What is it like to join a family law firm in lockdown?

As the UK entered lockdown on 20 March 2020, Jess Richards was preparing to join Stowe Family Law as a Solicitor at its office in Bristol. 

So, what is it like to start a new job during a lockdown?

Normally starting a new job involves an onboarding process – or at least someone showing you the toilets and the communal kitchen. 

But just as COVID-19 has disrupted almost every aspect of our lives, it has left those people who happen to have changed jobs in recent weeks with a virtual induction to their new role and colleagues. 

Jess explains her experience starting a new job in lockdown…

From the moment I spoke with the Talent Acquisition Team at Stowe, I knew it would be a great place to work. 

Following an interview with the Bristol Office Managing Partner, Jemma and meeting the rest of the team, I knew this is where I wanted to be, so I was really pleased to receive an offer.

Unfortunately, a week before I was due to start we went into lockdown and our world was turned upside down. I must admit I found it daunting starting a job in this ‘new’ (anything but) normal. 

Starting a new role in lockdown

Thankfully, my fears were unfounded as I joined a very supportive team. I received daily calls from my new team in Bristol, from HR, the Talent Acquisition Team and from IT, who all made me feel welcomed and reassured.

All my IT equipment arrived prior to my start date and it was all set up and ready to go. I just had to log-in. A much smoother start than I have had in other jobs.  IT called me shortly after it arrived to check if I had any questions. It was so helpful to have such a high level of support right from the start.

On my first day, I was concerned that I may feel isolated but I can honestly say that there was nothing to worry about. I was made to feel really welcome. I received messages and calls from people across the firm and I felt settled very quickly. 

My onboarding was well organised, and HR had a full itinerary in place that took place seamlessly via video conferencing. I was greeted by smiling, friendly faces on each of the calls and every member of the Stowe team were helpful and informative.

I have now been with Stowe for 7 weeks and the level of support has been outstanding. I work in a wonderful team with some truly inspiring people, I feel very lucky to be a part of such a fantastic firm. 

Anyone considering a new role during lockdown should go for it. I feel as welcomed and supported as possible and I am enjoying working virtually with all my new colleagues. Although I am looking forward to my first after-work drinks when this lockdown is over.

Jess Richards is a Solicitor at the Stowe Family Law office in Bristol. 

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