For this month's entry of the trainee blog I will be sharing some of my new year's resolutions with you. Generally people share their resolutions verbally and casually meaning few people can really remember exactly what they said, and fewer still remember and care enough to take them to task on it. As this is in writing I guess I won't be able to escape quite so easily. So with that in mind and without further ado, here are my New Year's resolutions for 2018.
1. The right attitude
I was told as I was embarking upon my training contract that one the most important ingredients of a successful training contract is a positive attitude and demonstrating enthusiasm in your work. This includes getting involved in as many different aspects of the firm's work both inside and outside of the office. . It can be hard to think laterally about what I could be doing outside of my main priority; assisting my supervisor in delivering high quality client service. However, at Ashfords there are constant opportunities to try new things, whether that be sport, networking or beekeeping. It would be a waste not to take full advantage of working at a firm promoting a good work life balance, and I certainly hope I do try many new things this year.
2. Learn to juggle
No, I'm not running away to join the circus, I think I would be far better at tiger taming anyway. I mean developing my ability to manage the expectations of many people. After a conversation with my supervisor, we decided that this was an important, if not the most important skill for a trainee.
This can be in the form of prioritisation, knowing when to stay late or even just a touch of diplomacy. Just because you can't complete tasks for four people one afternoon doesn’t mean you have to leave three people feeling disregarded.
3. Make the most of the Devon and Somerset Junior Lawyers Division (DSJLD)
A prelude to a positive attitude as I mentioned above in point 1 saw me successfully running to be the national representative of the Devon and Somerset Junior Lawyers Division. This will involve me attending (at least) three events at the Law Society in London representing junior lawyers across Devon and Somerset. I'm looking forward to this challenge and the chance to meet lawyers from across the country. Additionally, I'm hoping to get involved with as many events as possible, having seen the draft list of I know there are some pretty great ones coming up in 2018.
4. Hit the ground running in new seats
Half of my seat changes will take place in 2018 so I know starting them right has to be a key target. The move can be tricky in your first seat, especially if, like me, the training contract is your first job out of university and you are getting used to many things which will (hopefully!) become second nature shortly. For my 2018 seat changes, moving into my 2nd and 3rd seat, I hope to carry forward the lessons learned from the previous seat and put in the extra effort to ensure I make a positive impression, which is key to a good start.
Because I had far too many mince pies this Christmas...