As you read this I will be getting on my local bus and travelling the 20 minutes from my family home into the city. I’ll probably be nervous and checking the time every two seconds and probably sweating with anxiety and overthinking. Despite having a welcome day and knowing a good few of the other people I’m starting work with, there is still a huge amount of unknown ahead of me. I’ve always, always been terrified of the unknown and this time there’s a lot more riding on it.
|Shiny new work shoes - Clarks|
Today I’m starting my two year legal traineeship. After 5 years at uni (4 years of the undergraduate law degree and 1 year of the professional legal practice course) I am finally at the culmination of all that training. And it’s pretty damn scary. There’s a lot of thoughts going through my head, all whizzing around and whipping up feelings of anxiety inside me.
Am I going to like it?
The problem with the way the Scottish law course is set up is that you have very little hands on experience unless you actively go out and seek it. I worked one day a week doing admin in a legal office for a year and also spent 2 months working for a legal firm but I still don’t know what actually working there full time with your own clients will be like. Will I enjoy it? Will it be vastly different from what I’m expecting? Will I have gone five years into a career path that in the end I won’t like? I believe this worry is the same with anything you’ve never properly done before. You can never know before you do it and the chances are, I probably will like it. I just need to throw myself into it, give it my best go and see if its for me.
The fear of ‘oh my god this is me now working full time forever more’
Now that is one scary thought. Now don’t get me wrong I have had a job since I’ve been 16 years old but there’s always been breaks in between when I’ve gone back to uni etc. It’s never seemed like such a terrifying unchanging stretch lying ahead of me. As a student we were so used to a more flexible type of living that something so rigid seems pretty terrifying in the beginning. However, I also have to admit I love a bit of routine. I’ve been brought up to work hard and that if you work hard you will be able to enjoy the life out of work that you want to believe. I’m sure I’ll get used to it at some point, I’ve put it off long enough!
What if they drop me in the deep end on day one?
No matter how much training you do, nothing can ever prepare you for real life work like actually doing it can. I’m so scared that I will sit down on my first day in my seat and they will place something in front of me and my mind will go blank. I know this is my panick-y mind going into overdrive and that they know I’m new and so will (hopefully) talk me through everything but its still a very real fear. I need to remember however that even if they do, I’m not the first one this will happen to, I have other trainees to run away to for help and that deep down, if I take a deep breath, I have the skills to work out anything put in front of me.
The ‘I’m actually an adult with a career, a pension and a life assurance scheme’ feeling
Woah thats a damn scary thought. Pensions and life assurance and bills and direct debits etc all seemed so so far away less than a year ago and now they’re all perched right in front of me staring me down. I think sometimes I forget that I’m actually 23 years old and still imagine myself to be a little 19 year old but we all have to grow up sometime.
And finally, I feel lucky.
I know a few of my very good friends are still looking for positions at the moment and I’m lucky enough to have had a place waiting for me for the past two years. It’s been nice having that security throughout my final exams, my dissertation, my legal practice course and my part time work and travelling. I am someone who feels most comfortable with a plan and the security has alleviated a lot of extra worrying I could have done. I am looking ahead to the next two years within a great, well respected and varied Scottish firm and have many opportunities ahead of me. So despite all the above worries and fears (which I’m convincing myself are completely natural on first the day of a new job) I really am happy with the way things have turned out.
Ultimately, I know I will feel better once the first day has passed, the first day jitters have worn off and the unknown becomes a bit more familiar. I know I’ll reach that point of actually believing I can do it but I’ve just got to battle through today first!
, by laurakathren