In the short space of a year, our world has changed. As students, we’ve learnt how to adapt to an alien education system – one driven entirely by the strength of both our internet connection and our motivation to succeed. Seminars that were once face-to-face are now taught through pixels whilst the phrase “teamwork” is seen to be synonymous with the phrase “breakout room” (at this point the two are basically the same thing). How are we supposed to catch our future employer’s eye if our only form of outreach is through a digital screen? How can we possibly stand out from the crowds of like-minded students wanting to get somewhere in the legal industry when we’re limited to characters in bios and timers on Zoom calls?
The answer is proactivity. When living in an era where pre-recorded lectures can be completed from the comfort of our duvet covers, you could be the sort of person that learns from a desk with their notes at the ready. Regardless of the fact that we may not be able to leave our house due to the restrictions of the pandemic outside, there are so many different ways in which we can persevere and carry our work ethic with us through these turbulent times so that, when we emerge from the pandemic, our employability is stronger than ever. Here are some examples:
For anyone who doesn’t know much about LinkedIn, it’s a social networking platform for websites, businesses, employers, employees and students alike and it will make the world of difference to your opportunity prospects as a student – especially if you’re looking for a career in the legal industry. In just a month in lockdown, I’ve built myself a profile and developed over 500 connections with everyone from interns to CEOs of businesses which I can see myself working with in the future. Simply set up an account, write an engaging bio, list your achievements (be that grades, previous work experiences or certificates) and you’re halfway there.
Commit to virtual
I know this is easier said than done because the majority of us are already studying from our screens but virtual learning platforms such as Forage are amazing ways for students to stand out and gain commercial awareness in their respective fields. Forage offers a fab array of free online courses (most of which are only 5-6 hrs long) which can help you learn the sort of skill sets you may be required to have for future jobs. When completing a course, you are awarded a digital certificate of completion to add to your CV or LinkedIn profile which will tell prospective employers that you’re genuinely interested in their career field and increase your chances of being employed.
Google google google
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t spend at least two hours, minimum, on my phone each day so why not put that time to good use? Research news or media brands that report specifically on the industries you’re interested in, spend a quick fifteen minutes reading an article and you’ve got yourself a possible talking point for your next interview. Take the time to familiarise yourself with the environment which you’re working so hard to get into!
Podcasts are underrated.
There are so many times in the average lockdown day where you can pop on a quick podcast – whether it’s when you’re exercising, getting ready for the day or simply doing bits around the house – podcasts are the easiest way to learn more about an industry you think you might be interested in (I’m a big fan of Talking Law by Sally Penny on Spotify).
Work on your CV!
I know it’s dull but set aside an hour or two one day and focus on making your CV something you’re really proud of – that way it’s one less job to get done when application time rolls around. Then, use your network – ask those in the jobs you want to look at your CV and make comments- most people will be more than happy to take a look and give you their thoughts.
Got something you want to blog about? Here at Thrive, we’re always keen to receive students’ or professionals’ guest blogs – we’re big believers in sharing knowledge and sharing our platform. If you have any ideas, please follow us on social media (@Thrive_Law or @IamJodieHill) and get in touch!
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By Megan Buntrock