The world economy is suffering, but there are still good reasons why lawyers should prepare to make a move, writes Sam Gray
Sure, job security and safety first philosophies are always considerations when changing jobs. However, for senior lawyers with a client base in insolvency, reconstruction, corporate, financial and insurance regulatory, litigation, intellectual property, aged/health care, employment and environment law, there may never have been a better time to advance your career.
Push factors: These can include working conditions, culture, team, limited career prospects and poor remuneration. As at any time, 90 per cent of lawyers who change jobs with no clear push factors end up changing jobs again within 18 months, so employees need to think carefully about why they are leaving.
Career opportunities: With many law firms cutting staff and transferring internally, opportunities may present themselves at a new firm at the senior level, provided there is a long-term business case. Senior lawyers frustrated by internal politics or lack of progression may be able to find greener pastures at more culturally suitable firms with synergies to their existing client base and cost structures, thereby furthering their careers.
Last in, first out myth, and backing yourself: Many lawyers being risk adverse would never consider changing jobs in the current market as they fear the 'last in, first out' scenario. However, in reality, this is a myth. If you back your ability and your proven track record then this will not hold true wherever you join. Eighty-five per cent of firms interviewed make redundancies these days for commercial decisions and not due to personal favourites, loyalty or longevity. As a result, confident lawyers with an excellent skill set will still excel in this environment, so if the right role comes up there is every reason to better your career.
So, while there is currently much doom and gloom and hysteria in the market, if you analyse your position and the potential options, it may just make sense to make a move and explore options today.
Sam Gray is the Principal Consultant at Charterhouse Partnership in Sydney.