On Uncertainty


This isn’t my usual post. There hasn’t been a time like this in our lifetimes—or even our parents’ lifetimes. Anyone who tells you they know what’s going to happen is peddling smoke; nobody knows. For those of us who chose the law, uncertainty can be the anathema. I get that, and I am sitting in that with you. We are all doing hard things right now.

Here’s what I can tell you:

  1. It’s going to be a while until things feel “normal” and we can greet each other with a handshake or a hug. However, this will pass. Not as quickly as it hit, but we will see the end of this.
  2. Your job does not feel like the most important thing in the world right now even though it may have a week ago. Things changed on a dime. Your priorities now are likely the health and well-being of the people you love. That is as it should be. I am on the same page. I have no desire to sell anything to you.
  3. Recruiting, my vocation, is about people. It’s not about sales. In the last week, a candidate who I placed sent me disinfecting spray because he was worried about my 3 month old and my 2 year old. He had bought a stockpile long before Americans were worried because he sent it to his family in China. Another candidate who I placed reached out just to make sure I’m OK and told me about the experience of worrying about his wife’s family in Italy, just outside the hot zone. I was incredibly touched that they both did what they did because they were not sales to me and I was not just a random recruiter to them. They’re my friends, and we care about each other.
  4. The Bay Area is innovating, and if a region can think outside the box about how to come out of this better than we went into it, it can most likely be found here. Not that this is top of mind, nor should it be, but the market will return. You will be able to leave your current job for one that makes you happier—just maybe not as quickly as you would like. But plans can be laid even during uncertain times.
  5. Your priority right now is likely just putting one foot in front of the other and potentially managing working from home with kids, pets and chaos. Most importantly, when things are feeling deeply insecure, it’s good to know who you can talk to. The answer? You can talk to me and my colleagues. We stand ready to think through all of this—this murky morass—with you. It’s those conversations—the ones that aren’t about a specific role, that don’t make you feel like a sale (because you’re not)—that help us know and understand you. It’s an act of building something. It’s also an act of humanity – of connection. And I think we all need that more than ever right now. Do you want to discuss how to talk to your boss about the fact that your child is in the background on calls? Do you want to talk about how to navigate the demands of your job when your mental health feels less than solid? Can we help you think about how to address people you work with who aren’t being sensitive to this moment? Do you just need to vent about how surreal it is to be clocking in the billable hour? It’s all fair game. This is part of our job. We are here.

I wish you health above all else, and I look forward to speaking to you.


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