Donna Jones
Donna Jones
Associate

Articles From the Team

How to keep motivated during your legal job search

Often the journey to securing that dream role is less than straightforward. Whilst some of you may have nailed the first interview and be moving on to your desired role and firm with ease, others may have been through countless interviews dragging on over months or even years before landing that perfect job.

This can be a long drawn out and deflating experience where you often question your ability and even career. It’s important to keep positive and motivated even when you feel like it’s an impossible task. Whilst you’re going through this journey it’s important to visualise where you want to be and how you plan on achieving this.

Trying to maintain a daily routine can also help, especially if you’re currently out of work...

Waking at the same time each day and maintaining a routine often helps to keep your mind alert, positive and focused. Starting the day with some exercise and a healthy breakfast will also set you up for the day, and then designating time for your job-search whether that means a quick search before you start your working day which you can pick up that evening or designating the whole day. It’s important to set aside the hours you have available and then set yourself achievable goals. These could include updating your social media accounts such as your LinkedIn profile or improving/tailoring your CV to align with the vacancies found, approaching recruiters or applying to roles directly, there is always plenty to keep you busy but it must be within your means.

When setting goals it’s helpful to write these down and make them achievable so that the process doesn’t become stressful...

Aiming for realistic goals of say three or four tasks a week that you manage to accomplish will do more for your motivation than setting anything unrealistic that you fail to complete acting as a de-motivator to the search. You might have a list of potential firms or roles in your sights and you could set yourself a target of applying to at least one or two of these a week. It can be helpful to keep a list of any approaches you have made to firms and by what means as depending on the duration of your search this can get a confusing when trying to follow these up.

To avoid feeling deflated during your search it can help to remind yourself of the achievements made so far in your career...

and make a list of these, drawing on the successes already accomplished can reaffirm your ability and that this is the right journey your on. This exercise can also help in preparation for interviews, for instance demonstrating where you have faced a challenging time at work and managed to see that through to a successful outcome if often a question that will come at. You can also incorporate in to your list the achievements made in previous roles such as larger/complex projects you have worked on and successes achieved individually or as a team that demonstrate your ability.

Through the journey it’s imperative you focus on the positives more than the negatives, there might be elements of your chosen role where you’re lacking some of the relevant experience, however demonstrating you’re awareness of this and an eagerness to excel in those areas can be attractive to a potential employer. To obsess over these weaknesses instead of accepting them will be counter productive to any search.

Identifying your strengths can be a challenge but there are online tools and assessments designed to assist with this, you can also talk through your experience to date with a recruiter who will be able to help you highlight all your best bits. A recruiter will also be able to assist by writing a covering letter to demonstrate those strengths and your suitability for any particular role applied to.

Whilst making your way through this process it’s important to keep things in perspective and not dedicate every waking moment to the search...

Keeping an active social life and meeting with friends or even picking up a good read can take your mind off things and keep the motivation going, you shouldn’t feel guilty for taking time out.

Also remember that the more you move through this journey the better you will get at navigating it – discovering what you are good at and how you can play to your strengths. This might result in you changing your plan of action or even pausing the search for a while to concentrate on other things but that’s fine as long as you have come away from the process with a better understanding of what you’re looking for and how to achieve that. Of course the ideal result will be that the process has worked and you have found that ideal role you set out to without burning out along the way.

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