After a very shaky end to the last decade, where the bottom completely dropped out of the non-contentious market and whole swathes of lawyers left the profession altogether, if you’re a real estate, commercial, IT or corporate lawyer, you’d be forgiven for having your head completely turned by the seemingly endless number of exciting looking roles that are being advertised and are winking at you every time you look in the legal press or cast a ‘casual’ eye over the main legal jobs boards.
There’s every chance that you’re very busy, working some fairly silly hours and your boss doesn’t seem to fully appreciate your efforts because he or she is under pressure too, still trying to replace someone who left to join one of your competitors or to move in-house 6 months ago.
Time for a move?
Maybe, but a word of caution before you fling yourself headlong into the fray….
Have a really good think about what you’re not getting from your current role and whether or not that can be addressed by your current employers. Even when you’re moving through a recruitment consultant, which takes a lot of the hard slog out of looking for another job, it’s still an absorbing and time-consuming process. If you’re generally happy apart from a couple of niggles, go and speak to your line manager positively and constructively about those niggles and see if they can be resolved.
If you’re convinced that your issues can’t be addressed, make sure you know what your motivating factors are before you start, and exactly why you are looking to move on. Not only will it help you to identify what it is that you’re looking for and why, so that you’re clear and focussed in interviews, it means you’re less likely to go through the whole process of updating your CV, being submitted for roles of interest, preparing for and attending 4 or 5 first interviews and a couple of second interviews and then negotiating terms on your job offer of choice, only to stride into your boss’s office to resign and end up falling for those time-honoured words ‘well, why on earth didn’t you say that you weren’t happy about x, y, z…. before?’
Getting ‘bought back’ is never an ideal scenario – you’ve wasted the time of the firm you had every intention of joining, you’ve wasted a recruiter’s time and you’ve blotted your copybook at your current firm…not much to like there, and if you had genuine reasons for wanting to move on, the chances are you’ll be trying to have the same conversations all over again with that recruiter six months down the line.
So the advice is clear – can your issues be resolved with your current firm? If they can, find a way to resolve them. If they can’t, be very clear about your reasons for moving on and stick to your guns, otherwise it’ll be Groundhog Day before you know it!