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Alex Barrett

Back in 2019 while living in New Plymouth, New Zealand, I decided to pack my possessions into a solitary backpack and move to the other side of the world. Forever chasing adventure, I wanted to base myself in a city where I could soak up culture, history, museums, see live music and comedy shows whilst developing a meaningful career. London was the obvious choice.

Having never been to London before I optimistically arrived with no job, no accommodation, and almost no plans for a four-month trip around Europe with a friend. Hailing from a small regional town in New Zealand where nothing is further than a five-minute drive away, I had only been on a train once in my life. It is fair to say my eyes were opened when I landed at Heathrow after 40 hours of flights, delays, and almost no sleep.

The next four months consisted of eating pasta in Venice, sailing around the Greek islands, attending festivals in Budapest, hiking in Albania and a whole lot more in between. Looking back, I could not have been luckier to have had the trip of a lifetime before the world shut down inteational travel. Travel, like recruitment, can be all about timing.

Moving to the other side of the world has posed a few challenges along the way, toss in a pandemic and it is fair to say it has been a whirlwind. 2020 started with a ski trip to Bulgaria, and beer tasting trips in Belgium and Ireland. What was meant to be a year of hard work and weekends away exploring the UK and Europe was quickly replaced by furlough, uncertainty, and working from home.

So, after talking to candidates about how moving during a pandemic could be the best decision for their career, how did I personally feel about taking my advice? The pandemic allowed me to slow down and evaluate what I wanted out of my time in London. I pulled the trigger on a move to a specialist legal recruitment firm and could not be happier about this decision.

Starting any new job is nerve wreaking enough but chuck in remote working and a pandemic and it is a daunting prospect. A week before starting with DMJ recruitment everything I could need for my home office (dining table) was delivered alongside a thoughtful coffee package, my nerves eased. Daily team calls, coffee meetings with other employees, and regular chats with the Directors have made the transition to a new firm seamless.

If you are looking to make a move but are nervous due to lockdowns and the pandemic my advice would be to evaluate what you really want out of your career. Make a list of exactly what you are looking for on a day-to-day basis. Do you want to be challenged more? Have managerial responsibilities? Do you want clear career progression? Perhaps you are after more of a work life balance? Once you have narrowed down what you are looking for it makes the job search have more purpose and direction.

I’d also suggest choosing the right employment consultant. I feel I have valuable insight as not only do I have experience navigating the market, setting up remote interviews and onboardings for candidates, but for myself as well. If you’re looking for a new position or have one to list, consider using someone like myself who has experience both sides of the lockdown employment market coin.

I for one cannot wait to see what 2021 brings. I am looking forward to helping Lawyers move to a firm where they can thrive and help clients find the best talent in the market. Contact me today for a confidential chat at or 020 3058 8012..

Posted 19/01/2021 By Alex Barrett


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