My name is Kate Springhall and I am a Finance Assistant at Jackons Law Firm.
After I finished my degree, I was unsure about the opportunities that would be out there for new graduates due to Covid-19. I had applied for the role of accounts assistant at the firm just before lockdown started. I thought the role would present exciting new challenges, when it came to accounting and finance, due to solicitors having a different set of accounting standards that I had not had much exposure too previously. However, I did not anticipate the challenges that Covid-19 would bring to the work place.
With the current pandemic, there is so much uncertainty regarding the security of job roles and how companies would continue to work through these unprecedented times. I was offered the position at Jacksons and started on the 26th May. Fortunately, by then some restrictions had relaxed, and people had started to go back into work which meant I could come into the workplace to start training.
Naturally, I was excited about joining the firm, but I was also nervous about starting a new job in the middle of a global health pandemic. I had spent the last 10 weeks of lockdown at home finishing my degree with not much knowledge of what was going on in the workplace.
Walking into an almost empty office on my first day was a little strange and having a tour of the office with no people in it felt unusual, but within my first week I had met all my team and some of the firm’s partners. I really enjoyed my first week and found the working environment quite normal despite the Covid-19 restrictions. The finance team already had established a daily routine that would help them gain some form of normality in these uncertain times. There were morning meetings every day, using Microsoft Teams. This allowed everyone to touch base and gave me the opportunity to keep in contact with my team members who were working remotely. This was great, as I got to know my new colleagues and and started to build relationships with them, even when they were not in the office. There was no need to be nervous about the Covid-19 rules at Jacksons, the accounts team had adapted so well to the new restrictions. There were rotas for people being in the office in order to adhere to the 2-meter social distancing rules and had all the relevant PPE that all the staff would need.
It was obviously a lot different starting a job during this time than it would have been starting a job during ‘normal times’. However, I believe this has allowed me more exposure to the different tasks within the team sooner than I would have otherwise.
I am into my second month now, and more and more people are returning to the office and it is really nice to be able to put faces to the names of people who I have been emailing for the last few weeks. Safety measures and social distancing rules are still in place at Jacksons, and although I was not at the firm prior to the pandemic, it does feel like it is getting back to its new version of normality.