People that transition from IT to litigation support have an interesting advantage. I have noticed it time and time again.
Much of the technical work we perform in litigation support can be repetitive, step by step, “just get it done” tasks. However, some technical work can be trial and error.
Some examples would be:
1. We are using a new software program.
2. We are troubleshooting an unexpected error message.
3. Something goes wrong with the steps we have taken, an unexpected result occurs.
4. We are not sure how to accomplish the task at hand and we need to figure out how to get the result we need from the dataset we have to work with.
5. Working with new file types we've never had a chance to work with before.
Those that have previously worked in IT roles have a higher level of confidence when it comes to technical tasks. But it is more than that. When there is an unknown component to our workflow in litigation support, a former IT person will instinctively “try something else” or “select a new option” with much less hesitation and with a higher level of confidence.
There is an underlying trust in the outcome. A former IT person understands the difference between a nominal error and a more serious error. They are less afraid to move forward after an unexpected occurrence.
One of the hardest things to teach a newbie with a less technical background is that it is okay to try another solution or that an unexpected result is not the end of the world. Newbies tend to be afraid of breaking things or causing irreparable harm to the dataset.
One of the things I like to do when training a newbie in Concordance for instance, is to tell them we can always just recreate the database if something goes wrong. I tell them about the Zap feature which will empty a database so they can start over. I also teach them about backing up the database prior to importing new data. In other words, I help them realize that they don't need to stress out. We can fix most things.
Have you ever felt a little afraid to “click that button”?