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Monday, August 13, 2012


"Do you consider yourself to be robust?"

When I was interviewing for various legal jobs, I was asked the question several times. It seems to be the HR buzz word of the minute in legal circles.

They're presumably referring to emotional robustness, or resilience. Whether you keep going despite setbacks, how easily you give up. It's a way to weed out people who crumble under pressure -

"Mental hardiness is the way you interpret what we can call stressful incidents. If you view them as something frightening they’ll probably have a negative influence on you. But if you perceive stressful incidents as challenges you can control to a certain extent, if you involve yourself enough, stress can be a motivational factor,” Hystad explains. Source

Having now survived 6 weeks in my new job, I can confidently say I AM (quite) ROBUST. I have been yelled at, hung up on and given critical tasks well beyond my expertise. It is challenging (and enjoyable) but exhausting.

It has taught me a lot about my personality. Part of the reason why I took this job is because the supervising partner was an asshole in the interview. He basically said "You probably won't make it here, you probably won't be smart / strong / resilient enough... only time will tell whether you have what it takes". He made me angry, and I saw that as a challenge. 

Although I'm proud of how I've coped so far, I'm terrified that I won't be able to keep this up. I'm actually not that bothered by the pressure / challenge of the tasks I'm given or the personalities in the office (ie being yelled at). The hardest thing is not having time to do anything other than work, and being constantly exhausted.


  1. Your job sounds so tough in so many ways, but by the sounds of it you are definitely robust! I would crumble, I'm not robust at all (especially if I was being yelled at!). I think at the end of the day it all comes down to what you want in your heart of hearts, and if the balance (or lack thereof) is worth it.

  2. I have no idea how you find time to breathe ... let alone BLOG! What a challenge your new job must be but I think I'd be stubborn like you. Show the partner that he was wrong!


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