Alison McKee
Alison McKee

Articles From the Team

Should you accept a job offer whilst holding out for another?

I’m currently working with an impressive NQ solicitor.  They’ve several years of experience working in-house, which they acquired prior to securing their training contract with a well-known retailer.  In addition, they’ve fantastic academics and a great personality.

Over the last couple of months I’ve worked with a number of clients who’d happily consider NQ solicitors of the right calibre (likely due to the lack of qualified lawyers with 2-5 years PQE); after discussing the market with my clients, the conclusion is that it’s better to find a good quality NQ solicitor, than spend months looking for someone with one or two years of experience. 

So, the NQ solicitor I represent was invited to two interviews:

In-house Role 1:

This one was with a premier employer with reach across a number of interesting sectors.  The role itself was varied and allowed the lawyer to develop their skill set.  On meeting, there was good rapport and common ground, and the role excited the candidate.

In-house Role 2:

This was with a lesser known business in a more unusual sector.  The meeting went extremely well and the NQ solicitor could see that working with the Head of Legal here would be rewarding.

In the end, an offer was made for Role 2, but not for Role 1; role 1 identified someone with 2 years PQE. The NQ solicitor took some time to think about the offer, but in the end, decided it was better to hold off and wait for a job that excited them like Role 1 did.  

Job offer you don’t want versus waiting for your dream job

As a trainee solicitor who’s close to being unemployed, is there a counterargument to holding out for the ‘perfect’ role?  If the NQ solicitor accepted the offer then the job search would be over, they’d have a guaranteed job upon finishing their training contract this summer – one where they can imagine themselves flourishing in, and they’d be well on the way to building their commercial experience. 

Look at the successful applicant to Role 1- they had the hallowed 2 years experience working in commercial law and this, in turn, helped them secure their next step on the career ladder.  Is there an argument to say that, when you qualify, it isn’t about finding the perfect role immediately?  I’m certainly not saying take a role you don’t want that doesn’t move you towards your career goals, but in the immediacy of today’s environment do we need immediate gratification from our careers? 

It’s clear this individual will have a long and successful career and I really hope I’m the one to help them find the right role.  But, in cases like this one, is there perhaps a right time to take the ‘not so perfect’ job?



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