Articles From the Team
Make your own mind up
So you’re looking for a change of scene, you heard someone say once that “a change is as good as a rest” and you’ve decided they were right – but what sort of firm do you want to move to? Money is definitely going to be one consideration and will the quality of the work your new firm are going to offer you but what is it ACTUALLY like working there? This is perhaps the most important question of all to consider!
Some people rely too much on apocryphal stories of firm based cultures, like overhearing snippets of a conversation in a work kitchen whilst completely missing the whole crux of the issue. Others may talk to people who worked at the firm years ago and be put off by this (missing the fact that the firm has probably evolved a lot since that person left) or take one look on RollonFriday and discount an entire firm (for the shortcomings of what is probably just a few personalities across the business).
The most important thing in your job search is to make an informed decision based in large part on your own experiences. Obviously if you have a friend in the team currently or have a reliable source from some other area then that is going to factor in; but nothing beats making your own mind up. Cultures in law firms can be largely firm wide or vary wildly between departments, there may be one person in a team who is difficult to deal with but the rest of the team are really great! So, what is the best way to make your mind up?
GO TO THE INTERVIEW…if you rely solely on hearsay and other people’s opinions (even your friends’) then you really are doing yourself a disservice. The best way to make your mind up is to meet the people you are going to be working with. A lot of interviews will be two or even three stages in length so you will have the opportunity to meet around 3/4 of the senior members of the team at the very least. If you’ve got through that first interview and have been invited back, don’t be afraid to ask your recruiter to arrange for you to meet people at your level as well as those who make the hiring decisions. The culture may be firm driven but it’s the people working next to you who are going to impact how that translates across into your own working life.
In my experience people can have vastly different impressions of the same people in a law firm, with one person finding them impossible to get along with and the other having absolutely no issues in slotting straight into the team. So, go and find out for yourself, what’s the worst that could happen?