Navigating the transition from articles to associate and beyond can be treacherous. You know enough to know that you don't know everything, yet your clients expect an expert. You are no longer just pushing process and assisting senior professionals. Now you drive the matter, assess risks and make hard decisions.
"We want people who work well in a high performance culture," said the headhunter. My heart sank.
One day I am going to set up a recruitment business and, when I do, this will be a typical role specification:
"This role requires patience, some courage and an indigestion remedy. The brand suggests a highly successful and well organised business; but frankly the reality is something you can probably work out for yourself. There is too much work, a pretty ordinary infrastructure and the same shit happens most days. That said the team is good; they're nice people, working hard with a little bit of gallows humour. If you can get past working on an industrial estate, with no car park spaces after 8:30am and the sort of IT that would have shamed the owner of an Albanian cyber cafe in 2003, then you'll be fine. There is a bit of management nonsense, but not too much; although you will have to work hard not to lose it with your boss when he bangs on about A.I. at the umpteenth conference he will speak at this year. Overall it's not so bad and worth considering for the next three years of your working life...".
Everyone experiences a rut in their professional careers. Some experience several. Most often this occurs when we complete a particular goal, have been passed-over for promotion, find ourselves in an organisational restructuring or become proficient at a particular skill-set. Whatever the reason, we seem to unwittingly plummet into this rut and, like our moon-crater- size pot holes in Johannesburg, we misjudge its true depth and severity on our psyche.
Some suggestions for law firms to make the lives of CAs easier
1. Ensure that CA's are granted sufficient study leave and provide them with support structures to assist with the board exams, including the payment and presentation of additional lectures, providing past papers and encouraging them to write all board exams at once so that they have sufficient time during articles to re- write any exams they might fail on the first attempt.
The Class of 2011: Amy Armstrong, Leo Boonzaier, Martin Fischer, Simone Fourie, Piet Olivier.
The Class of 2011: Pauli du Toit (née Carshagen), Ailene Ferns, Monica Louro, Maryke Marais (née Du Toit), Remay Olivier, Marina van Rooyen (née Viljoen), Veruschka Vergottini.
The Class of 2011: Mandy Claassens, Haydn de Boer, Eden Esterhuizen, Daimon Stockl, Anton van Loggerenberg.
Howard College Campus
The Class of 2011: Sihle Bulose, Greig Campbell, Sboniso Cibane, Kriska-Leila Goolabjith, Tatum Govender, Stephne Kleinloog, Prathik Mohanlall, Terusha Ramchund, Philip Thompson, Caitlin van Rensburg.
The Class of 2011: Melissa Colyn (née Welgemoed), Melanie Leitch, Michelle Morgan, Julie Ynes Ada Tchoukou.
The Class of 2011: Nikita Culhane, Rina de Klerk (née Clarke), Chazanne Grobler, Sarah McGibbon, Leani Nortje, Michelle Opperman.
The Class of 2011: Nicole Abbott, Philippa Bruyns, Raul Dimitriu, Gugulethu Bonga (née Ncube), Christopher Quinn.
The Class of 2011: Hugo Murray, Misha Post, Dean Rose, Constant van der Merwe, Elsabé van der Sidje, Sanmarie van Deventer (née Muller), Wilhelm Wittman.
The Class of 2011: Jonathan Cogger, Ashleigh Graham, Cecelia Kok, Paola Macchelli, Shannon Neill, Andrew Russell, Dominique Saayman, Michael Spargo, Hannah Scalco (née Steen- Stenersen), Philip Williams.
It was TV that prompted Ophellia to study law. "Watching lawyers in court on television and listening to the interesting language they used by lawyers thrilled me and gave me the desire to be a lawyer too."