Home sweet home – or moving away? It could be just what the doctor ordered? Throughout my career I have worked in Cardiff, Southampton, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds and have enjoyed living in or near each of those cities. I have had a number of reasons for my move, from family (I am from Southampton originally), to University and to my Partners job moving us around.
With the legal market getting busier and busier at the moment, more and more lawyers are considering relocating for their next career move. Relocating of course largely depends on personal circumstances, families, children, mortgages – all of which play an important role. But in today’s market, it may be something worth considering. You may find a broader range of opportunities, more interesting niche roles, salary variations, or if its just a change of scenery you are after, a whole new work life balance.
Candidates are looking to relocate for five main reasons:
1. Family or personal reasons.
• A lot of candidates come to us wanting to move back home to be closer to their families. When we go to University most of us can’t wait to get away! But as families grow, a lot of people want to be closer to their family and friends where they grew up originally. This is a great opportunity for us as recruiters to explore new markets for candidates, and clients are always interested in people who have links to the local area.
2. The other half.
• Its not just our own careers that dictate our whereabouts, but often that of our Partners as well. I have moved twice now as a result of my Partners job, and fortunately this has worked out well for me so far. This can often be a little more daunting as candidates may not necessarily know the area that they are moving to, but we are here to help with this. We know our market locations very well (we spend most of our time there!) so we are often able to offer advice on where are the best places are to live etc, and if we don’t know, we certainly know a lot of people who do!
• Right now, particularly at the NQ end, competition is rife! And we are finding, the more flexible candidates are getting a better bite at the cherry than those who are limited to certain locations. One candidate recently has had more interviews than they could handle because they would literally move anywhere to get the best role. This sort of flexibility is great – but does need to be treated with caution (and clients can be cautious as well), because this really has to be a true commitment from the candidates side. If you say you will relocate anywhere, will you actually? Make sure you are 100% sure you will relocate to that area before you go ahead. Backing out after 2nd thoughts only reflects badly on you.
4. Candidate demand
• Certain areas of law are quite niche, and roles can be few and far between. If you are desperate to be a shipping lawyer, outside of the City you may find roles are more scarce. Try expanding your search to other regions, and you may find there are more roles available with some fantastic firms in their regional offices. Would a relocation be worth it to achieve a role in an area of law you are passionate about rather than take something that is your 2nd choice
5. Work life balance
• The majority of our candidates are looking to relocate to achieve a better work life balance – usually moving outside of London after a number of years being a part of the rat race. Salaries are undoubtedly lower in the regions, but the shift in work life balance can be completely worth it, and a move that is becoming more and more attractive to city lawyers. With house prices rising higher and higher in the city, the temptation to move further out into the regions where house prices are significantly lower could be worth some consideration.
Whatever your reasons for relocating, we are here to provide advice and specialist market knowledge on each of our specific areas. Even if this is something you are just considering at this stage, it could be worth giving us a call to find out what roles are out there. The regional markets are incredibly busy at the moment!