Thursday 17th December 2019 1.55pm.

I’m sitting on the black leather sofa in the lobby of Gilton Valeo, waiting for my job interview with one of the directors.

It’s a nervous moment as I try to calm myself and rehearse in my head “Amit Maharaj, pleasure to meet you”.  As I sat there trying to concentrate on not sweating (to no avail), my mind raced imagining all the possible ways in which things might go wrong.

What if I I’m dressed wrong?

What if I lose my voice?

What if I get the hiccups?

What if I sounded too nervous to the interviewer?

What if she saw the sweat?! (She did)

As I sat there my eyes began to wander, as I looked to my left I couldn’t help but see the door to the office slightly ajar.  I had noticed this when I first walked in, but I knew it was rude to look in so I averted my eyes, I couldn’t help it at this point as the curiosity had gotten the better of me I found myself peering through the small crack in the door for a few seconds.

What I saw inside would be on my mind over the following few weeks, I would think about it constantly as I waited to hear back on whether I got the job.  I saw people walking around, I heard phones being answered, I heard typing and people talking; all the things you may expect to observe in a law office, however the more I mulled it over in my mind the more the notion of possibly working there seemed daunting. There was a big part of me which doubted my ability to be part of a professional environment in a law firm, I couldn’t see myself being able to do it. Especially due to the fact that it was focused on an area of law I that I did not have much prior knowledge on.  I even questioned if I was even cut out to ever practice law at all?  Everyone I saw in their office seemed so at ease they all knew what they were doing and they were all just going about their business totally unfazed by any of this stuff.  How would I ever get to be like that?

Almost 3 months later, in a somewhat cathartic twist from my desk today when I look to my left I can see back through the very same door of the office out onto that very same black leather sofa I was sitting on all those months prior… and things seem to be working out, although I’m still very early into my time working at GV and there is still a whole world of things to learn about Immigration Law.  I hope that I have made progress in learning to conduct myself in a professional environment and in beginning to understand the fundamentals of Immigration law.  I hope that I will continue to learn and improve every day and one day make myself into a valuable member of the team here.  I also appreciate the efforts of everyone who works here who have set a perfect example in professionalism, attention to detail and helpfulness in my process of learning about Immigration law and law firms more widely.

Self-doubt was mentally crippling at times however I can recognise that it’s essential (in small doses of course) to allow me to take on new challenges with everything I have.  It took me having to physically start working at GV, with the GV team being so helpful and patient with me and discussions with the people closest to me to realise that self-doubt is only something that impacts in me in environments which are new.  I don’t feel it on the basketball court, I don’t feel it at home, I don’t feel it when I’m out with my friends, I don’t feel it at Uni (although I did when I first started).  It makes sense right?  You only feel out of place when you haven’t been there before and when you feel out of place you begin to think it’s your fault and you lack what is necessary to make it.

But remember.

You’re fine.

You’re going to be fine.

You’ll learn and before you know it.

You’re on the other side of the door.

And with a lot of hard work and development, you will make it.