Despite workplace pressures and slow growth in salaries, greater opportunity for advancement is still the number one priority sought by employees in their next position. Briana Everett reports
ACCORDING TO a survey conducted in September and October by talent and career management experts Right Management, 27 per cent of respondents said greater opportunity for advancement was their top priority in their next role.
Career progression was followed by calls for a better management team (21 per cent), a more flexible work environment (21 per cent), a better salary (17 per cent) and less work pressure (14 per cent).
"We wondered if higher compensation would top the list, or perhaps less workplace stress, but we found that opportunity for advancement is number one," said Michael Haid, Right Management's senior vice president for talent management. "That tells us that despite all the workplace complaints we hear, most employees are still highly motivated about their own development and careers."
Noting that career advancement is a factor lawyers, at all levels, will always focus on, JLegal private practice manager Jenny Bermheden says salary is becoming less of a reason for lawyers to move as most firms pay competitively and in line with the market.
"In this market, and more so than last year, lawyers are overall thinking a lot more about their reason for wanting to make a move," she says. "They are a lot more aware of what is happening around them and are therefore being careful to make a move unless there is a real reason. Career advancement has always been an important factor."
Bermheden added that while career advancement is important to a lawyer's career, it is also important as to their development as a lawyer.
"Some lawyers consider moving from the larger firms to the boutique/smaller firms because they believe that moving up the career ladder there is easier, which is not always the case," she says. "They need to
be aware of the structure in the firm and the particular team they are going to. And if the team is already top heavy, moving to a smaller firm does not necessarily always help."