The Magnificent Mandatory Pause of a Snow Day

Do you remember Calvin and Hobbes? Something about a snow day that makes me think of them. There is still an excitement for me about snow days, and probably not just because my kids came dancing in our room this morning delighted they did not have to go to school. Things slow down on snow days, even if just for a minute. I have yet to go shovel the walk, or brush off my car, or have to drive, so perhaps I am still in a positive frame of mind, but snow days make us stop doing. Stop calling, emailing, texting, driving, running, rushing. No, I am not going to get all Robert Frost on you, or go down the snow equals death metaphor trap, but I am going to again talk about time. We attorneys know it as the billable hour. Why? Because that is the way most of us do our billing and earn our living. In the workplace we have a complete knowledge and understanding of the value of time, specifically our own time. My candidates are highly compensated for their time, and when pressed I think many of us do not really understand a non-monetary value of our time. What are the priorities we are seeking to do with our time? I met with a partner candidate who was not happy with her comp package. This candidate did not feel she was being compensated fairly for her time, and I asked how she placed a value on her time. Instead of saying she measured her rate against her peers, she paused and then the conversation went into a different direction. Frankly, she (and perhaps all of us) could never be compensated what she truly thought she deserved because of the choices she had to make with her time…whether to work or go out on a date, spend time with a significant other (I was going to type partner but caught myself!), spend time with kids. So for many of us the issue comes down to choosing how to gain the maximum benefit from our time. Is that benefit financial? Emotional? Spiritual? In all of my years as a legal recruiter, I have been exposed to many different firms. Firms where you are compensated solely on an eat-what-you-kill philosophy, firms that have open or closed compensation systems, firms that allow for partners to take sabbaticals, firms that offer a right fit for so many people. If you have taken a pause today, and part of that pause led you to question your work situation, call me. Let’s together work towards maximizing your time in alignment with your priorities.

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