Article by Catherine Carleton
Changing law firms can feel like a game of Russian Roulette with stakes higher than a James Bond stunt scene, but it doesn't have to if you take the right approach.
As an ex-City lawyer turned legal recruiter, I know all too well how important being in the right law firm is and the less rosy consequences of an ill-thought out move.
I also know how much time you've invested in your career, the hours you spend at work and that fulfilment sometimes hinges on far more than your pay check.
So here are my top tips, garnered from years of working with candidates who have successfully made the jump, for ensuring that moving law firms will be the best, not the worst move of your life:
Know Your Values
Knowing who you are and what you want is essential to positive change. Before you consider what kind of firm you'd like to move to, ask yourself what gives your life purpose and meaning, in and outside work.
Your values might range from money, work-life balance, family, meeting new people, team work to having fun. If you're unsure what drives you, ask yourself what you dislike in your current job and turn this on its head. If it's working long hours which leave you with no time for socialising, it may be that work-life balance is top of your list. If working in a large corporate firm left you feeling like a faceless robot, you may be better suited to a small or medium sized firm. Equally, if you love the collaborative, open-door policy of your current team, your future firm's corporate culture may be an important factor in your day to day happiness.
So take some time to work out what your values are, which are the most important and which aren't currently being met. Once you know what's important to you and what's driving your desire for change, focus on firms which meet your needs and maximise your chances of fulfilment.
Harness Your Strengths In Your Search
We all have different learning styles but lawyers are often theorists. This gives you strong analytical and research skills, a structured approach to problem-solving and a good grasp of the detail as well as the bigger picture. In other words, the perfect combination for identifying your dream firm. My most successful candidates are resourceful in harnessing these strengths, helping them narrow down their ideal workplace, prepare for interview and seal the deal.
If you're struggling to find the time or perspective to research what kind of firm you want, reach out...