Changing Jobs | Is It Time to Go or Can You Grow Where You’re Planted?


Young legal professionals usually attain out to me as a mentor once they’re considering of fixing jobs, whether or not that’s to one other agency, towards being in-house counsel, or away from the apply of regulation altogether. Contrary to what most of them count on to hear, I can’t reply that query for anybody. The reply reveals itself after we speak via some issues. If you end up feeling stagnant and wanting to discover a transfer, maybe this train may help you as properly.

Changing Jobs: Reason for Leaving

It is stunning what number of younger legal professionals haven’t actually considered why they need to make a change. Without understanding the precise causes, the previous adage “the grass isn’t all the time greener” can ring true. You might go away one state of affairs for an equal or worse state of affairs simply as simply as a greater one — in the event you haven’t taken the time to determine what you’re working away from or searching for.

  • Is it a specific associate, group or apply?
  • Is it compensation or advantages?
  • Are you rising?
  • Is there a scarcity of mentoring, coaching or range?
  • Is it the variety of billables or the expectation to usher in enterprise?
  • Do you get significant work and get publicity to shoppers?
  • What does the associate monitor appear to be and would you like it?
  • Do you’ve got a life outdoors of labor?
  • Is it the tradition?

Once you’ve got a listing of what’s lacking and what you need, you may determine whether or not these issues can change at your present administrative center with suave advocacy and political navigation. Or, it can change into extra clear that what you need can solely be gained by a transfer. This checklist will even allow you to analyze alternatives as they unfold, performing like a measuring stick.

Your “State of the Union” Pros and Cons List

I like to recommend entering into the apply of making a professionals and cons checklist on your present job each couple of years, even in the event you’re content material. This “state of the union” train could be a nice litmus check for your self — whether or not you’re blissful or want to stretch your self the place you might be or want to think about a change.

Skills and Talents

When contemplating altering jobs, it is usually useful to take into consideration what you might be naturally good at. What are your strengths and abilities? What comes simply to you? In what circumstances or conditions do you actually shine? This evaluation is very useful in the event you’re contemplating going in-house or leaving the apply of regulation to see in case your expertise and abilities line up with these alternatives.

Here, as an alternative of a professionals and cons checklist, I like to use a three-columned checklist with the headings “A,” “B” and “C” to resemble college grades. Feel free to use your personal phrases of measurement like “Great,” “Good” and “Mediocre.” Then with blunt honesty and self-awareness, analyze your expertise in opposition to these buckets. (Don’t fear – it’s only for you!) For instance, I’d most likely put “considering on my toes” beneath B, “consumer relations” beneath A and “authorized writing” beneath C.

The “why” behind this checklist is that ideally, you’d search for a possibility that permits you to train expertise within the A and B classes greater than the C class.

Goals, Passions and Desires

While this may occasionally sound like a no brainer, you’d be shocked what number of younger legal professionals get stumped after I ask them the easy query, “What would you like?” or “What do you want to do?” It is necessary to your psychological well being and profession satisfaction to do issues that you just like. Note that I don’t use the phrase “love.” Contrary to widespread opinion, I don’t consider you’ve got to love your job or love being a lawyer. At the identical time, life is just too brief to do one thing you hate. It simply takes an excessive amount of power that could possibly be higher spent on different endeavors.

Here, I like to use one other three-columned checklist to analyze elements of a job, headed “Love,” “Like” and “Dislike/hate.” For instance, I’d most likely put billable hour and discovery beneath Dislike/hate, oral argument and mentoring associates beneath Love, and drafting abstract judgments beneath the Like column.

The use case for this checklist is that you just’d search for a possibility the place you could possibly do extra of what you’re keen on and like and fewer of the issues within the dislike or hate bucket.

Grow Where You’re Planted or Move With Intention

Finally, despite the fact that I’m an enormous advocate for this introspective work, don’t let your want for the “good” or “dream” job be the enemy of fine sufficient. As a younger lawyer, you’ve got an extended profession trajectory — that subsequent job doesn’t have to be your ceaselessly job. The fact is that in the event you attempt it and discover out you don’t prefer it, you may transfer once more. While there may be some stigma with altering jobs too usually, life is just too brief to be depressing. As lengthy as you do your finest to be taught and develop the place you’re planted and transfer with intention, odds are in your favor.

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