You, as an Intake Specialist, have one of the most important positions in the law firm, whether you recognize it or not. Your work is critical to any law firm’s success. Your mindset and the actions you take as a result can turn your work from just a job to an exciting and meaningful career. Here are some tips to help you in the transformation:
Start by building your confidence. Do things that scare you; that you’re afraid of; that you don’t feel like you can do for numerous reasons. Make a list and start at the top. Do all of them. Your confidence will soar.
Walk into the managing partner’s office and tell him/her that you very much appreciate the opportunity to have a career with the intake team. Ask her/him what advice do you have for me? Build relationships and never ever burn your bridges. Lead with kindness. Don’t ask for anything in return.
When someone asks you what you do for work, tell them you have a career as an Intake Specialist at a law firm. Tell them: “I make a difference in the lives of people when they’re at their very worst- When they’re at the end of their rope.”
Dress the part. Look professional. Make a fashion statement. No one dresses up anymore. I remember back in the day when I went to church as a young girl, everyone dressed up with hats and patent leather shoes. We don’t dress up enough these days. Making the effort to dress up will change the way you feel. So, make the effort.
Be on time for work every day. Better yet, be there a little early. You’d be surprised at what you can learn from other team members, leaders and managing partners that also arrive early. Ask to shadow an attorney for a day and all of the other departments at the firm. You’ll learn a ton, and you’ll have even more respect and understanding of others. Be proud to say you work with the Intake team.
See if your firm has a program for lifelong learning, and then continue to educate yourself on all aspects of the firm. Continue to work at being the very best Intake Specialist ever. If your firm has a program where you can go back to school, go for it.
Be noticed! Get noticed! Don’t hide! Put yourself out there! Intake is a career. It’s not a job. Without Intake you don’t have a law firm. Everyone that works at your firm wouldn’t have jobs without you. You matter. Intake is the heart of every law firm.
You must have confidence in yourself, or you’ll have little hope of gaining any level of authority. You can’t build confidence if you don’t step way out of your comfort zone. Don’t second-guess yourself. Just decide and own it. If you need to learn to do something different next time, so be it. Be noticed. Be heard. Be proud of yourself. You’re an Intake Specialist this is your Career. You’re not an “information gatherer.” You’re an Intake Specialist! You make a difference one phone call at a time.
Be confident of your own authority. Volunteer at the office. Do the projects no one wants to do.
Get to know other team members. Be a great listener. Pause before you respond to a question that someone is asking you.
Be the expert – learn everything you can about being an Intake Specialist. Seek out extra training to become the top expert on your team. Make a list of all the areas of your role as the Intake specialist that you’d like to become the authority on. Then, go to the appropriate person to get additional training. Don’t wait for someone to come to you and say you need this.
Intake Specialists is a career. Think about what you do every day- you help to make decisions for prospective clients at the worse time of their life. YOU! No one else! Not the attorney. Not the case manager. Not the managing partner. YOU. You’re the very first line of communication.
What you do makes a difference in your prospects’ lives. They will remember you. They will remember how you cared for them during their time of need. They’ll remember your voice. Your tone. Your smile that they felt through the phone. They’ll remember how empathetic you were about their accident.
I know that many other departments don’t give intake the recognition that they deserve. That happens at all businesses. You don’t need someone else to help you feel like you’re an expert and the authority. It would be nice, but you know what you do every day, all day long.
Align yourself with the people at work that you want to learn from and that you aspire to be.
The process I’ve outlined above can be uncomfortable at first, but once you begin the journey, it will soon become a breeze. If you want to learn, grow, and be the authority in your Intake career, don’t waste time building relationships with folks that you don’t feel you can learn from. Stay away from problem children – the team members that are always at the center of drama because no matter how strong you think that you are, you will eventually be just like them.
You’re an Intake Specialist. Be Proud of it! Take Action to Make your Position the rewarding career it can be!