My Journey with Serve Legal - 10/02/21 - Dan Hazell
There I was, 18 years old, looking for a part-time job for some extra cash. I'd worked in a few shops, which were useful, but I fancied something a bit more adventurous... and along came Serve Legal! Never could I have imagined where my journey with Serve Legal would take me (both literally and metaphorically!) and that nearly 5 years on, I'd still be with the company.
My first role with Serve Legal, like most, was as an auditor. Whilst I had enjoyed my previous part-time jobs and learnt plenty from them, nothing quite compares to being an auditor both in terms of enjoyment and the array of skills that you can develop whilst carrying out your duties. It really did take me everywhere; from ferry trips to Stornoway, catching planes to Shetland and Orkney, to every region of Scotland and even the hustle and bustle of London. I could absolutely never have imagined doing over 1500 audits across so many locations when I applied for the job, and winning Auditor of the Year in 2017 really was the cherry on the cake.
Alongside all the fun of seeing these new places, I learnt some really valuable skills. For me, learning how to work independently was a big one. Planning such trips and being able to adapt to challenges along the way (cancelled flights for some Orkney audits spring to mind) really does teach you a lot about yourself, and it certainly benefited my organisational skills.
Above all though, I think it was my confidence that benefited the most. Before I joined Serve Legal, I would have avoided many situations. The work, at first, put me a bit outside of my comfort zone, but with the help and support of my wonderful Area Manager (Hannah), I gained the confidence to express myself and give things a go - a lesson I have been able to apply in lots of other situations ever since.
Following on from auditing, I then was lucky enough to be offered a role as an Assistant Co-Ordinator. This involved supporting Area Managers with operations tasks - assigning audits, checking audits, supporting and training auditors - and guiding auditors through the process I had just gone through and passing on any tips and experience I had.
This gave me a taster of what it was like to work in a more senior role for the company. I was dealing with important data that was being directly used by clients, which was an amazing insight into the working world at such a young age. I was then fortunate enough to be offered an Area Manager role. I did this for over 3 years, and it was a path I am so happy I took. It helped to develop me in terms of leadership, problem solving, organisation and teamwork, all such vital skills, and I was fortunate enough to be in a position that enabled me to continue developing them.
One other aspect I benefited from is the time spent working from home. In a changing world where this has become, and likely will continue to be, increasingly common, my experience doing this has been invaluable. It perhaps took some getting used to, but I feel I learnt how best to work from home and overcame the challenges that it can sometimes involve. Regular virtual meetings, monthly in-person meetings as well as some fantastic socials meant that Serve Legal really did give me the best of both worlds.
I left my full-time role in September 2020, to go to University and pursue my goal of working within football, and already feel like I am reaping the benefits of my experiences with Serve Legal. I actually went to University immediately after school in 2016 but, combined with choosing the wrong degree, struggled a bit with the expectations at that age so didn't continue. It's been a completely different story this time around; I feel Serve Legal, and the ways I have developed as a person in my time there, played a large part in this. I feel in a far better position to express myself and to have the confidence to throw myself into situations now, helped further by the 'soft skills' I've picked up along the way.
Alongside my studies, I still work for Serve Legal as an Assistant Co-Ordinator again. The flexibility of the role, as is the case with the auditor role, really couldn't be better suited to a student. Each role I've held in the last 5 years really has been perfect for me at the time, and I'm grateful for all the great people I've worked with over the years that have made them so enjoyable. Going through the highs and lows of Serve Legal and gaining the level of exposure that it allows you is such a fantastic grounding, and I feel it will stand me in good stead for my future career.