Why you shouldn’t discredit your non-legal job



Working during your time at University is as important as it is challenging. On one hand, working’s a no-brainer for many of us; quite simply, we need money to be able to survive. After all, textbooks cost money, and the coffee that fuels our studies isn’t free either.


On the other hand, sometimes it’s challenging to be working so hard for your law degree whilst spending time at a job that may not be related to the legal field that you may want to pursue a career in. However, a job in retail, hospitality, or basically any other field is just as important as a legal one, and here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t discredit your experience in these fields.


You learn communication skills


Communication skills are arguably one of the most important skills that every single person needs and uses in their everyday life. You need to be able to convey a point succinctly, with the right tone, and in a manner that the other person will understand. For lawyers, this is especially true. For example, a barrister needs to be able to communicate to a judge and jury their arguments succinctly and in a format that will be understood by the jury.


So where can you develop these communication skills? In your non-legal job!


Any job where you are working with customers or a team is improving your communication skills. Specifically, some examples of developing these skills include: communicating with a team-member of a task that needs to be done, providing a ‘hand-over’ for an incomplete task, providing instructions for a job, listening to managers and taking direction, even explaining to a customer why you can’t refund their product.


You learn how to take feedback on board


Taking feedback can be tough. It can feel like you’re being told off, or you aren’t doing a good job. For students with A-Type personalities, this can be difficult to navigate. However, taking feedback on board is a crucial element of working in any professional job, and you may be exposed to taking feedback during your non-legal job.


Learn how to work in a team


Working in a team of people who, perhaps, you wouldn’t choose to work with, or wouldn’t choose to socialise with, is a crucial skill which employers will look for in almost every situation.


In almost every non-legal job, you are working as a part of a team. Capitalise on this experience, ensure you show employers how this skill can be transferred to the legal workplace.


Learn how to balance multiple commitments


In life, you aren’t going to ever have just one sole commitment to focus on. It is important, to prepare for this, to learn time management skills and specifically, how to balance working, studying, social life, volunteering and so forth.

Learn how to prioritise your commitments, how to say no, and how to balance your work and life responsibilities. Again, this is very important to employers when they look at prospective employees.


So there you have it, with all these factors in mind, remember to make the most of your job, be it legal or non-legal, as there are so many transferrable skills and great learnings to come from your non-legal job!


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