Our Question Time campaign answers common queries raised by Howard Kennedy Trainee candidates. So here's the inside scoop!
The key to doing well in each seat is to be diligent, helpful and don't be afraid to ask questions.
Each seat is different and everyone's experiences will be different. Given the broad range of work in each department, you will encounter new tasks throughout the training contract. You won't know a lot of things and you're not expected to be good at everything first time round. However, there are certain things that trainees can do (and supervisors like) to do well at every seat.
1) Take a pen and paper everywhere. You will often have a list of things to do for different fee-earners and no matter how good your memory may be, small details are easily forgotten, especially when you have to juggle multiple tasks.
2) Just ask. There will inevitably be a time when you don't know the answer to something and no matter how much you think and research, you just don't know. It is also very possible that you were not given all the information when you received instructions. If you can't find the answer on your own, ask someone - whether it be the fee-earner giving you work, another fee-earner or a fellow trainee. This is even more important if there is a tight deadline.
3) Be willing to learn and take on work. Be enthusiastic and show willingness to take on new tasks, even if you are not familiar with them and are busy. There will inevitably be times when you will get repetitive or long tasks but do still take care when doing them. If you are known to be willing, people will also come to you with more and interesting work.
All in all, your attitude and approach to work is key to your success in each seat. Be diligent, helpful and don't be afraid to ask questions. Each task you do may be small but it will go towards building your reputation within the firm as well as helping you grow. No-one will blame you for asking a genuine question.
Don't miss next week's blog on trainee responsibility and support structures.