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Paralegals – Should I stay or should I go?

This would appear to be the question for a great number of Paralegals, particularly in commercial property roles. Paralegals having successfully secured a new role are tendering their resignations to be found they are in the position of being counter offered by their current employer.

The commercial property market is buoyant and indeed in a period of growth, firms at all levels are looking to recruit paralegals to bolster their existing real estate teams and thus assist with the high volume of commercial property transactions being dealt with on a daily basis.

I have recently spoken with a number of paralegals and also with law firms looking to recruit paralegals into their commercial property teams. The common theme appears to be that firms are realising that good paralegals, particularly in commercial property, are in demand and all efforts are being made to ensure a good counter offer rather than losing the paralegal and having to undertake a recruitment process to replace them.

So what do you do? From the paralegal side the very reason that you are seeking to move on may have been allayed in the short term, the offer of more responsibility, a promotion, perhaps an increase in salary or an inclusion into a bonus scheme that is usually reserved for fully qualified lawyers. These are all tempting counter offers and are of course worthy of consideration.

What should be remembered is that there are many reasons for you to seek to progress your career away from your current firm. You may be an LPC Graduate seeking that elusive training contract which seems to be so far into the future. Or indeed a ‘career paralegal’ who is simply not happy with their role or package or maybe you have been with your current employer for a some time and are seeking a new challenge.

The best advice I can give is to think about the long term plan. What are your career objectives and why did you look to the wider market? What drove you to pick up the phone or keyboard and make the first move to a new role? The message here is that whatever your reason for wanting to leave, in the main it is usually a valid one and should have been well thought out. You ideally will have discussed your reasons for seeking a new role with your recruitment agent who is there to advise you and consult with you about the job market, your prospects and what is really driving you to look at the wider market in the first place.

Will staying with your current firm provide a short term fix to your problem, a safety net if you like? It can be hard to make that decision to finally leave your current employer no matter how dissatisfied you are but it is far harder in the longer term to stay and miss out on opportunities that can really bring your career satisfaction and put you on the right path to achieving your career goals.

For more information please contact Rachel Darlington or visit our website BCL Legal.

 

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