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At AXA UK, we want to support all our colleagues to pursue their career goals. In this edition of Career Switch, Shad shares his journey from joining AXA as a recent graduate to becoming a fully qualified solicitor.
What is your job at AXA and how long have you worked here?
I currently work in the AXA Legal Services Unit, and I joined AXA in 2016.
What was your career background up until you made your career switch?
I studied Law & Professional Practice at university. After that, I joined AXA’s Credit Hire Team which allowed me to develop my insurance knowledge. I became a Senior Credit Hire Handler fairly quickly, which was nice because it showed me that AXA cared about my development.
What made you decide to make a career switch?
I saw that the AXA Legal Services Unit was looking for a Paralegal, and it seemed like a great way to combine my Law degree with the insurance world. I discussed it with my manager, applied for the role, and joined the Legal Services Unit in February 2018 as a Junior Claimant Paralegal.
How has your career developed since you made the switch?
My new manager really helped me to develop, and by June 2018 I was already a Senior Paralegal. I developed my negotiation, interpersonal and research skills, and I was also responsible for training new starters and mentoring Junior Paralegals.
My success in the role led me to join the Defence Team where I started defending cases (including personal injury) brought against AXA and the people we insure. I also got involved with AXA REACH (Race, Ethnicity & Cultural Heritage) to raise awareness about Ramadan.
I wanted to pursue further education and AXA supported me with all the qualifications I needed to become a solicitor.
Did you feel supported by your managers during your career switch?
My manager Amy Morgan was instrumental in giving me a platform to build my career in the Legal Unit. I got plenty of on-the-job training when I first joined to make sure I got to grips with my new department. AXA have really allowed me to develop into who I am today. Without the support of my managers and colleagues, I would not have qualified as a solicitor, and I‘m so grateful for what AXA has enabled me to achieve.
What does it mean to work for a company that gives you the flexibility to shape your career?
It’s so important. The investment AXA has made into my career has been huge, and it’s allowed me to qualify as a solicitor. From the get go, I was given responsibilities that you wouldn't normally get if you started at a private law firm. I felt trusted to carry on and get the job done.
What most excites you about the future?
Development is important to me, and I’m always excited about opportunities to grow and bring more to my role. I’m currently embarking on my CII Diploma to further increase my insurance-based knowledge.
What advice would you give to others who are thinking about switching roles?
Just to do it! Firstly, set out a career path. It’s helpful to write it down and think about the steps you need to take to achieve it. Secondly, discuss it with your line manager. They can help you get things moving.