Tom  Shaw
Tom Shaw
Associate: In House

Articles From the Team

Thinking of making your next legal career move? Here’s how to hit the ground running

Finding your next legal job role can be a stressful, drawn-out process, forcing it to take the backseat against other demands of everyday life: your current job, family responsibilities or your social circle. By positioning yourself correctly and following the advice of those who understand the process and its pitfalls you can save yourself time, frustration and land the perfect role.

Recognise what you want

This first step in the process is crucial. If you’re unable to identify why you’re unhappy in your current position, and what benefits could come with a new challenge, how will you know when the right role is in front of you? Think about what you want and be prepared to discuss your thoughts in-depth. This could be anything from new responsibilities, a broader role, a change in sector or size of business. Take the time to work this out so you can approach your legal job search as methodically as possible.

Make yourself visible to the right people

Legal recruiters are becoming increasingly invaluable in the job market, to both lawyers and businesses alike.

Currently, the market is candidate light so make sure the right recruiters know that you’re interested in new opportunities. A good legal recruiter will give you a full and frank overview of the roles that are out there and talk through your suitability.

The buck doesn’t stop at finding an industry-specific recruiter: look for a specialist in your preferred market and location and reach out to them. At BCL Legal, our in-house team is divided by region, which gives each legal recruiter greater knowledge of their specific area; you’d be surprised by how few recruitment agencies adopt this approach.

If you’re going to make such a major decision: changing your job, make sure you’re working with the people who are best placed to assist.

Suggested blog: Tips on how to stay in control of your legal job search

Be honest about your skill-set but not overly critical

Now’s the time to update your CV: providing the perfect opportunity to assess your experience, and where your strengths and weaknesses lie. This will allow you to identify roles at suitable levels and narrow your job search.

This being said, it’s an easy mistake to be overly critical of yourself, which often results in missing out on fantastic opportunities. If you see a job advert that lists a number of components and you satisfy most but not all, then don’t give up. Our advice is to always rule ‘in’ rather than rule ‘out’.

So now’s the time to pick up the phone and speak to the right recruitment consultant who can give you advice on the skills most critical to a role, how you might line up with the brief, and talk you through the next steps.

Be prepared for a full and frank discussion with your legal recruiter

If your recruiter doesn’t help you identify key motivators for making a move, the factors most important to you, and all the possible variables that can enter the decision-making process, they aren’t doing their job effectively.

Job searching lawyers often wonder why recruitment consultants require the level of detail that they do, and are frustrated when they’re not immediately ‘jumping’ into current vacancy discussions. But the more we know about your drivers, the better placed we are to find you the right role and we avoid wasting your time with positions that don’t tick the boxes. We’re on your side and our chats are treated in the utmost confidence, so be honest and open about what’s important to you and we’ll help you find it.

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