Articles From the Team

Legal job searching and the importance of objectivity

Legal job searching, like any job search, can bring about unwanted emotion; us legal recruiters come face-to-face with this every day.

This is understandable - a career move is a big life decision - but you don't want this to turn into irrationality, which will have a negative impact on your actions. It's so important to remain as objective as possible to ensure the best outcome possible.

The first step to objectivity - set objectives

You could be at your next job for the rest of your legal career so take a moment to consider how you'll remain objective during what's an emotive time for most people.

Firstly, establish clear objectives to give you an indication of what you want to achieve with each step of the job hunting process: CV writing, advice from a legal recruiter, interview outcome etc. This needs to happen at the outset of any job search.

People have a number of different reasons for wanting to move. What are yours? Is it access to better quality work? Is it greater career progression opportunities? Is it the chance to work for a certain type of firm? Is it better work/life balance? Or put simply, is it more money you’re after? Maybe it’s all of the above.

Whatever it is, having a clear idea and being objective about what you want to achieve gives you the best possible chance of finding the right opportunity.

When candidates don’t have a good handle on what they want and react emotionally to negativity, decisions are made in a haphazard manner and objectives are rarely fulfilled.

Don't take anything personally

Employers have their own objectives. Although cultural fit is something that's taken into consideration, always remember, lawyer candidates are seldom rejected for personal reasons. Cultural fit comes into the mix as well, but once again, it's not about you, it's about them. You can't afford to take rejection personally.

Where candidates have a thick skin and clear objectives, they usually make good decisions, are able to think outside the box and make the most of the opportunities available to them.

When candidates don’t have a good handle on what they want and react emotionally to negativity, decisions are made in a haphazard manner and objectives are rarely fulfilled.

A real-life example of emotion getting in the way

I'll always remember a candidate trying to pull out of the third interview for a job they really wanted throughout the process of the first and second meeting. Granted, they had valid concerns before the third interview, which led to many questions; questions to ask at the third meeting: to discuss in more detail and most likely, to move forward.

Looking at it objectively, the opportunity offered everything they'd set their sights on when they first started looking. It offered a higher salary, it was closer to home, which helped with work/life balance and family life, and it gave access to the type of work they wanted with a clear and structured career path. Removing the emotion from the job search and looking at it objectively, it made sense to attend the interview.

Remaining objective can be a challenge if you're moving to a new place of work. You spend a majority of your time there so it needs to be right. This is where a legal recruiter can help. We can help you to organise your thoughts and prioritise objectives from most to least important. More to the point, we can negotiate on your behalf and get you exactly what you’re looking for!

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