It’s the feeling that someone’s investing in my career.
That was the response when I spoke to one of our Reignite Academy candidates recently, when asking what motivated her to make the leap and return to private practice.
She’s absolutely right, our law firm partners are very much invested in making this programme work. Why? Because they see this as a great way of attracting back experienced, talented women. Women they know they probably lost along the way.
And it’s not simply an attitude of mind. Here are the practical ways in which firms are investing to help you get your career back on track:
Supporting your return to work
- Partners identify real roles in practice areas where there is work to be done, since this is the surest way to make sure people get the right level of experience. Not only that, they pay candidates the market rate for that work. This means that your value is recognised from day one.
- Practice group leaders and partners invest their own time to to help make sure you succeed. Everyone wants this to be a success.
- You have four one to one sessions with an executive coach. Our coaches are fully qualified and have years of experience working with people making a transition from one role to another. Or from not working to be being back in the thick of it. They know what sort of challenges you’re likely to meet and overcome.
- You start with a cohort of other Reignite Associates. This means that even if you’re the only person going into your particular firm, you’re not alone. One of the first things the cohort usually does is set up a Whats App group and they provide each other with practical and moral support during the six months and beyond.
- We deliver our own training, three times during the programme. The law firms sort out the legal and technical training. Where we come in is on the “soft skills” side of things. Setting boundaries, time management, creativity, networking, stakeholder management, that sort of thing.
- We help you break the six months down into manageable chunks of time. The first period is about settling in and getting back up to speed, the second is time to focus more on the work and proving yourself and the third is when you can think about securing a permanent role. As a result, you will maximise the benefits of it being a six month programme.
- Finally, since we will soon be on our third cohort, you will have access to the support, advice and stories of the people who have gone before you. Trust us, they are an inspiration.
Reed Smith and Reignite have continued to provide me with the tools to upskill, retrain and gain the confidence and network to build my own practice area. (Reignite Associate)