Where can you see yourself next?

Is the grass always greener?

Is the grass always greener?

In my experience, the first mistake people make when they want a career change, is to act on an impulsive decision. More often I see this with junior to mid-level lawyers, who haven’t completely thought about their short to medium term career goals (which is generally useful to break down into 2-5 year periods).

Such impulses can come about following a poor salary review, or some other emotion-based decision regarding a certain interaction in the office. Quite frequently, it is simply based on poor communication (often from partner down).

Notably, from my work in recruitment when a lawyer enters the market in this situation, they either end up staying where they are, or moving into another firm without a clear picture of what they are really looking for (which to be fair, can sometimes work out). As a result, these lawyers more often than not find themselves looking for another job within 6-12 months. This will further become an area of concern when applying for new jobs, as partners will query such short-term bursts of work experience.

This might sound strange coming from a recruiter, however, I can safely say the grass is not always greener!

So, in my mind the first step before making any decision about looking for a new role is to write down a short to medium term career plan. Once you are certain of what you want out of your career within the next 2-5 years, you have a good foundation for making the right decision about your next steps.

Everyone has bad days at work, or poor interactions with employers and employees, but unless you are working in an untenable environment, it is worthwhile taking stock before commencing a process.

Likely, some issues can be resolved through understanding how to negotiate a better salary, opening up better channels of communication (I think the art of an honest conversation has been lost over the last decade), understanding how to handle stress and achieving a balance in your life outside of the office.

If you have jotted down your career goals and given your firm every chance to retain your services, and still come to the conclusion that it is time to leave; then you are well placed to begin your search.

Sam Gray

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