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Plan a successful 2019 – reflect on the past to prepare for the future

Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

Whether you’re taking time off over Christmas to enjoy the last few days of 2018 or are already looking ahead to what 2019 will bring, the end of the year is the ideal time to pause and think. We’ve looked back at some of the highs and lows of the year, to help you reflect on what’s gone well for you this year. We’ve also included a round-up of our most helpful blogs from this year, so that you can plan ahead and get 2019 off to a successful start. 

2018 in review

The start of 2018 was a difficult time for legal professionals who specialise in personal injury, thanks to uncertainty over the so-called ‘whiplash reforms’. Over the summer, it was announced that the reforms would be pushed back to April 2020

The knock-on effect has been really positive and we’ve seen the number of personal injury job vacancies rise. Firms have a clearer picture of what will happen over the coming year or so, which has meant they are more open to recruiting staff to handle the workload, rather than slowing down operations. And for legal professionals who specialise in personal injury, it has meant greater job security until the spring of 2020. 

If you are just starting a personal injury role, or you’re taking up any kind of new position in January, then you’ll want to make a good impression. Looking back on the year can help you plan for the future and in September we published our tips for those who are about to start a new role in law. We hope that it helps you make the start of 2019 the best start to a year in your career. 

The job market for legal professionals

Whether you are just starting a new legal job or have been in a role for years, the legal sector is certainly healthy. Across the industry, there’s often talk of skill shortages, which at first does appear to be a negative. Indeed, in our own research, conveyancing is highlighted as being an area lacking in specialists.

From an employee’s point of view, it means the demand for legal professionals is on the rise. Lots of clients needing advice means that firms need professionals to meet demand and across the year we’ve been kept busy placing everything from Legal Secretaries to Partners. In fact, at the end of November the number of registered solicitors hit 192, 516, that’s nearly a 4% increase on the same time last year. And while the legal sector employs a wide variety of people – not only solicitors – it’s certainly a good indicator that the legal market is booming.

Of course, it’s not possible to reflect on 2018 without mentioning Brexit at some point! For the world of business and work, it has meant a great deal of uncertainty and the legal sector isn’t immune from that. And while the circumstances are challenging, uncertainty could actually benefit legal staff. Firms are trying to hold onto talent in the face of adversity and this means better security and prospects for employees. The CIPD found that 26% more employers are developing staff internally following the Brexit vote, which is good news for those in employment.  

To make sure 2019 is a success, the best thing that candidates can do is to plan ahead. Be sure of where you want to go in your career and look at how your firm can support you to get there. If you’re not sure whether you can see a future with your current employer our blog, ‘How to tell whether your legal job is going well or not’, will help you make a decision.

Clayton Legal is committed to your success

Our reputation rests on our ability to help you find the very best job for your skills and interests. Two of our key values are trust and relationships and we work hard to build both of these with the candidates we work with. Candidates appreciate these values and the fact that we listen to what you want to get out of a new position. 

What’s more, we also build strong relationships with our clients. This is beneficial to candidates because we have a solid understanding of the firms we work with and the vacancy on offer. By taking the time to know both parties we can successfully match applicants with their ideal role. In the short term, it means that you find the new position that you’ve been looking for, and in the long-term it gives you confidence that you’ll feel happy that your values align with the firm’s values for a long time to come. 

Candidates and Clayton Legal: success stories

From partners to paralegals, in our lifetime we’ve helped over 3,000 legal professionals find their ideal role. Our passion for legal recruitment means that we’re always seeking to improve our service so that we can help more and more professionals.

In 2018 we’ve expanded across the UK from our home base in the North West. That means we’re now able to assist candidates in all corners of the country, from London to Bristol, Manchester to Leeds.

We’ve also introduced a new service placing locums. We recognise that in 2018 there is no longer a ‘one-size-fits-all’ legal job role and we’re proud to support a wide range of professionals, who are looking for very different things from their work life, to get their ideal position.

Planning ahead to 2019

Despite challenges and minor setbacks, 2018 has been a good year for legal professionals. And while it’s helpful to look back at successes and challenges this year and determine what that might mean, it’s also key to look ahead at what the future holds. 

So, if you think that 2019 could be the year that you make a career change, we’ve put together our top five blogs from this year to help you land the role you’ve been dreaming of:

  1. Do I stay, or do I go? How to make the decision whether to stay in your current law job or leave
  2. What to leave off from your CV
  3. What is your interviewer actually looking for?
  4. Prepare, excel and get the job with our legal interview checklist
  5. The job offer – what next?

And if you’re thinking of making a fresh start with a new job in January, it’s not too late to apply! We’d be happy to discuss what you’re looking for and to get things underway ahead of the new year. 

Call us on 01772 529 121, and one of our friendly and professional legal consultants will be happy to help. 

You may also like to download our guide on How to Develop Your Legal CV.

In the meantime, we hope you have an enjoyable Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

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