have a chance here of getting to feel that.
I need to just pace myself and focus on patience. Also, I need to stay away from negative complainers, cranky attorneys and the general fray. I can already tell (like all places) there is a healthy amount of personality conflicts. At the moment my desk is on a different floor than all but one person in my unit, which may be a good thing, less gossip. For the most part I think everyone is too busy with work to really bother with office nonsense. At least I know I will be! I have 3 new software programs to learn and thousands of pages to read.
I want to focus on longevity, many people stay there (or at least in the federal system) until retirement. I don't know how long I will stay but I am tired of job hoping and really hope this works out. My goal is 10 years, long enough for my student loans to go away and (fingers crossed) DH will finally finish his never ending engineering degree. I don't know if the 3 of us can make it on just my salary, but if he has to work p/t I defiantly have more job stability than I have had in a LONG time. More to be continued.