This is a common question and an important one for all of us, particularly for anyone interested in entering the job market. It doesn’t matter what you think you want to do, every recruitment process is going to demand that you know what’s going on in the world. So how do you keep up?
I’m writing this having just sat down at my desk and gone through my news routine. I looked at the BBC news as soon as I got up. I’ve skimmed items on the Tory party conference and picked up on the failure of Monarch airlines. I’ve read about the latest rhetoric around the US / Korea “relationship”, noted the terror attack in Marseille yesterday and the violence in Catalonia. A good general roundup.
I’ve also looked at The Guardian, it’s good to get some political comment. You might chose to subscribe to a newspaper which aligns with your political beliefs or read one you don’t agree with, to understand arguments which don’t coincide with your way of thinking. This morning The Guardian has given me some more comment on the apparent cabinet splits on Brexit and on the new leader of UKIP.
Now I’m in the office I’ve carried on checking what’s happening. I subscribe to Finimize this gives me several news stories which I can read in a couple of minutes. I’ve galloped through Pirelli’s proposed IPO and the reasons for it.
I’ve also looked at City am (to which I also subscribe) and which puts news items into my inbox several times each day. Today I’ve picked up more on Brexit and the Fed Reserve actions.
Now it’s another couple of subscriptions. I looked first at Lexology which is really good for telling me which law firms are handling which matters. (Ideal if you’re trying to work out which ones to apply for, or preparing for interview).
The Lawyer is my permanent favourite for legal gossip. KWM have been in the news again recently after an employment tribunal decision. I followed that firm’s inexorable fall through The Lawyer and with mounting horror. While I was watching it fail in Europe students were still bringing me KWM applications to check. Not a good use of their time!
I finish off with Legal Week really interested in the story about general counsel calling on law firms to share the benefits of AI. One to watch I think.
Ready to start my day!
So how long has all this taken? Only a few minutes. I haven’t looked at things in depth but I have an overview of what’s happening. If I were going to apply for jobs I’d have chosen a few of these stories to follow up on and I would make sure that I kept on top of those stories to be ready for possible interviews.
This is like all routines – it might seem a bit daunting before you start but once you get going it’s quick and easy. (Note to self, maybe it would be just as easy to get used to going to the gym regularly? I’ll think about that one!) Joking aside, if you can follow a regime like this you will be well on the way to developing a rounded knowledge of what’s going on in the world which will stand you in great stead in the job market.
How do you develop from here?
Of course you can read The Economist and The Financial Times. If you’re at Warwick (and probably most other universities) you can read The Economist free through the library and you can access back copies of The FT, (not so silly as it sounds if you’re trying to really get to grips with a story!) If you’re wanting a City career then you probably do need to progress to this but get the basic knowledge first. It’s no good reading a couple of erudite articles a week and having no idea what’s happening in the world for the rest of the time.
Consider podcasts too
There are so many great news podcasts around that I’m loathe to make any particular recommendations. There’s always the BBC and I quite like some of the Huff Post items You can engage with these while you’re doing other things, walking around, sitting on the bus, waiting for a lecture to start. It needn’t impinge on your other activities.
Does this still sound difficult?
It shouldn’t. I went to university before the days of the internet and wouldn’t have dreamed of having a television in my room. I picked up the odd bit of news from the radio and periodically read a newspaper but otherwise went around in a comfortable bubble. That’s not ok in the twenty-first century. You need to be a bit more switched on!