Following on from my last blog, I look at the factors worth considering if you are thinking of moving to another law firm.
To start with, the best thing you can do is get an honest appraisal of your prospects and from there devise a suitable strategy. Whilst it might not be what you want to hear, at least if someone says you have no chance of making the move you want then you can formulate plan B. As long as your agent didn’t come down in the last shower and doesn’t have a hidden agenda (some for example will only work with certain firms and might want to try and push you towards something you don’t want, but they do), then they don’t have much to gain by leading you up the garden path and should provide an honest assessment.
Assuming that your chances are reasonable, then personally I think it can be beneficial to speak to a few firms in parallel. For every lawyer who knows by their 16th birthday the one and only firm they want to work for, most aren’t quite so fixed and just as with going shopping, sometimes it’s best to try a few things on before pulling the trigger. Invariably if you speak to a few potential employers then different aspects of what might appeal will become more prominent and at the end of the process you are likely to have a clear choice. Whilst this can make everything a bit more drawn out, it is often for the best in the long run (having said that, everyone is different and you have to trust your instincts, so if you want to approach one firm at a time then that is fine).
Sometimes going through the recruitment process elsewhere can make you realise that actually your current role is the best choice at that point in time. That is never a problem and you won’t burn any bridges by staying put as long as you conduct yourself professionally. I have placed people with firms that they have rejected at some point previously as circumstances are always changing and what once might not have been suitable, could well be further down the line.
Patience is always a useful virtue when job hunting as regardless of your own intentions and desires, there are always external factors that can bring proceedings to a juddering halt. There is only so much that can be controlled and when the unexpected happens you just need to roll with the punches. Examples of incidents that can fire a torpedo into the good ship SmoothRecruitmentProcess include lengthy holidays, partner moves, the return of a star employee removing the need to hire, firm mergers, firm collapses, and all sorts of other weird and wonderful events.
In summary, when looking for a new job there is always plenty that is outside your control, so it is a case of gaining a realistic assessment of prospects and then planning from there. If you can afford to take your time then do so, as in 5 years you will look back and wonder what the rush was for. Finally, remember that there is always an element of leaping into the unknown, which is part of the excitement.
As luck would have it, we have recruited lawyers for donkeys years and built up a wealth of experience. If you would like to discuss a potential move or anything regarding your career then please contact us.