Articles From the Team

Sabbaticals

When it comes to career breaks, how long is too long?

Allow me if you will to indulge my inner child for a moment… I am a big fan of professional wrestling. Yes I know it’s scripted, rehearsed, staged and effectively a semi-violent pantomime, but it’s so entertaining!

Most recently in November was the Survivor Series pay-per-view, one of the big four events of the year. This year played host to a match that was twelve years in the making, a clash of the titans, the fantasy mega match that became a reality, Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg. Neither man in his prime or even competing full time, but both still considered dominant and formidable forces.

These two last met twelve years ago at Wrestlmania 20 where Goldberg was victorious and then promptly left the WWE to pursue an acting career. In those twelve years that passed by Brock Lesnar remained at least semi-active as a wrestler, although her pursued ambitions in NFL and UFC as well; Goldberg however was completely out of the ring, he hadn’t set foot inside the squared circle since his last meeting with the man known at the beast incarnate. Based on this alone, nobody expected that Goldberg could win. He was too old and too out of practice, he’d been away for too long and wouldn’t be able to go toe to toe with Brock Lesnar. Oh how they were wrong! It took Goldberg less than two minutes to score the victory. It was incredible!

While I can ramble on all day long about WWE I would actually like to draw parallels to your legal career. As specialist legal recruiters we speak to candidates from all walks of life on a daily basis. There are no two completely alike which actually makes our job very interesting and at times rather challenging, in a good way of course. Over the past year or so I have noticed something of a surge in candidates coming back to the law after having taken time out.

The reasons for a hiatus from the legal profession are all quite varied; many revolve around having children, some took time out to follow their partner or spouse elsewhere in the world based on their career, some were victims of the recession and others just fancied a bit of a break and a change. While reasons vary greatly one question is remains constant, have I been away for too long? This begs the question, how long is too long?

The longer you have been away the harder it is to break back into the profession. That being said it is by no means impossible. While the recruiting firms have to show certain flexibility in recruiting someone who has been away from private practice or away from the law for a significant period of time, they are also willing to invest in bringing on board the right people. Yes experience is important but so is adaptability and a willingness to learn.

Don’t be deterred by your time away from the Law, however long or short that may have been. If Goldberg can come back after 12 years and prove that he is still amongst the best in the business then why can’t you?!

My focus is on the Bristol and South West legal market where there are a plethora or opportunities for lawyers across all disciplines and at all levels. For a confidential chat about your career and opportunities available to you, please do get in touch.

For more information contact Gishan Abeyratne at BCL Legal.

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