The Three Essentials of Career Development for Legal Professionals

As professionals aim to progress their careers and take on new areas of responsibility, new skills and knowledge must be acquired. There are three essential elements which overlay career progression, whether the progression is internal to the company, or when searching for new roles and opportunities. These are taking responsibility for:

  1. Our own work
  2. The work of others
  3. The organisation in the context of its stakeholders; customers, shareholders, regulators, competitors and the community in which it operates

Each of these elements will require professionals to display new skills which previous roles may have not prepared them for.

Knowledge and skills can be acquired through a variety of channels, all which count towards CPD. Attending events, networking, reading relevant articles and attending courses all count towards professional development, and can help with career progression by addressing each of the three areas outlined above.

Taking responsibility for our own work

Individual roles will require a degree of technical capability. As a Financial Services Professional, there is a range of competencies you will be required to have in order to complete your work. These skills may be learned through a degree or professional qualification; however, there is always an obligation to keep these skills sharp. Keeping up-to-date with the latest trends will ensure you are up to speed with changes in market practice and also fill in any knowledge gaps. Courses which can help your technical capabilities include:

Taking responsibility for the work of others

In order to ensure the work of our peers, colleagues and staff is of an acceptable standard, you require two things: an understanding of the company in the broader context of product and business areas, and so-called ‘soft skills’ to work with others effectively. An understanding of the organisation can come from working across departments but also proactively learning about products, services, and functions available. Although ‘soft skills’ can come from experience, these skills can be developed by attending courses aimed at leadership and personal development, such as:

Taking responsibility for the organisation in the context of its stakeholders

Having an understanding of the strategic issues which impact the business environment is essential when increasing levels of responsibility. Topics such as: legislative change; new reporting requirements; employment law and practice; and governance are issues which will span the breadth of all companies and industries. Again, dedicated courses can help to fill these knowledge gaps:

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