Articles From the Team
Can I leave work without notice?
Had a bad morning or afternoon? Maybe a bad day starts to finish? Perhaps even a bad week or month? The world of residential conveyancing has thrown up a number things over the last month or so, some of which can be explained through logical thought, and others which simply cannot! As a recruiter in residential conveyancing I often hear of the high pressured and high volume environments that my clients work in. I often get phone calls and emails from disgruntled conveyancers who believe it is time for a move. When the red mist settles however you get those who remain (most of whom stay for a while, others call again within the week) and those who become active in their job search. The one thing that surprised me the most was those who decide to down tools and immediately leave their post with no notice given. So let me ask you, would you ever leave your job without working your notice period?
Over the last month I have come across lawyers who decide that their current firm isn’t the place for them; after a bad day or two they walk away never to be seen by that firm again. Now I know there are firms out there that aren’t everyone’s cup of tea and a bad day can turn into a week then into a month. This is not ideal considering you spend the majority of your life at work. Sometimes the only saving grace can be the people (speaking from experience) if you don’t have this then the whole experience can be exhausting. So what do you do in this situation? As mentioned, down tools and disappear? Send an email “sorry I won’t be returning to work”. That certainly wouldn’t be my advice.
So what would I do in this situation? More often than not the problem is a lack of communication between the lawyer and their line manager. When we can get a call from a disgruntled conveyancer we often ask, have you spoken to your firm about this? The answer to this question is more often than not, no I haven’t. Now, I am not saying that this solves any underlying issues but this has to be your first port of call. This can save you a lot of time and stressing over an issue that can fixed with a simple conversation. You may be wondering why we ask this instead of presenting them with other opportunities. The reason is quite simple (and happens more often than you would think) but the likelihood is that when this lawyer has solved their issues by finding a new job, hands in their notice and explains the reason why, this will be the first time the issue has been raised to those who can fix it. Sometimes the issue remains, other times the issue gets resolved and when this happens, all of sudden the lawyer no longer wants a new job. This can simply be resolved by having this conversation in the first instance. If however the issue isn’t fixed then the job search begins!
The next step is to start the job search and if it’s really that bad at work then potentially hand your notice in and begin working your notice period. What I have come to find at this point is lawyers who are keen leave feel justified in leaving their current employer without notice. But before you do, consider the consequences. How do you explain your sudden departure and being immediately available? What can be explained is you a joined X firm, it didn’t work out so you worked your notice and moved on. Firms will understand a change because it didn’t work out but what they will struggle to understand is becoming immediately available having walked out on your previous firm. The legal sector is a small world people talk and move around in very similar circles. Leaving a firm without notice will be talked about and may have bigger repercussions for the firm than just seeking a replacement. A reputation like that is not what you want.