Nicola O'Hanlon
Nicola O'Hanlon
Associate: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

Should I stay or should I go

In my many years of being a recruiter I find all too often that someone will have a bad day at work - usually on a Monday and decides it’s time to leave. I will discuss options with them and by the Thursday, the situation has improved, weekend is approaching and things are looking more positive.

My advice would be to seriously consider your motivations for wanting to leave and if this is on a whim, wait until you have genuine reason to move on to your next challenge . Sending a CV to a firm and quickly deciding you no longer wish to proceed to interview can leave a lasting impression on firms who continuously see your CV but can never quite get you through the door to interview.

Below are some things to help you consider if it is time to move on:

Lack of enthusiasm / passion – love what you do – if you don’t, it is highly unlikely you will excel at your job. It just becomes a job that pays the mortgage / bills, which eventually will develop in to the inevitable ‘fear’ every Sunday and a miserable Monday.

Your firm is showing signs of struggling – don’t just sit and ‘see what happens’ if cuts are being made there may be a number of people in the same situation at the same time all looking to find a new job asap so try and be realistic and ahead of the game on this.

Stress / anxiety – if you are constantly stressed and unhappy at work this will have an impact on your physical health. A certain amount of pressure / stress is healthy and expected but if you feel the level of expectation is becoming unrealistic and you are working unusually long hours it might be time to assess your situation as this can start to have a negative effect of your life outside of work.

Work / life balance – it’s all about the win/win. If you are finding you’re spending less time with your family or struggling to juggle your work/ personal commitments, it is always worth asking whether your firm can offer you more flexibility with hours - this may be a temporary situation caring for a sick family member or more long term to assist with childcare commitments. It might be that you are spending double the time you need to commute to/from work, if this is the case there are always options you can look at.

Skills / potential – are your skills and qualifications being used to their true potential? It may be the firm you are in isn’t offering you continued options for career development and/or promotion. If you feel you are stuck on a treadmill then always ask what the options are for you at your current firm… if the options are non existent, there are options elsewhere!

Increase in responsibility / no pay increase – you have to prove yourself to reap the rewards but if your firm have made cuts to the team and your workload has doubled it isn’t fair that you are not compensated for the extra time and effort you are expected to give them.

Once you have decided to make the move, prioritise what is most important to you moving forward but realistic with your expectations, seriously think about the logistics of attending interviews and go in to the process knowing that you have explored all avenues with your current firm and you are committed to leaving. For a confidential chat about residential opportunities in the North West, please call Nicola O’Hanlon at BCL Legal on 0161 819 7465.

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