As the UK economy faces continued challenges, legal professionals might find strategic advantages in considering career moves despite the ongoing economic downturn.
The past 18 months have been notably tough for the UK economy, and projections indicate that this trend might persist well into the first half of 2024. With the holiday season approaching and a well-deserved break on the horizon, it’s an opportune moment for qualified lawyers to deliberate on their career paths for the coming year.
Amid economic uncertainties, the idea of changing jobs can be daunting. Many professionals fear leaving behind a secure position, especially in a period where being "last in, first out" is a prevalent concern. However, contrary to common apprehensions, moving jobs during a downturn might hold distinct advantages:
•Reduced competition in the job market can play to the advantage of those seeking new positions.
•Firms recruiting during a downturn signal a genuine need for new talent. The multi-stage "sign-off" process required for hiring indicates a firm's commitment and validated necessity to expand, even during sluggish economic growth.
•Firms hiring during a downturn are likely financially stable, offering a chance to join a secure organisation with long-term, sustainable growth plans.
Deciding to move roles should be based on personal circumstances. Factors such as rising living costs, the need for higher salaries, or the quest for career advancement might be compelling reasons to explore new opportunities, downturn notwithstanding. Additionally, feelings of stagnation or lack of stimulation in the current role could signal the need for change, even in a challenging economic climate.
Timing and Proactivity
Delaying a move might not always be the wisest choice. Those who postponed job changes during the bustling market of 2021 have found themselves with fewer options and a longing for the opportunities they missed.
Staying proactive is key. Even if 2024 isn’t deemed the right time to transition, keeping your CV updated and staying vigilant about market movements is essential. As the market begins to show signs of recovery, being an early applicant can significantly increase one’s chances, outpacing others who also delayed their moves.
For those contemplating leaving their current roles, exploring new opportunities remains crucial. At the very least it is worth reviewing and considering new roles that crop up, even during a downturn, especially if the opportunity resonates with career aspirations. It might just be a step worth taking.
Ultimately, while the decision to move jobs in 2024 should be reflective of personal circumstances, the current economic climate might present hidden opportunities for those in the legal profession. Staying vigilant, proactive, and open to change can pave the way for a promising career path, even during challenging times.
For a confidential discussion about the market/legal opportunities please do reach out to EJ Legal. We are specialists in legal recruitment in London and work with partners, associates, paralegals and business services staff within the legal profession.