Being an eighteen-year-old fresh out of A levels, and with limited real working experience, I found myself thinking that I had similarly limited options in how to approach the working world to fund my forthcoming gap year. As I have seen first-hand, young people in similar situations to mine tend to default to extensive hours of their summer, performing monotonous hospitality or retail roles. Yet now, time at legal head-hunters Fides Search has wholly challenged my preconceived belief of that being the best way forward. Despite some traditional student-suited jobs perhaps presenting pros in facilitating the continued laissez-faire attitudes of many school graduates, this article will explain why the former is exponentially outweighed by the possibilities presented by an early experience in executive search. While student-orientated jobs certainly allow for this more carefree transition into adulthood, with responsibility and commitment still relatively low, simply being aware of the plethora of options available within, around and moving on from executive search could be abundantly beneficial for a range of people in a variety of situations. Whether it be other students such as me with a keen eye on the legal sphere, those seeking to make their travels possible or young adults simply pursuing meaningful employment – employers such as Fides do provide unparalleled opportunities for personal and professional growth.
My own experience…
The industry: To fully appreciate the potential of an early career in legal executive search, it’s essential to understand the multifaceted nature of this industry. At its core, executive search involves identifying and recruiting top-tier talent for a diverse range of practices and positions, usually within law firms or in-house. It’s a field where success hinges on the ability to connect with people, understand their aspirations, and match them with opportunities that align with their skills and ambitions. Ultimately, this integrates a recruitment model with the legal world and thus demands those within the legal executive search to develop into founts of knowledge for various practices and the broader business dynamic of firms, partners, and associates.
What did I learn?
Alongside simply getting real-life experience working full-time for numerous months, my tenure at Fides taught me the criticality of a cohesive company – integrating different roles and providing different functions as efficiently as possible. I became well accustomed to the requirement for rapid responses and communication across the teams at Fides to reach this desired efficiency. Similarly, I had to quickly learn the right way to communicate with clients and candidates to instil the trust that is the foundation of Fides’ work and develop deeper relationships than the face-value headhunting process does. In turn, this showed me the importance of a network, as in particular the consultants at Fides that had developed an extensive professional network seamlessly navigated new and potential opportunities by being able to put the right people together. More specifically, I became increasingly comfortable with the legal and executive search worlds; the structures, goals, models, and dynamics that drive law firms forward and how that slot into recruitment – truly being able to understand what respective parties want.
How will this help my journey?
In terms of how this period of work will impact my future trajectory, it is important to consider both the short-term head-start that Fides has offered me in facilitating my travels (being able to get out and see the world before most of my peers) and also the longer term benefits I will have in a leg up into the wider corporate and specific legal spheres. My interest having already been piqued by law, the Fides experience has provided me with invaluable insight into the everyday working lives and communications of a lawyer, along with a deeper understanding of common aspirations and driving factors behind career decisions, potentially allowing me to pave my future way more in a more self-assured manner than those in similar shoes. Generally speaking, for my journey, I learnt that whilst there’s a plethora of professions which do provide short-term sanctuaries for those seeking to start new chapters travelling across the globe, there are just as many exceedingly more beneficial opportunities in industries like executive search offering long term leg ups into the legal and wider working world. Now as I look forward to new Asian-Pacific adventures and opportunities, I can look back at Fides fondly – knowing that at 18 I’ve already found a truly fulfilling profession on which my future self could choose to capitalise.
What can you glean from this experience?
From my early experience in the legal executive search industry, it’s clear that you can gain valuable insights and skills that can benefit you in various ways. Here’s what I’ve gleaned from my experience:
It’s a Multifaceted Industry: You can understand that the legal executive search industry is multifaceted and goes beyond just recruiting. It involves connecting with people, understanding their career aspirations, and aligning them with suitable opportunities. This knowledge can be applied to various industries, not just legal, as the skills of connecting people with opportunities are transferable.
Efficiency and Communication: My experience has highlighted the importance of efficiency and effective communication within a company. Learning to work cohesively with different teams and rapidly responding to clients and candidates are skills that are valuable in any workplace.
Building Trust and Relationships: In the executive search field, trust is paramount. I’ve learned the significance of building trust with clients and candidates, which is a crucial skill in any professional setting. Building and maintaining strong relationships can open doors and lead to future opportunities.
Networking: I’ve seen firsthand the power of having a professional network. Professionals in executive search often thrive because of their extensive networks. Networking is a valuable skill for personal and professional growth, as it can lead to opportunities and collaborations.
Understanding the Legal World: exposure to the legal world through this experience has given me a deeper understanding of the legal profession, its structures, goals, and dynamics. This knowledge can be beneficial if I decide to pursue a career in law or any field related to the legal industry.
Fulfilling Profession: I’ve discovered a fulfilling profession at a young age, which is a valuable insight. Many people spend years searching for a career that truly resonates with them. Knowing that I’ve found a profession I enjoy has provided a sense of purpose and direction in my future endeavours.
Overall, my early experience in the legal executive search industry has equipped me with a set of skills and knowledge that can benefit me in various career paths. It has also given me a head start in terms of understanding the legal and corporate worlds, which can be a valuable asset as I continue my journey.