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Article written by Rachael Noble, Nottingham Trent University LLB Graduate.
Transitioning from university life to working life can be quite a change and many students may feel unprepared and uncertain about this new chapter. This new phase of life will mean adjusting to a different routine, meeting new people and exploring a new environment and this can come with feelings of anticipation and nervousness. However, this change is an exciting time full of new experiences and opportunities and is a significant milestone in starting your career.
This article sets out three essential mindsets that can help you with the initial transition to working life but will also be relevant throughout your career. By adopting these approaches, you will be able to develop professionally, understand the demands of the legal profession and get the most out of your role. These mindsets will serve as valuable assets allowing you to grow and thrive in your career and so it is important to implement these approaches to your working life from the outset.
Being patient in your career is crucial for several reasons. It takes time to build skills and expertise in any field and so rushing through the process can lead to gaps in knowledge and hinder long-term growth. Patience allows for valuable learning experiences and the chance to develop resilience in the face of challenges you may encounter in the legal profession. A career in law is rarely linear and set backs are inevitable. Therefore, by staying patient you can navigate these obstacles with a positive mindset. Patience also cultivates a sense of perseverance and dedication enabling you to stay focussed on your goals and work towards them steadily, even when progress seems slow.
As a generation influenced by instant gratification and quick fulfilments, this can impact our patience in career success and progression. In a world where everything is available at the touch of a button, we have become accustomed to immediate results. Adapting to working life and remaining dedicated to career progression will require patience to deal with the ups and downs, setbacks and challenges of your new life. Without patience you may become easily discouraged or give up too soon and so it is important to remember that true growth requires a willingness to embrace the journey, even if it is taking longer than you hope for.
Accepting change is something many people find difficult and as creatures of habit, having to adapt to something new does not always come naturally. As a student transitioning from university life to working life, accepting change is vital. It can be a big adjustment but by adopting the right mindset, the struggles in adapting to your new life will be alleviated. University offers a lot of flexibility and you will find aspects of your life will change to a more structured schedule and so you must be prepared for a shift in routine and expectations. However, transitioning to working life is a positive change, being the beginning of your career, and so embracing the new routines and responsibilities that come with working life will allow for the greatest fulfilment.
The legal world is constantly evolving and so it is important to be accepting of change throughout your career to help you thrive. Embracing change allows you to learn new skills, explore different opportunities and stay relevant in a growing market. You must also have a willingness to learn and adapt to a new environment and working dynamics. University provides a certain level of independence but in the professional world, teamwork and collaboration are highly valued and so embrace the opportunity to work with diverse teams and learn from others. A career in law requires specialised skills that may differ from what you learnt at university and so by staying inquisitive, seeking out new learning opportunities and being willing to adapt and grow all comes with accepting change. Remember, change can bring exciting opportunities and being open to changes throughout your career will give you the best chance at progressing through your role.
Keeping an open mind works hand in hand with accepting change. Being open-minded means you are not limiting yourself in career progression and will allow you to grow both professionally and personally. It allows you to fully explore and understand the different aspect of your new role and you will be encourage to embrace new challenges, learn from your peers and discover areas of law you may not have initially considered. By staying open-minded you will gain valuable skills in building a strong foundation and developing a versatile mindset that will benefit you throughout your career.
You may have a preconceived idea of what it is like to work at a law firm or in the corporate world and the reality of this may not be what you had in mind. Therefore, being open minded to your new role means you will not have un-met expectations nor be unprepared for the demands of the job. Law is an ever evolving industry and so it is important to stay open minded throughout your career in accepting new processes, being optimistic about the future and taking a positive approach in perhaps difficult circumstances.