I remember a saying from someone, when I was younger “you will go though at least four career changes in your life”. This may well be career change number four. From being a shop assistant, to an afterschool worker, and to my current job as an NHS professional, the idea of becoming a conveyancer has come from various influences throughout my life.
From the age of sixteen and above at school, everyone will have experienced some form of “work experience”, mine was at a quantity surveyors practice where my father worked. At that age, you never really honestly knew what you wanted to do when you became a ‘grown-up’, unless that was just me? The excitement and the knowledge and legal expertise that people displayed were, in my eyes, amazing and I decided I wanted to be a building surveyor. However, as time goes on you do your A-Levels and GNVQ and your career aspirations change again and suddenly I found myself working in a local NHS hospital, as an assistant.
The next stop was University where I studied radiography. Before I really knew it 5 years had passed, I was qualified and I was working in an NHS hospital. During those five years post-qualification I moved house twice and dealt with the same solicitor. That solicitor was so proactive, knowledgeable, and efficient in both my sales and purchases that I had the idea of joining the legal profession, especially in conveyancing, due to such a positive experience.
I realised at the beginning of 2011 that I needed to do something different, but still wanted to be helping people. I had plenty of apprehension about re-training or going back to University but, at the time, my father had taken on a distance learning course in dispute resolution in construction adjudication and my attitude changed. I thought “if he can do it so can I”. After several pieces of paper, listing the pros and cons, the main one being the increase in tuition fees, I decided to enrol on the ILEX level three units in Client care skills, Legal research, and Introduction to Law and Practice. I felt this was the best option and would give me a basic understanding of legal practice whilst, bearing in mind the current economic climate, allowing me to stay in my current role. This also gave me an opportunity to actively look for a position in a legal firm/practice which would allow me to continue with my studies and to relate the theory to practice.
I started to look for positions in the legal field, especially in residential and commercial property conveyancing but, as time went on, I realised that I was competing against law graduates for legal assistants and paralegal positions. I felt that my CV did not stand out due to lack of experience however, I gained positive feedback, encouragement, and advice from the CV and letters that I had sent out. I was looking for that one opportunity to show a firm that I am willing and enthusiastic in this field and an opportunity, to build upon the theory I was gaining by undertaking the three modules.
I was up against some stiff competition so I researched what employers wanted from their paralegals or legal assistants, especially in residential conveyancing. I looked at the feedback I had from my CV, letters and job descriptions and decided I needed to move forward so I enrolled on the BTEC Paralegal programme with Central Law Training, in residential conveyancing. The course will take take six months to complete and, upon passing; I have automatically enrolled myself onto the Specialist paralegal qualification course in residential conveyancing, this course is run with the University of the West of England, and Central Law Training.
Despite the state of the housing market and the lack of jobs I am determined to become a conveyancer and will continue looking for that elusive opportunity to become a paralegal/trainee conveyancer, being passionate and enthusiastic I am confident that I will get there.
I hope undertaking the BTEC, and Specialist paralegal course, will give me a better chance to work as a residential conveyancer. In addition, I hope to use the experience I have had as both a buyer and a seller, to enhance my skills as a conveyancer, in a law firm or practice. My job as a radiographer is clinical and helping people and I hope that in my future role, as a conveyancer, I will still be helping people, just in a different way, helping them in the smooth transition of buying and selling a property.
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