For someone who has dreamed of a career in law since I was 6 (I thank Judge Judy for that) starting my training contract was an exciting but daunting prospect. During my first seat I have learnt that taking care of yourself is key element to being a successful trainee. Here are some tips on how to boost your wellbeing as a trainee:
1. Make the most of what your firm has to offer:
We are lucky with the resources available to us at Ashfords. For those of us that like to stretch out and be active in our down time we have the option to go to the gym or attend classes such as yoga or Stretch & Tone before, during or after our working day. If you prefer to kick back and relax, beauty treatments, haircuts and sports massages are also available.
New initiatives such as the recent wellbeing day where employees were able to cuddle puppies and pamper themselves emphasises the commitment Ashfords has to improving their employees wellbeing.
2. Talk to other trainees
An important piece of advice provided to me on my first day was to make sure you treat your fellow trainees as your allies and not your competition. Making close connections with people who are going through the same experiences as you, or in the case of second years have been there already, is invaluable. You soon learn that those small issues that cause concern are completely normal.
I also encourage you to speak to your supervisors and any recently qualified solicitors in your department openly and honestly - they are humans too who still recall the feeling of being a trainee.
3. Do more of what makes you happy
Whether that be socialising, exercising (all those feel good endorphins!), reading, singing, horse riding or watching a film it is important to find time for what you enjoy.
As part of the wellbeing initiative Ashfords are encouraging employees to focus on having that all important work / life balance as cliché as that might sound. A good work / life balance has been shown to lead to better productivity when you are in the office which can only make you a better trainee.
4. Step back
Don't be afraid to take a break from a challenging task, even if it is just 10 minutes to grab a coffee and vent to a colleague, it gives you time to put everything in perspective and allows you to return to work with 'fresh eyes'.