WOW – long time no chat. It has been so so long since I’ve sat down and wrote a blog. A lot has happened since I last wrote a post. As a little update – I came back to Ireland for Christmas and have just finished isolating, I secured a corporate paralegal role with a GREAT firm, I also got through to interview stage with one of my top firms and celebrated my 24th birthday. It has been a mad few weeks.
Today, I wanted to take some time and reflect on somethings I’ve learnt in my quest to secure a graduate job.
Firstly, I want to highlight that this journey has not been easy. It has taken me a grand total of 8 months to secure a position. Those 8 months have really taught me a lot about myself and I think it’s important to share the good and the bad. I really struggled with self-doubt and was constantly asking myself what I was doing wrong and even convinced myself that I wasn’t good enough to be a solicitor and it was time to throw the towel in. Luckily I didn’t but it was a close call ! It’s sometimes hard to celebrate other people’s success when you feel like you aren’t progressing yourself and the stars aren’t aligning for you but I will be speaking more about the mental aspects in subsequent posts.
Today, I wanted to share some tips and tricks that really helped me to not only secure a job but to display a well-rounded candidate and set myself apart from other candidates who had far more experience than I did.
- LinkedIn – I never really understood the importance of this platform until a few months back. I reached out to my connections to share my story and a ton of people messaged me sharing their own job hunt struggle. I suddenly didn’t feel so alone. Chatting with others in the same boat really put my mind at ease and made me realise that the jobs just weren’t there.
2. Wait for opportunities to find you – again this was alien to me. I thought surely if I sit back and wait I’ll just be wasting time but, it actually worked for me. Instead of applying for countless positions that upon reflection I didn’t really want -I waited for the perfect opportunity to find me. I believe that God works in mysterious ways and this opportunity was waiting for me to seize.
3. Invest your time in bettering yourself and your knowledge – I knew I wanted to break into corporate/commercial law but I also knew that this particular area required a vast amount of previous experience (something I didn’t have). So, I used my time to learn about that area. I took an M&A course, attended webinars, read judgements and continued to develop key skills central to this area such as business acumen and analytic thinking. Keeping on top of the news and improving my commercial awareness meant that when it came to interviewing with firms I had a broad range of both legal and business knowledge.
4. Debut app – this was another tool key to my success. I’m not sure how many of you know or use it but I’d be happy to do a post about it in the future. Basically, instead of you approaching employers, they approach you. I can’t tell you the amount of opportunities that found me through this app. I was invited to attend so many events that I could put on my LinkedIn and even work experience.
There are so many more tips and tricks that I want to speak about so, I will be splitting up this post into two blogs as I think it is hugely relevant and important.
Until next time – keep working hard because great things are coming your way in 2021