Articles From the Team
Do you know what you want?
Bon Jovi have been around since 1979. For four decades they have been writing, producing and performing some of the best and most iconic rock music to span multiple generations. They rank amongst the greats; Aerosmith, ACDC, the Rolling Stones, Metallica, The Who, Queen, The Beatles and so on. These bands have all at some point been through tough and challenging times. Differences in direction and opinion caused rifts between members and some walked away to seek new challenges or simply for a quieter life. I think this is something we can all relate to in one way or another.
For lawyers and lawyers in the making, one of the most challenging times you will face is at the end of your training when you decide how you want the rest of your career to go. Deciding on which discipline to specialise in is a tough decision. Maybe you enjoyed all of your training seats equally, or maybe you didn’t get a single seat you wanted. Either way when those two years are up, at that moment (or ideally before that moment) you will make a career defining choice. It might be a new challenge or it might be for a quieter life. Either way, that is no easy task.
Let’s take a step back for a moment… When I left University I had very little idea of what I wanted to do and I wasn’t sure of which direction to take. I have an LLB and my professional experience lies within financial services and sales. I even attempted (vaguely) to be a musician for a little while. But here I am in 2017, three years after joining BCL Legal and I truly feel that I have found where I want to be and what I want to do for my long-term future. If you had asked me ten of even five years ago what I want to be when I grow up I probably wouldn’t have been able to give you a real answer. The key difference is I didn’t have specific training before I joined BCL Legal; I had very little direction and almost zero guidance other than that I gained from friends and family, which is important and incredibly valuable, but not quite the same as the guidance you might get from a specialist legal recruiter.
Interestingly though I don’t think candidates come to us for guidance. More often than not candidates will come to us with an idea of what they want to do and how they want to do it. This absolutely fine, it really helps us and ultimately helps you, but what if you can’t have what you want? For example, if you want to be an Employment lawyer you will probably know that these opportunities are rare and therefore it might be worth considering multiple locations. If you don’t want to consider multiple locations then you might want to consider another discipline. This is where our guidance comes in handy; with our extensive market knowledge and years upon years of experience, we feel that we know what we’re talking about. In truth, we’re never going to advise you to do something that wouldn’t be right for you, both personally and professionally.
My career has been forged by lots of hard work, lots of graft, lots of challenges and continuous learning, as well as a significant element of luck and being in the right place at the right time. But after failing on numerous occasions before I joined BCL Legal, I finally learned when to ask for help. Whether that was speaking to my friends and family, turning to my colleagues and managers, or speaking to an experienced recruiter; simply asking for a little bit of guidance can make those challenges in front of you much less daunting and the decision much simpler.
With the NQ season right around the corner we’re seeing firms release their internal job lists early to beat the rush. For many NQs this can be daunting, perhaps you haven’t even started your final seat yet or maybe you’re not sure which discipline you want to qualify into come September. Don’t panic! Time is on your side and opportunities are available to you. The reason the bands above have all enjoyed such long and successful careers is because they weren’t afraid to face challenges and make difficult choices, but they also sought help and guidance when they needed it.
As a legal recruiter I’ve worked with paralegals, newly qualified solicitors, directors and partners from a broad spectrum of small high street firms to large internationals. Some will have been with their current employer for ten or more years while others seem to have only been there for ten minutes. However long you have been in your current position my first priority is to help you and to guide you. The legal market is highly buoyant at the moment and there are opportunities around every corner. You might be better to stay where you are for the time being, or you could really benefit from moving on. Either way, if you come to BCL Legal and ask the question then we will always give you honest guidance to help you move forward with your career.