Working in the legal field, whether you are an attorney, paralegal, or play another role, is challenging, purposeful, and rewarding. But, like other fields, sometimes you end up in a position that just doesn’t fit, and you find yourself considering a job change. Of course, too much job-hopping in the legal field can hurt you professionally, and it’s not a decision to be taken lightly, but on the other hand, change can be a very positive professional step forward. Don’t hide from change – approach it with the right questions. Dig deep for your answers – discuss them with a close friend, significant other, mentor, and/or your legal recruiter.
Why are you unhappy in your present position?
What is causing your unrest? What are the real reasons you want to change?
- Have you lost, or never even secured, a connection with your colleagues. Are you a small fish in a big sea who would function better as a big fish in a small sea or vice versa? Are you a people person in a group of introverts? Are there bigger issues causing a disconnect? When you discover the job where you “fit,” you are more likely to grow.
- Have you lost your passion? Don’t discount the fact that situations outside the office could be affecting your passion at the office, but get to the root issue. A change in your firm or your area of practice may be the best antidote and give you a renewed sense of purpose.
- Do you have a voice? Are you getting the necessary support and feedback from those above you? This can be a crucial issue. If you aren’t, a new job may be the best solution, but do your best to ensure the “new position” is in a place where your voice matters.
- Are you stuck in a position with little opportunities for growth? Did you fail to see this before you started or did the policies change after you were hired? In this case, change is often the only answer. Connect with an experienced legal recruiter who can help you find a position with opportunity.
Once you’ve established your reason for wanting to change, consider this:
With change, comes . . . change – sometimes in multiple areas. Determine which ones are acceptable and which ones are not. Be sure to share this with your recruiter.
- What are your career goals? Will changing support these goals?
- Will a change require a geographical transfer? Do you and yours find a move exciting or is it a no?
- Will a change in employer make a difference or do you need to change to a new area of practice? If yes, does the area of practice you are considering have active openings? Is it currently in demand or becoming out-of-date?
- Do you have the necessary skills, expertise, experience, and personality type for the direction you want to go? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Will you need additional training before you switch?
- Are you willing to give up some positives to let go of the negatives? Sometimes being willing to make a linear move or even a temporary “step backward” ultimately results in a move forward doing a job you enjoy.
Asking yourself the above questions and seeking advice from those who have the knowledge, as well as those who have a vested interest will help you make a wise decision. At OnBoard Legal, we believe the best way to serve our clients and candidates is to have our experts work on staffing and recruiting in the areas where they have the most experience and knowledge. We have legal experts to not only help you make decisions regarding your legal career but also to find you the best-fit position. Contact us today – we are here to help you reach your career goals.