Articles From the Team

Legal jobs: navigating your probationary period

So, you’re approaching the end of your probationary period and you’re not sure you want to stay. It’s important to remember that as a new employee, it’s perfectly normal to:

  • Feel slow at grasping new concepts
  • Make a few administrative errors
  • Feel unfamiliar with all the work you’ve been tasked with
  • Have doubts about whether you’ll be successful

Most people feel slightly anxious and less confident than normal during their probationary period. It’s important these feelings aren’t the sole reason for a decision to leave your position, and that you instead reflect on how the last three to six months have gone. Ask yourself:

  • Has your team given you exposure to the work you were promised during interview?
  • Have you felt supported?
  • Do you feel you’ve learnt during this period?
  • Has your manager or ‘buddy’ been available to answer your concerns or questions?
  • Do you enjoy the work you’ve been doing?
  • Finally, do you get on with your team?

These are important questions. Your employer is likely to invest most of their time in you during your probationary period, so if you feel unsupported or you feel bored, then this works as a warning sign.

Not getting on well with your team might not seem like a big problem but it is because after all, we spend most of our time at work!

I’ve spoken to many legal professionals during my time at BCL Legal, as well as my contacts from when I previously worked as a solicitor. The consensus tends to be that most employees remain after their probationary period if the following is provided:

  • Training
  • Ensuring someone is available in the team to answer any work-related questions
  • Regular catch-ups to see how the new employee is getting on
  • Exposure to the work promised during the interview

I’ve been fortunate enough to work for a company that’s truly invested in my probationary period. I had concerns about how I’d get on because I came from a legal background and had little knowledge of what a recruiter’s day-to-day role involved.

Since starting at BCL Legal, I’ve been really impressed. I’ve received regular training, weekly 1-2-1 meetings with my manager where I’m able to speak honestly about the problems I face, and for my manager to assist me in finding solutions to become more successful in my role. Even although I’ve only been here for just over three months, I already feel part of a great team.

If you’re not enjoying your probationary period then please get in touch for a confidential chat so I can inform you on all the latest opportunities.

If you’re interested in a move from private practice to legal recruitment, please contact my colleague Joanna Leaver.

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