The start of a new year is always a great time to focus on new goals and as a trainee it is a good opportunity to think about how you can achieve the most from your training contract.
- Make the most of opportunities
As a trainee you get to move around teams and offices throughout your training contract. This offers a variety of different opportunities from attending networking events, training seminars, participating in sporting events and helping to organise charity events. It is key to make the most of these opportunities, as they will allow you to develop your own skills and knowledge as well as meet new people (plus it's often fun!).
- Be realistic
Learning to juggle your workload and manage your own capacity effectively can be a steep learning curve. As a trainee it is natural to want to say yes to everything under the sun but if you cannot manage your time effectively this will only end up back-firing on you. If you are busy, the key thing is not to just say no! Ask about time frames and explain when you are likely to have more capacity.
- Get to know people
Having a good relationship with your trainee intake is really invaluable, you are all going through the same process together and can support one another. It is also essential to make an effort to get to know people in your wider team as well as in other offices at all levels. Having a strong internal network is only ever going to help you in your future career.
- Do not be afraid to ask questions
Asking questions can sometimes be a bit daunting for a trainee but it really is one of the easiest and quickest way to learn. However, it is still important to be proactive and not to ask basic questions that you could easily find the answer to.
- Keep an open mind
Changing seats is always a difficult time which can be made trickier if you have not got your first choice of seat. It is important to keep an open mind in these circumstances because you will still be able to learn a lot from a seat, even if it is not in an area you want to qualify into. Lots of solicitors have said that they were dreading doing a certain seat but ended up qualifying into that area. You never know, you might love it!