A question I’m often asked by junior lawyers is when is the best time to move jobs? I could say that you should always be considering your options as you never know when the perfect job will come up. The realities of life and work mean this approach is not always possible. What is important is that you are in control of this process and are not starting a search when a move becomes more pressing, and you could potentially have a limited choice. The best way to do this is to take time every 6-12 months to conduct an audit of your career to ensure you are maximising your potential. By this I mean;
- Thinking about your long term and medium term career goals and ambitions
- Do you have the skills and experience to meet these goals?
- Can your current firm give you the training and exposure needed to fill any gaps?
Talk to someone you can trust
Once you’ve done this it is sensible to talk to a recruiter you can trust, who can provide advice and market knowledge, so you can assess whether your current firm does indeed offer the best platform for you to achieve the goals you’ve identified. Speaking to a consultant also gives you the opportunity to benchmark your salary and benefits package against the market.
Identify current opportunities
Your consultant should be able to identify a handful of opportunities that can offer the platform you need to meet your goals. This will typically be a combination of active roles, and firms that have a track record of offering what you are looking for. They should also provide insight as to why that firm is the right place for you.
Make an informed decision
At that point you should have enough information to decide whether to make some discreet approaches to a select few firms that can offer what you are looking for. If you do start an interview process with one or more firms it is worth remembering that it is just an interview process, not a commitment to move. If after meeting with firms, you do not feel they can provide a better platform or career path to your current firm then stay put. When you are not in a hurry to move, you don’t have to make a knee-jerk decision. Furthermore, if you have surveyed the market and do not feel there are any better opportunities it does allow you to get your head down on focus on your current role.
Due to the structure of most law firms, the biggest demand is always at the 1-4 PQE level and the current market is no different. DMJ is currently working on a number of exciting opportunities across various practice areas which you can find here. If you cannot find something suitable, our expert consultants at DMJ are here to help you achieve your long term goals.
Click here to speak to a member of our team.
Managing Director, Associate team