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Better job or more money? What is your real priority?

Times are getting increasingly hard and yet at BCL we are very busy working on new opportunities for new and existing clients.  Wherever you look the doom mongers are out there telling us how bad it is and we are on the brink of a double dip.  It’s true that money is tight given the level of inflation, we could all do with an extra bit of cash in our back pocket.  But despite the doom and gloom I keep telling myself that as long as I continue to have new work coming in from my clients and continue to secure offers of employment for candidates that I am acting for, it can’t be that bad – can it?

If you are solicitor looking to make a move right now, invariably you will have a choice of opportunities to look at.  If your CV is good enough you will have the opportunity to attend 1 or 2 interviews and if you are the best candidate you will be in receipt of an offer or even offers.  That’s the reality, despite what the media would have you believe about the jobs market.  In the context of legal recruitment it’s still a job seekers market as certain skills are very much in demand (including commercial and residential property) and law firms remain keen to recruit.

However, your move has got to be more than just about getting an increase in your basic salary.  Firms don’t have lots of cash to spend despite their interest in recruiting the best talent.  Your move has got be more about factors such as location, quality and type of work, size of team and working environment rather than a desire to earn more money.  Whenever a job seeker approaches us we endeavour to prioritise what their key reasons are for looking for a move and then prioritise which ones are the most important to them.  We often find that money is rarely given as priority number 1  until the candidate is made an offer.  Often enough once we get to offer stage all the other factors take a back seat whilst the thirst for more cash takes a hold.  And why not?  We are all looking to earn as much money as we can so why not try and get the best deal?  What I have seen this month in particular is that clients are only able to offer very meagre increases, if any increase at all.  In fact I have seen 1 or 2 offers come in at a lower salary than what the candidates are currently earning.

So your motivation for moving firm has to be a combination of factors rather than just about money.  If you are currently frustrated with your caseload or your boss or your lack of career prospects or all 3 and you are considering jumping ship right now, ask yourself this question; if I was offered the perfect job (better work, better boss, better career prospects etc etc) would I move for the same or even less money?  If the answer is no, then are you really that desperate to move?

You have got to be honest with yourself as larger pay increases are rarely attainable in the current market.

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