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If I consider myself and where I was at this point last year I can safely say that I was unhappy. I was living in London far away from my family and most of my friends, in a job that I was not entirely satisfied with and overall I was gradually becoming more and more dissatisfied with my lot in life. So, I decided to make a change. When the opportunity arose I decided, after 3 (mostly glorious) years, to leave the capital and head home to the hills of Derbyshire, back in with Mum and Dad to be surrounded by fresh air, friends and family. This was a difficult move for a number of reasons but also the best decision I ever made. I was 26 years old and had been living away from home ever since leaving for University at 18. I was a student in Birmingham and then I moved to London; so moving back in with my parents in Derbyshire was quite a daunting prospect. There were obvious perks though – Mum didn’t let me lift a finger, she insisted on doing all of my laundry and making me breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Some might call me spoilt and in some ways it’s hard to argue with that, but in her defence her favourite son (her only son) had returned after 8 long years so she was simply delighted! But, I was also unemployed and having become accustomed to a certain lifestyle in London I needed to make some serious adjustments. Before joining BCL Legal in January 2014 I spent the latter part of the summer, the entirety of autumn and beginning of winter working in a bar in Derby. I went from being a broker and a salesman in London to shaking cocktails and pulling pints at the buzzing centre of Derby’s answer to Broad Street. I won’t lie, I had loads of fun in this job, but my horizons were broader. So, when the opportunity to join BCL Legal came about I was ecstatic and 6 months later I can safely say it is equally the best decision I ever made. Legal recruitment can be tough and commercial property can be difficult, no matter where you are but particularly in Birmingham’s competitive and lucrative commercial property market. But I genuinely enjoy coming to work every day, I enjoy the challenge and can take pride in my work and see the true results in the fruits of my labour on a daily basis. The recent company holiday to Port de Soller in Palma was nice too.
Relocating isn’t easy, regardless of the circumstances. Whether you’re moving for a job, your family, friends or all 3 it is still a decision not to be taken lightly. I left London to be closer to my family, but I then chose to move again to Birmingham for my career in legal recruitment. Yes it was also familiar having been a student in Birmingham and previously lived here for 5 years and I am still close to home (I occasionally take my laundry home at the weekends – I just can’t seem to get my socks as soft as Mum does…) Happiness is relative to the opportunity and what you make of it. I enjoy my work, I find it interesting and challenging in so many ways but it’s also rewarding in so many ways. It was a risk, stepping into an unfamiliar setting having almost zero experience in real estate since my LLB, taking on work I had very little experience in at this level having had no exposure to legal recruitment and only limited exposure to recruitment in general; but I was fortunate to have a strong team of experienced colleagues in Birmingham to help guide me in the right direction. All things considered, I took a leap of faith and made the most of the opportunity in front of me and to say I am happy is somewhat of an understatement.
So consider this, what if you can make the move to a new place, a new job with a new firm and still be happy? NQ season has rolled around this year a lot sooner than it did last year. I feel this is due to an upturn in the economy leading to growing workloads, more trainees coming through firms across the country and clients taking heed of our advice to be more on the ball this year so as not to miss out on opportunities with talented candidates. Across the board firms have invested more and more in training their solicitors (trainees and NQs) to achieve higher standards, to become expert in their fields and to ensure they start their careers on the right foot. One of the things I discuss with people on a daily basis is happiness, what they’re looking for, where they’re looking and why? Specialising in Real Estate means I get to talk about my work a lot and the complex, lucrative and highly interesting work firms are undertaking nationwide. This is a buoyant market and there are opportunities everywhere. But there is still a fear about moving, about taking a job in a new firm away from the friends you have trained with and away from familiarity. I can understand and very much relate to this. So I have to ask, where were you a year ago and were you happy? Where do you want to be in a year’s time and will you be happy? Now is the time to take a leap of faith, throw a certain amount of caution to the wind and make that move to forge a successful career. Birmingham as a city has a lot to offer both professionally and socially. There are a wealth of Real Estate opportunities with leading national practices in Birmingham and they are crying out for talented and determined NQs to become the new wave of leading lawyers.
If you’re a Lawyer within the Private Practice sphere or in-house looking for a new challenge, firms are looking to recruit across all levels from NQ to Partner. BCL Legal can help you find that new role and prepare you for the journey. I might even help you pack…