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Resignation; what to do if you get cold feet

So you’ve just been offered a new job – your dream job! Fantastic news and champagne all round, yes? Well believe it or not – not always. Some candidates can find it really hard when it comes to the final part of the recruitment process; handing in your notice.

Candidates come to us with all manner of reasons for looking outside their current firm. It could be salary, limited opportunities for progression, internal politics, team restructures – all sorts. For most, making the decision to leave is an easy one- it’s time to move on. For others it isn’t. It’s in these cases that the prospect of handing ones notice in seems like a significantly more daunting task than first expected.

It’s a difficult decision, thinking with your head as opposed to your heart is an even harder one. All sorts of questions can fly around, “what if I don’t like the new firm as much as my current one?”, “what if I don’t get the support offered to me like I do now?”, “what if my colleagues act differently around me once they know I’m leaving?”.

Let’s look at each of these questions individually as they are questions I hear a lot as a recruiter.

What if I don’t like the new firm as much as I like my current one? What if they don’t like me?!
This is incredibly unlikely, but it’s an understandable concern for someone who has been in their current position for a long time. First of all, if they didn’t like you, then they wouldn’t have offered you the job! Think back to your interview, despite the formalities, you and your new employers got on well and first impressions are very important. Things can only get better! With a lot of my clients, I tend to speak with the hiring managers during your notice period, and try and arrange a lunch or coffee meeting with your new team members before you start on your first day. This can really break the ice and will give you some familiar faces to put you at ease in your new job.

What if I don’t get the support offered to me like I do now?
The safety of your own firm can become some what of a comfort blanket, especially if you have worked there for years. I have candidates interviewing for me that haven’t had an interview since their training contract twenty years ago. You’ve probably built excellent working relationships with your peers and managers alike and feel very well looked after by your current team. I only see this as a benefit if anything. By having these relationships in your current firm, your colleagues and managers will more than likely be very supportive in your next move. It can only add to your legal network in the increasingly competitive legal market. You never know, they may even refer work to you!

What if my colleagues act differently around me once they know I’m leaving?
It isn’t nice having your fellow colleagues behave differently around you once you have handed your notice in. In the majority of cases, colleagues will be happy for you – and will probably be planning a great send off for you on your last day. Occasionally however, colleagues may seem a bit frosty once they hear you are leaving. But when you think about it, a one or three month notice period is not that long in the grand scheme of things. There could be a whole number of reasons why they are acting differently – it’s probably nothing personal. You may be surprised – it could be because they wanted the job you’ve just secured! Use your notice period wisely, it should allow you to clear up your caseload, and prepare to hand it over in the best way possible. Then you can only be leaving on the best of terms.

All the consultants are here to help you throughout the recruitment process, that means from beginning and end and beyond. I keep in contact with my placed candidates during their notice periods, and beyond once they have started their new role. If you have any questions, about any stage in the recruitment process, please get in touch, we would be happy to help.

For more information please contact Rozie Rhodes or visit our website BCL Legal

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