David Chant, Langleys - My First Job
PUBLISHED: 13:34 18 December 2012 | UPDATED: 22:31 20 February 2013
David Chant, associate solicitor with York-based Langleys, argues the case for keeping your options open
What was your first job?
After leaving university in 1994 I worked as a reporter for a Blackpool-based freelance news agency selling stories to local radio stations, national newspapers and magazines.
It was a great first job. I particularly remember my interview which was held one lunchtime in a local pub. It lasted three pints and the job was mine!
What lessons did it teach you?
It taught me the skills I needed to work to tight deadlines, think on my feet and be polite in difficult circumstances.
My boss was not a particularly sensitive soul (having been the editor of a national tabloid newspaper) and would often send me to cover some quite horrific stories. I remember knocking on some doors where I was not particularly welcome.
How has your career progressed?
I left the agency after a year and worked on a weekly free paper for a while before deciding on a career change. I went back to university to study the Common Professional Exam in Law.
Id met solicitors in court during my job as a reporter and it looked like an interesting career.
I joined a mid-tier commercial firm in Leeds in 1998 and stayed with them until the summer of 2012 when I moved to Langleys in York as an associate solicitor in the dispute resolution department.
This means I deal with all aspects of commercial litigation and dispute resolution including contractual disputes, goods-in-transit claims, consumer credit, professional negligence and defamation. My job also entails defending individuals and companies against a wide range of criminal/regulatory offences including health and safety prosecutions, road traffic offences and public inquiries before the traffic commissioners.
What do you enjoy most about your job now?
I enjoy meeting people and helping them solve their problems. The dispute resolution team at Langleys is part of a busy commercial department. There is a real emphasis on teamwork here and I already feel part of the firm. I can honestly say I dont miss knocking on doors.
Whats next for you?
I have only been at Langleys for a few months so I am establishing myself at the firm and look forward to progressing my career here.
What advice would you give?
Its not always possible but try to keep your career options open as long as you can. And look for experience in different areas before finally deciding what you are going to do.