Job Search and Career Tips: Job Skills, Networking and Personal Branding

Job Search and Career Tips: Job Skills, Networking and Personal Branding

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– Hi, everyone, I hope you’re well. My name’s Brendan Copp,
and I’m the director and founder of Brietley London, and this is episode four of
our Legal Careers Podcast. Today, what we’re talking
about is marketing and business development and I’m gonna try and give you a few tips and tricks on how you can stand out
in other ways, you know, and really sort of boost
your visibility in terms of assisting you in being more effective in your job search and that sort of thing. So, you know, I want
to start out by saying that I have never seen
more unemployed graduates and law students with, such exceptional grades. You know, it’s staggering
to think that, you know, in Brisbane in particular, there
are, you know, law students and graduates with high GPA’s of sixes and that, you know, potentially have exceptional legal minds, but just can’t find opportunities and I think that just goes
to show that you know, law now is much more
than just about grades, and your grades alone, are no longer going to be
the, you know, the entry. A massive deciding factor of course in ultimately getting a job but, they’re now not you
know, the only, you know be all and end all in
finding a job in law. So, you know, it’s now probably
more important than ever that you really sort of
find ways to add value above and beyond that. And, you know, and what I’m
talking about generally is being very commercially minded, and being able to build
relationships with people. And, you know, essentially
from a business point of view, being able to bill and to be able to, you know, find clients
and do business, you know. And I guess just to be an all round, great legal practitioner so, I think the point is you know, as a law student or a graduate you know, how do you do that? You know, grades are all you’ve got so, if you’re just starting
out in your law degree, I think, you know, it’s
really, really important now that you are getting into or trying to get into some sort of legal experience very early on. And, you know, from the time
that you start your law degree, I would be out there trying my hardest to find volunteer work and that sort of thing, to try and get some experience early on. You know, that’s gonna
make a massive difference towards the end of your degree. Towards the end of your PLT especially, and then, you know, when become admitted, your transition is going
to be a lot easier. You know, there’s, you know, and I’m sure you’ve heard
it there’s, you know, bulk amounts of students that have concentrated on
their degrees, you know, got exceptional marks,
go through their PLT, become admitted, and
just can’t find a job. And that’s because essentially,
what firms, you know, are really sort of
putting a lot of value in is a quick transition, and
being able to step into practice and get going, you know,
as quickly as possible with, you know, very
limited interruption to or effect on the resources in the firm. You know, that’s not to say of course there’s going to be
training, and development, and all that sort of thing but, I just want you to be mindful now that you need to be doing
more than just studying. So obviously getting experience is always going to be very important but, you know, don’t underestimate
how long that takes, because it does take longer
than you think and you know, sometimes it can take months and you might only get short term work, or you might get work that’s not really in the practice area you’re passionate about, and you know, and all those sorts of things, and you know, at Uni you might find a job and then it might not
fit with your time table, so, you know, it can be very sort of, it can chop and change a lot just depending on how you study time table and things like that. But, I want you to be mindful, go for experience as quickly and as early as you can in your legal degree, and look for opportunities everywhere. And you know, yes, more than likely that’s
going to be volunteer in the early stages, because, you know, you don’t have any experience and, you know, reluctantly
firms, you know, most don’t have the
resources to be able to pay and train you at that sort of early, sort of, entry level. Now the other thing I want you
to sort of really be mindful is to start in networking
really early as well. So, you know, you should be on LinkedIn, and you should be really
trying to build a presence, you know, as quickly as possible. And, you know, no one’s
expecting you to go out there and be some sort of, you know, amazing, sort of, you know,
business development, you know, building relationships with, you know, all sorts of businesses and
clients and that sort of thing. I’m just really more talking about showing that your sort of active on, you know, LinkedIn’s probably the
most important place. So being active on LinkedIn, engaging with the industry, engaging with you know, different industry
networking events and groups. And just in general, being a part you know, in putting yourself
into as much as possible you know, in terms of, you know, what’s happening with the
industry and you know, and just making sure that you sort of are starting to, you
know, to a certain extent, build your name and build your presence. And, you know, like I said, at the start it’s not gonna
sort of be any big great way, but you need to get sort
of used to being able to talk to people and put
yourself in situations where you’re developing relationships and that sort of thing. Now in terms of business development and marketing in LinkedIn. You know, primarily
that’s where you’re gonna be putting your time in, you know, for your online, sort of, marketing and business development if it fits. Don’t get I guess caught
up in only networking with other lawyers and
