I work in Birmingham City Centre and do not live that far from the city centre so in theory I should have a relatively short commute to work. However in an era where every other person owns a car and is on the road amidst the rat race, what should be a 20 minute commute to work now takes me one hour.
This led to me recalculating my travel into work, and I opted out of driving to work to now taking a 7 minute drive to my nearest station and catching a train to Birmingham City Centre. Now I get to sit and enjoy reading the morning paper and have a more relaxed journey to work (save for when there are delays and maintenance works being carried out!)
This leads me on to my next point, when considering a new position, one can often become consumed by the name and size of the firm, this is that one organisation that you have always dreamt of joining, doing the work you have always wanted to do and it is all within touching distance and you have banked that all important interview request! However what then tends to happen is, this amazing opportunity is staring at you in the face and you have unknowingly side lined other factors that would actually play an integral part of your decision making process, the biggest factor being relocation or travel.
As a specialist in insurance and personal injury recruitment I have personally experienced this scenario myself. I have recently been speaking to candidates about opportunities at leading international practices offering that golden ticket work in defendant personal injury, professional indemnity and defendant clinical negligence roles which every solicitor specialising in insurance litigation or personal injury dreams of. As soon as the individual learns the identity of the firm the immediate reaction is ‘yes, hands down I want that job, send my CV!’ This of course is great, as it means the individual is excited about the opportunity and in their mind have committed to the cause and on probing questions from myself regarding location I come away from that phone call convinced that the candidate has thought about how they will get to this particular office location or in the case of relocation, they have thought about where they will be based.
This being said it is only natural that when you see something that you really want you do not always factor in the practicalities of what it would mean to commit to acquiring this thing. Then when the interview request comes in candidates are forced to go away and actually think some more about the fact that they may have to move to another city where they have no links or they may have to think about a commute that takes them up to an hour and half, this soon changes their mind-set.
Having been in practice myself I am guilty of this, having been offered an opportunity in the past, when I thought about the firm, the work, my career development of course I had to say yes to sending my CV to them, why wouldn’t I?! So when my recruitment consultant was asking me would I do that commute of over an hour every day down the M6 my answer was yes and gave my consent to send my CV! I was offered the interview and at that point I was forced to stop and think about could I actually do this commute and the answer was ‘No’! I was so excited about the job opportunity that I had not taken a little time out to go and research the city where this firm was based, what it would like to travel in peak time commute and whether in reality I could do this five days a week.
It was with regret I withdrew from the interview process. I did regret not attending the interview to assess whether I could have overcome any of these concerns I had in my mind. I felt the only option I had was to pull out. Alternatively I should have stopped to think things over before I excitably consented to sending my CV, which would have avoided disappointing the firm, my recruitment consultant and myself for letting things get to that stage.
It is important when you are making your next career move you do think about all factors and take the time to speak to your consultant about your concerns, discuss the commute, what it would mean to you to relocate, how would this impact on your professional and personal life? At BCL Legal we can help you break down these factors and assess with you whether or not this will be the right opportunity for you.
If you are a newly qualified solicitor or an experienced solicitor looking to make your next career into defendant clinical negligence, defendant personal injury, costs, professional indemnity or property damage role please contact Bhavisha Duggal at BCL legal.