Christine Bulos knew from the very beginning the significance in making the most of opportunities present around her, regardless of downturns or global pandemics. Insights spoke to Christine about job hunting through COVID, what she did to set herself apart, and what advice she might have for new lawyers concerned about the ripple effects of global instability on their job prospects.
Education is a privilege
Law was always on the cards for Christine, whose deep passion for justice prompted her towards a legal career.
“There are various underlying reasons as to why I chose to pursue law – with the pursuit of achieving social justice being the main one,” said Christine. "I have always been very passionate about being able to stand up for those less fortunate than I, as well as being able to make my own Assyrian community proud as well."
"We are all very privileged to live in a country like Australia, which provides us all with access to education. I wanted to make the most of my situation and take advantage of the sacrifices made by my parents when they moved here from Syria, thereby ultimately prompting me to pursue an area like law."
Making a tangible positive impact
Currently, Christine works as a paralegal with a boutique law firm dealing primarily with property law and family law.
“In addition to my job, I hold various volunteering positions which together provide me with an environment that fosters great learning and growth,” explained Christine. "I really love knowing that I’m making a real, tangible positive impact on the lives of those around me, especially to those most disadvantaged and requiring assistance. I love being able to utilise my skills and knowledge to better the life of another, as in that way, I know I’m making a real difference, which is very uplifting to me.”
Staying resilient through COVID
As firms cut back on new hires and existing staff, Christine faced unusual challenges as she sought employment.
“The effects of COVID-19 on the job market made it a lot more competitive to find a job,” said Christine.
She observed this trend from the start of 2020. This prompted her to switch gears and focus instead on learning more about innovative areas such as legal technology and digital law.
"I got involved with numerous extracurricular activities and organisations both within my University, but also outside of it. I joined various Boards, undertook legal tech marketing and communications internships, delved into project management, worked with Not-For-Profit Organisations and more. Ultimately, I think the main factor that assisted me in distinguishing myself is remaining resilient and keeping an open mind – always. I try my very best to say yes to every opportunity that comes my way and to also take initiative, as you never truly know where that experience will take you."
She urged new lawyers and students to place an emphasis on personal and professional growth.
"Take initiative, be curious and always open to learning something new and different, even if it’s not directly related to law,” advised Christine. “Research into practice areas that seem of interest to you and reach out to lawyers via LinkedIn and ask to have a Zoom coffee catch-up to learn more about what they do and why! There are opportunities all around us, but one must be willing to chase them down – as after all, fortune does favour the bold."
Never too early to network
Her only regret to date is that she didn't start networking earlier!
"I wish I had started networking and properly understanding the significance in such a thing from the first year of my degree!” mused Christine. "Though, I am most definitely glad that I’ve found my way and possess the growth mindset I have now. I would encourage all readers to be clear about their goals, plans and the type of impact they wish to have on the world."
Above all, Christine advises resilience through adversity.
"Being able to push through failures and be relentless in the pursuit of success is essential.