Considerations For Those Displaced By The COVID-19 Pandemic: eDiscovery Careers

Yesterday, I wrote about Brainspace and their current offer of all of its certification courses and learning content for FREE through April.  I learned about that during an interview last Friday with Jared Coseglia, founder and CEO of TRU Staffing Partners.  Jared and I also discussed some of his recommendations regarding those who have been displaced by the pandemic (several of which apply even if you still have your job), and I have a few thoughts of my own as well.

As you may know, I’m currently in the same boat as you are.  And the famous phrase “You’re going to need a bigger boat” has never been more of an understatement.  The latest figures show over 26 million unemployment claims over the past several weeks with numerous layoffs and other businesses currently in a state of hiatus.  Bigger boat?  You would need about 1,000 “Titanics” for all of the people claiming unemployment recently (perhaps 1,000 “Queen Marys” is a more positive analogy).  And, we’ve already certainly seen several layoffs within the legal and eDiscovery communities as well.  With that in mind, here are a few considerations for you if you’re one of those professionals who have been displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Get Your Ducks in a Row: This is Job Search 101 stuff.  Obviously, you need to update your resume, update your LinkedIn profile, line up your references, etc.  If this is the first time you’ve been faced with a situation like this, rest assured there are plenty of best practices guides for writing resumes out there.  So, how do you know if your resume is optimized for your job search?

Talk to Your Talent Agent: Before you launch your job search and start sending your resume out, you need to select a talent agent and talk to that agent first.  Your agent can provide feedback on your resume to help optimize it and also help you strategize not only on the job search at hand, but also on long term career guidance and potential changes in your career path.  “This is a job market that is unlike anything most people have ever seen”, Jared said, “so taking steps to position yourself for long term success is more important than ever.”

And, as for positions you see in the marketplace, such as the new EDRMHub (which I covered here on this blog last week), Jared said “TRU Staffing Partners is a participant in the new EDRMHub and we have already listed several available positions on it.  Nonetheless, you should always coordinate with your talent agent before applying for any position to make sure that your agent hasn’t already submitted you for that position.”

Get Certified: Is being cooped up in your home without a job making you certifiable?  Then, get certified!  As Jared notes in this LinkedIn article: “The power of certifications undeniably accelerates earning potential and vertical mobility, provides greater sustainability and job security, and produces lawyers who practice with the cutting-edge skills and foundational knowledge necessary to compete in today’s data-driven legal services landscape.”  I would add “legal professionals” to that statement, as it’s just as applicable to anybody working in legal technology (Jared 100% agrees).

It’s also no coincidence that Jared starts his article with a discussion of certifications in the Privacy profession as it is, relativity speaking, a growth area for career development.  With Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and US privacy regulations in various states, including the notable California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), “[p]rivacy professional positions are becoming a staple for any healthy corporate legal operation, an invaluable area to support and practice at a firm and a growing arena for legal service providers.”  As Jared notes, “[t]he International Association of Privacy Professionals’ (IAPP) certification program has quickly become the gold standard for employers seeking instant validation of an individual’s privacy expertise.”  That includes regional Certified Information Privacy Professional certifications (including the CIPP/E for Europe) and Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM), Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT) and Fellow of Information Privacy (FIP) advanced certifications.

From an eDiscovery standpoint, there has never been a better time to go get your Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS) certification.  You can go here for more information and to register for the program.  It’s also a great time to get certified in eDiscovery software products that organizations may be looking for.  Many eDiscovery software providers offer certification training courses for their products, with training classes conducted online to enable you to get the training and take the certification test from home.

Get Social: In the time of “social distancing”, participation in social media is more important than ever as it may be (in many ways) the only way to interact with colleagues in the profession.  Linking, commenting on and sharing articles in LinkedIn, Twitter or other social media sites where business topics are shared and discussed can be a great way to boost your own visibility.  It can also be a great way to identify individuals you may want to connect to in LinkedIn and Twitter accounts you may want to follow (many, in turn, will follow you).  According to Jared, “90 percent of credibility is visibility.”  I couldn’t agree more!

There’s so much info here, we can’t fit it all into one post.  Our first cliffhanger!  Don’t worry, we will bring you part two and the conclusion tomorrow.

So, what do you think?  Are you a displaced lawyer or legal technology professional?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

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