Trainee Blog: How to make the most of your first seat
The start of your training contract is an exciting (and also potentially nerve-wracking) time. First impressions count and it is only natural to want to make the most out of the opportunity you have worked so hard for.
Make the best possible start to your training contract with these top tips.
1. Ask questions
Whether you have come straight from university or have changed career, as a trainee the best way to learn is to do your best sponge impression and soak up all of the knowledge and experience that you can. However, this will only get you so far. If something comes up that you are not able to get your head around (either a technical legal point or even how to use the printer – trust me, it is not always as easy as you would think), make sure you ask.
Acknowledging that there is a gap in your knowledge and working out how to find the answer is key to making the most of your training contract.
2. Get to know the other trainees
The other trainees are an invaluable resource. Those who have done your seat before will know how to do the tasks you are given. Those in seats you want to do will be able to give you an insight into what they involve.
But most importantly, the other trainees will be in the same position as you. Building a strong support network with your other trainees can help you navigate some of the trickier moments. They are also a great group of colleagues for enjoying your successes with and building your network within the Firm.
3. Get stuck into things outside of work
Life as a trainee at Michelmores is definitely not all work and no play. Be it sports or volunteering there is something for everyone.
I have been out on a number of rides with the @Michelmores Cycle Network | Michelmores and this has been a great way to meet other people across the Firm and start to develop relationships with clients too. I have also written about keeping up with hobbies and the great number of opportunities to do this at Michelmores @Keeping the wheels spinning: How to stay motivated with hobbies once you start work | Michelmores, so check it out for some inspiration.
4. Set realistic expectations
When you start your training contract you will be a first seat trainee. You might be the best thing to happen to your Firm since sliced bread, but the reality is you are still at the start of your journey.
Adjust your expectations accordingly. This does not mean that you cannot be excellent it just means that you need to think about what excellent means. Realistically it will mean learning as much as you can and taking feedback on board and not necessarily getting everything right first-time round (there is a reason you do not go straight from trainee to partner). That being said, the Firm is extremely supportive of trainees and encourages innovative ideas from the outset.
5. Have fun
You've made it. After all of the hard work you have put in to get a training contract, it is finally time to relax and enjoy yourself too. After all, you've earned it.