Laura is a law graduate, graduated 2016 to be precise, gained employment July 2016 so only a month after completing her studies.
Her career path began in a moderately medium-sized law firm specialising in Occupational disease, as a paralegal. Not her first choice of career after university but it was a stepping stone.
Laura tells us it’s not all rosey, diving into your first potential career after University….
I studied Law at the University of Law, in Bloomsbury London. This was my first choice and was elated to find out I got accepted a place. I never wanted to live at university, and planned to commute as me and my boyfriend were planning to save for a mortgage to get our first place together.
Uni was great, I had previously studied Law at college, so I already had a good foundation of what was going on and expected of me. Also throughout this period of my life I had a part-time job working in a shoe shop in my hometown. As uni went by everything got a bit harder as to be expected, everything was exam based on my course, although that didn’t bother me too much.
I was lucky enough I knew that I wanted to be a solicitor, so I always took part in local solicitors work experience weeks, and summer schemes. I felt like I built up enough practical experience to put on my CV, as well as the academic knowledge I have gained whilst studying at university.
With all this in mind I was still saving for a place with my boyfriend and still working part-time.
I wasn’t too sure what legal field I enjoyed the most, in my work experience I dealt with a lot of Wills and Probate cases, so was only able to see one side of a possible legal career.
That all changed when I finished university and landed my first full-time role as a Paralegal for a high-street firm on occupational disease. At first it sounded so interesting from what I had already experienced, by September that same year I left.
Although I was employed as a Paralegal I was doing so much admin duties and this become very long and tiring, most days I felt bored and longed to look forward going to work.
I was lucky enough to land a job as a Legal Assistant in a law firm not far from where I already worked and it was one I had always dreamed of working for. The more I worked here the more refined my career path became, and I knew I wanted to focus on Matrimonial and Family law.
I have been here for over 6 months, and in this time me and my boyfriend have bought a place together, had our first Christmas in our new home and looking forward to a big family holiday in June together.
But in the last few months I can’t say I have been enjoying the career side, I decided not long after I moved in our house to go back to university and study LPC in order to start the process in order to become a solicitor. With permission from my work, I was granted 4 day week in order to complete my studies.
But what I believed to be my dream career was slowly becoming an ill reality, I began to have trouble at work, a simple mistake was made and I have been on weekly review since. I have developed anxiety, I never was an anxious person and always by passed worrying, but now I feel like there is an atmosphere in my department and I can’t help but always be on edge.
I dreamed of the day when I was working in retail, being able to work within a team and communicate with people rather than a string of emails, backwards and forwards not going anywhere. The drama at work has put me off the legal career as a whole, although I like my old part-time job its not a career.
Despite my educational career and my work experience, I am still so uncertain what I want to do, and with a mortgage to pay, I remain in a job where I am miserable making the search for the ‘dream job’ even harder.
Laura’s story shows the trials and tribulations of life after education, In this case, where things seem great may not be the case.
Always strive for the best, what you love, and what you actually see yourself doing.