In his Third Trainee Blog, Sunny Sidhu talks about how fast his time has passed in his first three seats within the firm and passing to this fourth and final seat.
When you first start your training contract, you’re told as a new trainee that the 2 years of your training contract will fly by. This is hard to believe at first, but your perception of time quickly changes!. Those tricky first few weeks in a seat can sometimes seem to last forever as you wonder if you’ll ever get to grips with the new work – I know I certainly felt like that as I started at the firm fresh out of University. The Winter seats go quickly and as soon as you’re back from the Christmas/New Year break everyone is talking about the next seat list.
I’m now one month into my final (4th) seat and can tell you that, looking back, the time has indeed flown. One of my cohorts qualified in early November due to having ‘time to count’ and this seems to have changed the social dynamic. The fact is that things are inevitably a little more serious now as will qualify in July – I’ve found myself much more immersed in the work. My final seat in Family will be the seat I will qualify into.
So, looking back over the last couple of years, is there any advice that I would give to those due to start their training contract or already doing it?
One challenge can be finding the balance between developing yourself as a new lawyer, taking on-board all the constructive feedback and development points and endless re-writing of your draft emails, whilst maintaining confidence in your own ability and style. As someone who changed careers to become a lawyer, at times it felt like I was starting from absolute scratch and this can be hard to reconcile with expectations you may have had. No-one likes feeling like a beginner but it is particularly hard when you’ve been good at something before. But as time passes and you get more experience, confidence in your new skills grows and things start to get better again.
The 4th seat is testament to this process. By the time you’ve started afresh in a brand new team (however old team for me as I was in Family for my first seat) with completely different work for the fourth time, it feels less of a big deal and you’re better equipped to just pick things up and get stuck in. That in itself helps build confidence and it soon feels like you’re ready for the next stage.
So, if you’re a first or second or even third seat trainee and you’re thinking ‘Am I ever going to get this?’ you just need to have a little faith that the training contract is designed to take you through the process and that it all comes together in time. Which, by the way, will fly!