‘Stepping into the Unknown’
The first day of your Training Contract can be one of the most frightening days of your life. Questions and worries whizz around your head; what will I do on my first day? How should I introduce myself? Will I be expected to know everything after a week?
The simple response to all of these questions is – don’t worry!
We all possess that eagerness to impress and illustrate what we can achieve and succeed in, yet don’t allow your nerves to get the better of you. It may well be your first ever ‘legal’ job and thus a big leap into the unknown. Trainees arrive from a variety of backgrounds, but all share the same intention; to qualify at the end. As a trainee at Kitsons you have the opportunity to take seats in a variety of areas of law with the ability to work within any of our three offices in Torquay, Plympton and Exeter.
I have also found myself partaking in a variety of activities and events. For example, in July 2016 I was one of 24 members of staff from Kitsons who successfully completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge in aid of Diabetes UK. This was a fantastic challenge and raised awareness and funds for a great cause. Kitsons also sponsor a number of other events throughout the year such as the Devon Classic Bike Ride and the Rowcroft Sleep Walk.
I have compiled a few tips for any future budding Trainees from my experiences so far:
As I’ve been told many a times as a Trainee, we are here to learn. Therefore, make the most of learning and find out all you can in the time available. It is crucial when taking instructions from your supervisor, that you are sure on what you are being asked to do. If not, confirm it. Better safe than sorry!
There really is no such thing as a stupid question after all. I’ve certainly asked my fair share in my time as a Trainee.
It can be easy to let this skill slip if you have information coming to you left, right and centre. Be sure to take 5 minutes of each day to plan out your day ahead bearing in mind any deadlines due. This can be a lifesaver.
At times you may feel yourself being drawn towards working extra each day to finish a particular task . Indeed there may be times where you need to work extra to meet imminent deadlines or for any other reason. But one key thing to remember is to have some ‘you’ time and enjoy your non- work time. Multiple research studies show how having that balance significantly improves your health, which in tow improves your ability at work.
Nerves can prevent you from doing a lot of things, but don’t let it beat you. Whether it is attending an event where you do not know anyone else attending, to offering to complete an article on an area you are completely unfamiliar with. These are great for boosting your confidence and recommended to any trainee. Once you do it once you gain the experience to do it again. Networking is of course key for legal professionals and is a skill of which you cannot expect to pick up over night – practice makes perfect.