legal professionals. Yes that’s gonna be great from the point of view of you know, making yourself known within the industry and you know, the legal industry, but, you know, don’t
miss out on opportunities to start to build
relationships with other people in other industries and so, you know, there’s a lot of adjacent industries that work in really well with legal that, you know, you can really get value out of those networks as well. You know, and I’m talking about professional service
industries like accounting and things like that. So, reach out to you
know, different industries and start to sort of, build
those networks as well. You’re not gonna get the value
from, you know, in terms of, you know, jobs and that
sort of thing necessarily. I mean you may, because you know, a lot of for example accounting firms and large firms like that, are starting to have in house sort of, you know, in house sort of teams. So you very well may find opportunities in networking with professional industries like accounting, financial
services, and things like that. But, you know, it’s also
good from the point of view that you’re going to
start to build, you know, and if you’re a bit younger for example and you’re going through University. You know, and you’re networking
with other like-minded you know, sort of individuals. You know, for an example like accountants and things like that. You know, they’re also going to be sort of going through their degrees and one day they’re gonna be accountants
in firms and you know, you’re going to be a lawyer in a firm. And you’re gonna be able to start to build your sort of your referral
base of business so. You know, think about that very early on because you know, there’s
two sides, like I said, there’s the side about
networking with lawyers and other, you know, organizations and bodies within the legal industry, but don’t negate the fact
of building up relationships in other industries because that will also become very valuable And, you know, there’s no point getting four years down the
track and then starting to you know, build a better referral base or network outside of legal, start doing it straight away. Like, there’s nothing
stopping you from networking with other industries that, you know, that could perhaps assist you one day or help you know, essentially
could turn into a client base or a referral base of
some sort in the future. So, be mindful of that as well. And you know, I think this leads me to how I started out by saying that it’s just all about I think finding ways to add value in addition to your academics
and your legal skills and you know, firms, you know, are putting a more
increasingly big focus on you know, people that
are commercially minded. And you know, start to
learn a bit about you know, the commercial aspects
of a firm and you know, and how they operate, and you know understand that you know, we’re all in our
businesses to make profit. That’s how we pay the
bills essentially so, you know, be mindful
of the bigger picture, and not so necessarily
self-centered on just you and what you’re doing. So, you know, if you’re
sort of getting experience in firms, you know, early on then by all means start to
take an interest in things like the marketing and the
business and development, and sort of understand a little bit more of those other sides of
the business that you know, perhaps, you know, aren’t
traditionally something that perhaps, you know, a graduate lawyer or an early career lawyer
might sort of be involved in because, you know, once again, just concentrate on
building your skill set in as many sort of
relevant fields as possible because it’s all gonna help you. So, you know, I essentially, you know, just to summarize what
would be out their now would be sort of like I said going out, getting experience early on in my degree. You have, once I find a volunteer, after I found volunteer
experience I’d be in a law firm. You know, I’d be obviously
trying, you know, my hardest to build my
legal technical skills. But in addition to that, I’d be taking a big
interest in the marketing and the business development, and learning all those
skills really early on to sort of increase my overall skills as a I
guess a legal professional. So, by all means, do that. I think that’s a really, really,
smart thing that you can do to really help you stand out
from the crowd, you know, because you don’t want to
get the end of your degree. You don’t want to be
in the situation where you’re a graduate lawyer and
you don’t have any experience or you have limited experience. And, adding on to that, you don’t want to be
in the situation where you might have some legal experience, but, you know, there’s now sort of, other people coming
through that, you know, understand business
development, and marketing, and client relationships,
and have got networks with you know, like I said,
adjacent industries. And whether that’s accounting,
or financial services, or who knows you know. You wanna make sure that
you’re at the top run of that and you’ve got exposure across, you know, all those sorts of areas because it’s really gonna help you, and you know, so just always
in the back of your mind be thinking about how do
I add value to a firm? How do I really sort of
bolster my skill set? How do I become, you know, a really good all rounded legal graduate? And that’s by, you know, having great academics
from your law degree. It’s from having really, sort of, a really, you know, start
to understand you know, sort of the commercial aspects of a firm and the marketing, the
business development. And you know, and you
also want to be starting to build out your networks in other areas apart from law so, you know. Get involved, you know of
course do well if you study, but get involved with the industry and get involved with other
industries and you’ll find that the transition will be a lot easier going from graduate, to PLT
student, to actual lawyer. So, I hope that helps.

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