What do firms wish you knew before you started Articles?

Are you preparing for an interview for your Articles? Are you waiting to start your Articles?

There are so many things that you want to know about your future journey. What will they expect from you? What will it be like? From the firm’s perspective, there are things they’d love you to know before you walk into the door. Things that will help you add value to their firm as soon as possible.

I’ve created an online course to discuss stuff that firms wish trainees knew before they started.

  • Video content (3 hours)
  • Three month access
  • R450 once-off payment
  • Add the course to your CV

How can this help you if you're prepping for an interview?

Interviewers already know your ‘details’. (Background, academic and work history etc), from your CV. When they meet with you, they want to know more about you, to identify whether you’ll add value to their firm. Will you be able to meet their expectations? Do you understand what’s in store for you? Are you likely to be capable of the work and challenges? 

The best way to assess this is to talk to you. Often, they’re not ‘formal’ questions, but rather a conversation to get to know you. They want to know if you take initiative, have emotional maturity, would present well to their clients, add value to their staff teams, don’t have entitlement issues, are prepared to work hard, and be a pleasure to work with. 

Researching the firm is always a must. Knowing more about articles and what firms expect gives you an added competitive edge. 

  • The course contents can give you discussion points for the interview. (You know that horrible moment when they ask “Do you have any comments or questions?”)
  • Even mentioning that you’ve done the course can be valuable, as it lets them know that you’re keen to learn as much as possible about your new journey.
  • Some of the contents may come up in your interview, and you’ll be better placed to discuss it.

There’s nothing worse than walking into an interview and only having one thing to discuss “What is the salary, and what are the hours?!” You want to feel prepared, understand the context, environment, see the firms’ perspective. This will make your interview more insightful, make you feel more prepared, and create a great impression of your initiative and desire to learn.

How can this help you if you're waiting to start Articles?

You’ve got the job! Well done! 

Now, you can focus on how to make sure you’re as prepared as possible for Day 1. Yes, this means new shoes! (ALWAYS a good thing!). But what can you do to make sure that your first day, and every day after that, adds value to the firm. Knowing what to expect is really helpful. 

There will be a lot of training, but a lot of it is around systems, processes, how to DO the work. The issues I cover are often things that people somehow expect you to know, but don’t really tell you. A lot of it is ‘unspoken’.

There is a lot of frustration in articles. Everyone struggles with it, and sometimes, it comes from not being aware of how things work, why people do the things they do, and the objectives and motives of the person on the other side of the table.

This is why I’m here!

What does the course cover?

You can see the full contents here

Some topics I cover:

  • Salaries and related issues
    • Billable hours
    • Overtime
    • Study leave
  • Skills you should start with
    • Communication skills
    • Organisational culture
    • Entitlement
    • Dress codes
    • Dealing with frustrations
  • Concepts you should be aware of
    • Socialising at work
    • Team vs family
    • Clients see the firm, not you
    • Networks
    • Dealing with criticism
  • This isn’t the same as studying
    • No exams (yay!) BUT
    • 50% isn’t a pass!
    • No lectures, repetition, or notes!
    • Your seniors aren’t ‘teachers’
    • Asking questions