Charlotte Newton
Charlotte Newton
Associate Director

Articles From the Team

Challenge or comfort - what type of lawyer are you?

Are you a lawyer who likes and wants to be challenged at work? Or do you like to work within certain parameters: your comfort zone?  

The easiest way to decide which one you are is to think of your motivations: what drives you? And what are your priorities?

For example, is being challenged in your career more important than flexibility, minimized travel time, working environment and so on?

It’s important to ask yourself: are you happy with the way you’re working at the moment? Here are some further questions to think about.

  • Are you reaching your potential in your current role?
  • Is the work challenging enough or are you bored?
  • What type of clients/value of work do you want to be dealing with?
  • What’s your five to 10-year plan? Realistically, based on where you are at the moment, can you achieve this?
  • How are other solicitors at your PQE level working? How does this make you feel? Do you feel as if you’re being left behind?
  • Are you asking senior lawyers questions? Are there senior lawyers to ask or are you the most ‘senior’ lawyer with colleagues coming to you for advice?
  • Do you like the environment you work in? If you do, is this because you’re familiar with it? Or, is this because you genuinely like it? As humans, we love routine and familiarity - it’s important to ask yourself: do you genuinely like the environment or it is just the familiarity? Many lawyers I speak to are afraid of leaving an “ok/bearable” environment for something “worse”… you have to ask yourself, is “ok/ bearable” really enough for you?

Although a step up or a change in role presents its own challenges, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re leaving your comfort zone. For example, you could be moving to a similar size/tier firm who do similar work but with a better salary or a similar firm closer to home or with more flexibility.

Change doesn’t always mean you’ll lose your ‘comforts.’ In fact, you could gain a few in the process!

When considering what type of lawyer you are it’s important to think about your priorities – is being challenged a dominant career priority? If it is and you’re starting a job search, you should know what you would be willing to compromise in order to achieve this.

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