Career development: How to advance your career in uncertain times

Career development: How to advance your career in uncertain times


In June and July this year, we have been delighted to support junior in-house counsel from multiple organisations and help them to succeed in their roles through our virtual Aspire summer sessions, in partnership with F-LEX.

This unique series of events is designed to provide you a platform to:

  • Connect with like-minded peers at the early stages of their in-house legal career
  • Hear invaluable insights from senior counsel on career advice during these uncertain times and,
  • Discover how best to support your organisation as the coronavirus pandemic unfolds

Click  here to understand more and to sign-up to our future sessions.

Last week, on Thursday 2nd July, our event focussed around personal and career development where various in-house counsel provided tips on how develop and advance your career during the pandemic.


Poll insights


As part of the sessions, we ask the attendees a series of questions to gauge the overall response and sentiment of the group. In the Covid-19 sessions, some key insights from our session were:

  • 48% of young lawyers said they felt their organisation was ‘quite prepared’ for a pandemic. 38% said they ‘were very prepared’, and 14% said they were ‘not at all prepared’.
  • 45% of respondents said they were ‘quite involved’ in their organisation’s response to Covid-19, 9% said they were ‘very involved’ and 36% said they were ‘barely involved’
  • An overwhelming 60% of event attendees said that the amount of legal advice or guidance that the business has sought from them during Covid-19 had increased

More notable insights from our recent session on career development included:



[Q. When thinking about career development, do you have:]



[Q. What do you find most challenging about career development?]



[Q. Which word springs to mind when you think of career development?]


One senior counsel and panel member gave her thoughts on the importance mentoring for personal career development:

“Developing a career is investing in yourself. We talk about development as if it’s filling a gap we don’t have. I think the best mentors tap into who you really are—because we’re all diverse, and people like to do different things.
A legal career offers you the ability to lead with your strengths. You don’t have to everything well. […] Knowing your weakness is a good thing because it makes you a good leader!
[…] A lot of people see mentoring as something only junior people do, but the fact of the matter is, very senior people have mentors at every stage of their career, because the one thing you can be guaranteed is that change will happen, you will need to adjust and you need help. Tapping into that early is absolutely the right thing.”


Further reading


Junior lawyer toolkit as part of our In-house Advisor LexisPSL module (fill in the trial form below this article if you're not a current subscriber)

Career progression planning – useful checklists on personal development planning

Competency Framework framework 'how to guides' content including self-assessment checklists for all levels of legal counsel

See full details of our In-House Advisor module here


Not a current LexisPSL subscriber? Use the trial form below to understand more.



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About the author:

Amy is an established writer and researcher, having contributed to publications, such as The Law Society, LPM, City A.M. and Financial IT. Her role at LexisNexis UK involved leading content and thought leadership, as well as writing research reports, including "The Bellwether Report 2020, Covid-19: The next chapter" and "Are medium-sized firms the change-makers in legal?"