Candidate 1 is extremely talented. She has worked as a paralegal at multiple top law firms. She is personable, hard-working and dedicated to a career in commercial law. And yet, for the past three years, she has failed to secure a training contract.
Candidate 2 is new to the process. He likes the idea of becoming a commercial lawyer, but he doesn’t really understand what they do. In his first round of applications, he secures a vacation scheme, which he converts into a training contract.
The truth is that not everyone who secures a training contract is the most deserving.
Equally, if you fail to secure a training contract, it’s not necessarily true that you are not ‘good enough’.
– whether the partner in your interview likes you
– whether you are asked questions that best show your strengths
– whether your interview followed 12 exceptionally strong interviews that day
– whether external events interferes with the application process
Now, if luck plays such a substantial role, if events outside your control can determine the outcome, is there any point?
Leave the stuff you can’t control.
What you can control is whether you’re exceptionally prepared, whether you persist, whether you know how to sell yourself, and whether you know your worth.
Do that and you’ll impress, even when luck isn’t on your side. And the more you keep going, the more likely it is that you’ll find a firm that appreciates you for you.
As Cal Newport says, be ‘so good they can’t ignore you’.