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Advice for permanent professionals

Making your next career move

Deciding on your next legal role can sometimes be a daunting task. Before beginning your job search, there are a number of factors to consider in order to ensure that you are on the right track to make the best career move for you.

Preparation is key, and ensuring that you are in a strong position to secure that next role. The legal market is competitive, with a number of legal professionals looking for a career move whether it is a promotion or to utilise their skills in another sector.

Before taking that next step there are three key areas you should consider to help you prepare:

Research

Research to understand what employers want

Keep up to date with what's going on in the market, and the opportunities that are available. Think about what your expectations are, and how they fit with those of potential employers and what they are offering. Do lots of research to get insight and understanding into what may be expected:
  • Read job descriptions; browse job boards such as Law Society Gazette and totallylegal.co.uk to get insight into what your day-to-day might look like
  • Read LinkedIn profiles of others in your industry to develop your knowledge and assist you in progressing your job search
  • Speak to your legal network of contacts, and utilise their insight and sector expertise to find out more about a specific sector or the opportunities available

 

Partnership

Don’t go it alone

Liaise with legal professionals who can help you on your journey and network with them to discover mutual benefits. Networking is often perceived as a negative word but the premise is that you are making beneficial connections that could serve you down the line, and vice versa.
  • Get involved with LinkedIn groups, and join the conversation to make yourself known
  • Look into community or interest groups in your area, such as those on Meetup.com, where you could meet people who could help or advise you
The more you are around like-minded people, the more likely you will find solutions and opportunities. Having a strong network will help you cope with changes positively, and know what to do in a new role or industry.

Online Brand

Ensure your online brand is relevant

The majority of recruiters and employers use social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter to assess potential candidates before inviting them in for an interview. Ensure your social presence is optimised and reflects the industry or role you would like, to increase your chance of success.
  • Use terminology from your desired industry or role where possible, to ensure you are utilising the same, or similar language
  • Post content and thought-leadership articles from your desired field to indicate your knowledge of the sector to potential employers
  • Make sure you are on LinkedIn, and don’t be afraid of connecting with people you’ve only had a brief encounter with – opportunities will present themselves further down the line
Once you’ve made the first step – joined that group, scheduled that coffee meeting, updated your LinkedIn profile, you’ve made a commitment and the momentum will carry you further into your transition of a new opportunity. 


Glossary

Come across a phrase that you're unsure of? Use our glossary to get a better understanding of words and phrases related to the world of legal:

  • Training Contract: A compulsory period of practical training that must be undertaken before law graduates can qualify as solicitors
  • Pupillage: The barrister’s equivalent to a training contract, usually taking one year
  • Magic Circle: An informal term used to describe the five leading law firms headquartered in the UK
  • Solicitor: The contact for individuals or organisations seeking legal advice or representation
  • Barrister: Acts as an advocate and offers advice on actions within the court
  • Paralegal: A person who is educated and trained to perform legal tasks but who is not a qualified solicitor or barrister
  • LPC: The Legal Practice Course – final vocational stage for becoming a solicitor
  • CPE/GDL: Common Professional Examination/Graduate Diploma in Law – postgraduate law course that is taken by non-law students wishing to become a solicitor or barrister
  • BPTC: Bar Professional Training Course – graduate course taken by those wishing to be ‘called to the bar’ and practise as a barrister.


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