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Career wellbeing: How to create boundaries on social media

Social media is full of valuable content to help you on your path to becoming a lawyer. How can you benefit from this online community, whilst remembering to look after your own wellbeing?

In recent years, and particularly this year, the legal sector has seen a significant rise in the number of people running social media accounts which focus on studying and careers. Sometimes these accounts gain enough followers to enter ‘legal influencer’ territory.

You might have an account like this – or you might use platforms like LinkedIn or Instagram to be part of the legal community (and aspiring legal community). As well as individuals, firms are starting to show up a lot more online as well, so it’s a great way to develop your knowledge and build a network – especially in this new virtual world.

At Shoosmiths, we believe that talent can come from anywhere, so we want to make information about a career in law as accessible as possible, to as wide an audience as possible. We encourage people to read our posts, watch our videos, and engage in online conversations.

However, while there are many benefits to using social media in this way, we also know that for all of us, excessive social media use isn’t good for our mental health. How can we provide value and receive value from these platforms, in a way that is helpful, not harmful?

We recently took part in a virtual event with University of Law and the Mindful Business Charter (of which Shoosmiths are signatories). You can watch Amy Leech, associate, speaking on the panel about her experiences of balancing a legal career, being active on social media, and wellbeing.

One way to find that balance is by setting some boundaries for yourself online. These are the three boundaries that Amy shared, that work for her…so give them a try and see what works for you.

1. Keep things separate. If you’re using social media to develop your career, and particularly if you are running a dedicated legal career social media account, be mindful of the line between that and your personal social media posts. This can help you to switch off from the legal / careers space when you need to as well.

2. Take time for yourself. Set yourself a time in the evening when you will stop checking your accounts. It might be helpful to think of your career account as a ‘job’ and only access it during the working week. You could also turn off notifications, so that you only check the accounts on your terms.

3. Perspective. If you’re spending a lot of time online it can be easy to think that everything is going well for everyone else, or that your career isn’t progressing in the ‘right’ way (in reality, there is no ‘right’ way!).

It’s important to remember that social media posts are often filtered or might not show the full picture, so try to focus on yourself, and not worry too much about everyone else.

Further resources:
https://www.shoosmiths.co.uk/careers/careers-early/early-careers-blog/blog/mental-wellbeing-for-trainee-solicitors-during-coronavirus
https://www.shoosmiths.co.uk/careers/careers-early/early-careers-blog/blog/dont-get-caught-up-in-comparison-culture-and-other-wellbeing-tips-for-application-season
https://www.shoosmiths.co.uk/careers/careers-early/early-careers-blog/blog/thriving-or-surviving-mental-health-in-the-workplace

Disclaimer

This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given.

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