After having a successful legal interview and legal job offer handing in your notice is a tricky terrain to negotiate. I often get asked by my insurance litigation/personal injury candidates what the best approach to take is. Most people have loyalty to their current firm which forms part of the psychological contract of being an employee and you will feel that you are letting someone down when moving to a new opportunity. The likelihood is that you are! Nurturing talent is a rewarding part of the job but line managers, team leaders and partners no matter how supportive will always be sad to see a good personal injury fee earner go.
Follow these simple guidelines when notifying your current employer that you are leaving them to make sure the leavers process in handled smoothly and properly.
Before you hand in your notice:
• Make sure you receive the offer in writing and you are happy with the terms and conditions
• Remind yourself of the reasons of why you are accepting the new job – don’t focus on what your current employer isn’t offering you but instead highlight positives e.g exposure to litigated files, the opportunity to be more specialised, the opportunity to practice a different area of law, training courses on offer, a defined career path.
• Write a brief letter explaining your intention to leave outlining your notice period and anticipated last day. Thank your employer for everything they have done for you and be gracious.
Handing in your notice:
If you are genuinely intending to leave it is best if you are firm and clear about your reasons why. Some candidates will use an offer of employment to better their terms and conditions and whilst this isn’t a route I would advise in some instances candidates who have previously been unhappy go on to have many more years with their firm. However no employer wants to be held over a barrel and the short term gain of say an increased salary is negated by the long term consequences such as being over looked for promotions. Unless you are paid significantly under market rate using another offer of employment to better your salary would always be discouraged.
The more convincing you sound about your new job the more likely your line manager will be supportive and not waste their own time in trying to make you stay.
Always leave your current employer on the best possible terms. Not only will they have invested time and energy in your career but you will also rely on them for a reference and you never know when your paths may cross again!
For further advice please contact one of our experienced legal recruitment consultants
For more information please visit our website BCL Legal.