Gishan Abeyratne
Gishan Abeyratne
Senior Associate: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

Adultery

I recently read an article in the New Yorker about infidelity and how society’s attitude towards promiscuity has changed in recent years. Forget the swinging 60s and the free love movement, the noughties gave us Tinder et al., which has made the amorous activities of the otherwise illicit adulterer easier, more common, apparently more acceptable, or at least more expected. How does any of this relate to legal recruitment? Well, it’s a tenuous link but a link nonetheless.

In the past we have likened ourselves, as legal recruiters, to dating sites although we are yet to launch our own version of Tinder and we’re certainly much more Match.com than Ashley Madison. The curious link however is the common acceptance or expectation that job moves are now much more frequent than in the past. While loyalty and longevity are certainly very attractive qualities in candidates and too many frequent or short term moves are not, given economic factors and pre-training experience amongst other things, lawyers are now much more likely to have gained experience from several firms rather than just the one.

When you start a new job you are in fact embarking on a new relationship. At first it’s great, it’s new and exciting, it’s challenging and exhilarating. This is likened to the honeymoon period, and at some point it does come to an end. Now, it is important to remember that even though the honeymoon period is over that doesn’t mean you need to run away, move on, find a younger model that will do things your current employer won’t. I went off on a slight tangent there… Anyway, the point is no relationship is perfect and there will always be good times and bad. The question you have to ask yourself is whether you still love what you do enough to keep doing it? Would doing it somewhere else be any better?

There are always two parties to a relationship which means that the onus does not fall entirely to you; but if you come to the conclusion that you no longer want to be in this relationship then of course it is time to move on. Some of you are brave enough to have the hard conversation about your position and how you’re feeling with your partner, in this case being your boss, which is often greeted with initial upset but ultimately gratitude for your honesty. Others are less inclined to do so and start exploring the market, seeing other firms for coffees, interviews and sometimes drinks after work. One thing leads to another and all of a sudden you’ve agreed to leave your current firm and join them. Sounds a bit like the illicit affair doesn’t it? This is where the lines become blurred, where some would rather have the conversation and be open and honest about their feelings, others operate in secret to find something new and improved. Before it gets too heavy, don’t worry, I’m here to tell you that either way you have done nothing wrong.

My tongue-in-cheek rhetoric aside, I think it’s important to remember a couple of simple and salient points: It is commonly accepted that it is not ok to be unfaithful, adulterous, promiscuous etc. when you’re in a committed relationship; It is also not considered to be adultery or promiscuity if you’re exploring the job market and interviewing with new firms if you’re unhappy in your current job. As it is in all relationships, changes could be made that might improve the situation and it might be worth exploring these options, but ultimately If you’ve decided that you no longer want to be in that relationship then you would be doing more emotional damage to yourself and your partner by staying put.

My longest relationship thus far is the one I have with BCL Legal! Four years I’ve been here, and I look forward to many more. I’ve learned a lot in this time, not least of all how best to advise and guide lawyers around the job market, through their job search, the interview process and ultimately into a new relationship.

For more information contact Gishan Abeyratne at BCL Legal.

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