5 top tips: what to do while you are waiting for your training contract
This week, future trainee Sarupe Uppal gives us her 5 top tips on how to best occupy your time while you are waiting for your training contract to begin.
So you have secured that coveted training contract, but it’s not an immediate start. Here are some tips for what you can do with your time.
- Get as much legal experience as possible
It doesn’t matter in what area of law, but any office based legal experience will give you a bit more confidence for when you start your training contract. The confidence you obtain will mean you are ahead of the curve. Your first call with a client will most likely give you butterflies, no matter how much experience you have had. However, having had previous client contact, it will be a less daunting experience.
You may also be able to claim this experience as “time to count”, and reduce your two year training contract by up to six months.
Working within any legal environment may also help you decide what area of law that you might want to qualify into.
- Take a (well deserved) break before starting your training contract, however short
Most of us will have gone straight into work from exams. Take some time out for yourself, and experience the world (if your budget allows for it!).
This doesn’t mean you have to (necessarily) take a trip across South-East Asia. Even small trips to places much closer to home (museums, art galleries, National Trust properties… even the cinema or the theatre!) will not only give you a chance to experience new things, but also work on those all-important interpersonal skills.
Expanding your horizons in this way will broaden your life experiences; this will be extremely useful when liaising with clients, or at networking events.
- Do something that you won’t have time to do once you start working
For example, you could volunteer within your local community (places like charity shops are a good start) or start a hobby that you’ve always been interested in.
Now you have a chance to pursue something that is not just a tick on the CV, but an activity you can do solely for yourself. Whatever it is, you will not only give yourself a sense of achievement, but it will make you stand out.
- Get to know the place you will be working in, and make contact with your future fellow trainees
This is especially important if you are moving to a new area. Use this time to get to know each other. Start a Facebook group. Look into places to rent and if you can, get a temp job in that region so you can explore it more.
- Keep pushing yourself
Every experience, whether in work or an outside hobby, is a chance to improve your skills. During your training contract you will be asked to do things that may be outside your comfort zone, so preparing for this now will benefit you in the long run.
The most important thing, however, is to enjoy yourself!