There are many reasons that you might find yourself considering a retrain into a different area of law. Retraining can feel very daunting, particularly when the reality of being successful can feel so far away. However, it is absolutely possible to successfully retrain. If you’re firm in your decision to take your career path in a new direction, trying out these tips below may help you to reshape your legal career!
Timing is everything
No matter the circumstances that have made you decide to retrain – timing can work in your favour. You might have taken time out from your career and as you venture back into working life, a retrain may be on the cards. After a break, you may find it easier to re-enter the legal world in a new area as your experience will be relevant but less recent. Your transferrable skills have a real chance to shine here! Your options open up as firms seek out a candidate that they can shape, but who already has the relevant skills to get the job done.
It’s also possible that re-training has become an option for you due to redundancy. Though it is a scary position to be in, it’s a great time to consider challenging yourself to try something new. Who knows what doors might open for you!?
Be open to different retraining opportunities
Re-training opportunities do exist! But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will appear how you imagine them to. Some retraining opportunities that arise may include an expectation of you to manage a caseload in your current area of expertise, while managing a small caseload in the area that you’re retraining in.
For example, you may have litigation skills in personal injury and need to pick up a few RTA files while you’re navigating a new caseload of Housing Disrepair files.
Don’t be closed off to these opportunities. They’re worth considering as they might be an easier transition for you – and ultimately are still getting you closer to your retraining goal!
Identify firms with a need
While job searching for a retrain, keep an eye out for firms who are recruiting. Firms that have recruitment needs are more likely to be open to considering a range of candidates than firms that aren’t actively recruiting. Your chances of success are higher when you’re applying to firms that need to fill a role!
It’s worth noting that changes economically and across the legal landscape will impact the recruitment needs of firms. For example, as the personal injury landscape continues to change, firms are looking at different areas of litigation. These types of opportunities are a great way to utilise your skills and change direction.
Networking is a vital part of any successful legal career. Networking will help you to build good working relationships with others in the field and this may be helpful when you’re on your retraining journey. You may find a mentor who has retrained and is willing to guide and advise you through.
A top networking tip is to be specific about the events that you attend. Try to find seminars and events in the area that you’d like to retrain in. You can also attend specific events geared towards re-training. These events will be packed with useful information and advice, all while creating opportunities for you to meet other people that may be able to help.
Though you can’t rely solely on networking, it certainly is a great way to expand your network and gather knowledge.
Expand your knowledge and learning
If you’re really set on retraining, taking the time to expand your knowledge and learning is an important step to take.
Researching and self-studying your preferred specialism will keep you up to date on current matters. This will help you to better understand how you might approach this type of work, and have a wider picture view on matters concerning this area of law.
You can also find certifications and courses to complete in your spare time. Doing this may put you ahead of other candidates without such certifications. You should bare in mind that courses like this often cost money and aren’t cheap – so you should only do this if you are in the position to and are 100% confident in your decision to re-train.
Speak to a recruiter
While you’re busy doing all that you can to best position yourself for a re-training opportunity, speak to a recruiter.
Job searching is time consuming already, so speaking to a recruiter and letting them know your requirements will allow them to focus on finding you some opportunities, while you focus on developing your skills.
Recruiters build strong relationships with clients, meaning it is possible for them to reach out across their networks to see if there are any opportunities out there that you might not otherwise be able to access.
Recruiters will work hard to help you land that dream re-training role!
Retraining isn’t easy. It takes perseverance and commitment. Nothing is guaranteed but if you’re willing to adapt and put in the work – you’ll be there in no time!
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