‘Tis the season to be jolly!

As the Christmas season is now firmly upon us and merriment is in the air, NQ solicitor Caroline Deathe shares a few handy hints and reminders to ensure you enjoy your festive season without too much of a red face…or nose if we are being seasonally topical.


It will highly depend on the area you work in but the likelihood is that the run up to Christmas will be frantic and a constant foray into a game of plate spinning to meet client expectations and balance this with frequenting the festive networking events that pop up even on the Tuesdays of the week (no one likes a Tuesday).


Keeping track of my diary in Outlook in the festive period is a lifesaver. As a trainee I accepted every invitation going as I was just thrilled to be invited. Now I am an NQ, I learnt from the exhaustion and expense of trying to go to everything and realised no one can be ‘that’ social every evening of the week! I’ve picked an array of events; not just drinks and tried to see the people I have a lot of contact with and balance it with seeing people I do not come across too often.


The JLD have been running seminars about well-being and this is never more important than at the festive season when the plates are spinning and you have to balance a workload with networking and office festivities. Most firms have a standard Christmas party alongside a department lunch, Secret Santa present buffet and that is even before you’ve attended annual gatherings of friends outside of work.


I found, after one particularly hectic Christmas, that the key for me was to be realistic. I was matching the time I spent at events with dragging files home and coming into the office before the rest of the firm even awoke. I was not enjoying the events I attended as I was watching the clock and in my spare time I was worrying about getting all my work done. The year after I avoided any event aside from my work Christmas party which meant I resented missing out on the festivities and spent the run up to Christmas doing a super impression of the Grinch. The key, as ever, is balance.


Another minefield for the ones amongst us who enjoy more of a tipple at Christmas than at other times of the year is the tipping point. I am usually cautious about the amount I drink; especially at firm and client events. The acid test is to think forward to Monday morning; no one wants to be ‘that person’ who is the centre of office gossip for something they did or said whilst too inebriated.


From the Leeds JLD committee we wish you all a fabulous festive season, please keep an eye on our page for any well-being events which we are running in the New Year and we hope to see new and old faces in 2018.


And lastly, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.