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Moving jobs: Factors that influence your decision

  • April 30, 2018

Looking for a new position is a big commitment. It takes time to research what is available and how that fits with your career plans. Then there’s the applications, interviews and time spent investigating your options. The decision to move is not taken lightly, so if you do decide to seek a new role you want to feel reassured that it’s the best fit for you. Our blog offers some important factors to consider, from small issues that add up, to weighty issues that influence your decision.

Monetary motivation

Cold hard cash is a major motivation factor when legal candidates consider a job move, and this is particularly true among fee earners. The temptation of earning more money with a new firm can prove too tempting to resist.

A North-South divide is something that’s often referred to in conversations around salary, and this is something that is borne out by Clayton Legal’s own research. We found that a solicitor with three years’ PQE could expect to earn a minimum of £50,567 in London. The equivalent salary in the North was £18,500 lighter at £31,979.

And it’s not just the money but the accompanying career opportunities that can be a powerful draw to London. Boasting international prominence and a diversity of work and firms available, solicitors’ decisions to continue their working lives in a new location can be swayed by the opportunities afforded by practising in the capital.

Gender pay gap

The gender pay gap has been a hot topic of discussion in the lead up to the April reporting deadline. This is particularly true in the legal sector, as the Financial Times reported that legal firms have largely opted not to follow the big four’s inclusion of partners in gender pay gap reporting and have instead decided to exclude partners from their reporting. While it’s early days to make any clear judgements as to how this might affect solicitors’ decisions to move jobs, it could lead to a shift in employees wanting to work somewhere where there is pay parity between genders or, at the very least, clarity on pay – including partners.

Non-monetary rewards

Salary can be a powerful reason to leave a job, yet non-monetary rewards can be just as motivational. Things such as contributions towards a gym membership, flexible or remote working, or medical cover for the employee plus dependents and a spouse can be sufficiently tempting.

Personal perks offered by a job or working in a certain location are often major considerations for many solicitors. While London offers a fast pace of life and a vast array of career opportunities, other locations may appeal to people in different circumstances.

Somewhere quieter might be preferable for parents with children, while a job close to extended family might suit someone who helps care for a relative. While money can prove tempting, personal circumstances are often a more powerful motivational force, and will likely continue to be so as our population ages and younger generations play a part in caring for elderly relations. Finding a firm that supports flexible working or considers part-time hours can be invaluable to the workforce and might be the push that prompts the decision for you to move firms.

Management in practice

Issues of management are often cited when candidates are looking for a new job. This can translate as anything from: how workloads are managed in the firm; whether there’s an opportunity to gain managerial experience or increase management responsibilities; how the practice as a whole is managed.

If you’re looking to further your career and feel that managerial training is not forthcoming it might be a signal to look elsewhere. Alternately, if you have ideas of your own and are looking to influence how the firm is run you might want to consider moving on if the possibility of a senior or partner position seems remote.

Stay or go: your own list of reasons

There are many factors that influence your decision to stay with or leave a legal firm. Sometimes a large issue such as a firm’s stance on gender pay gap reporting can feel too big to work around or adapt to and can only be resolved by moving. Equally, smaller issues that combine to make a larger picture can be just as compelling in the decision to seek a new position.

The most important factors to consider when looking for a new job are the ones that matter to you. Whether that’s money, work/life balance, a comprehensive benefits package or proximity to family, only you can decide. Think carefully about what’s on offer with your current firm and weigh that against what a different firm can offer – and how that sits with what you want.

If you found this blog interesting, why not have a look at our other post on how to get a promotion in 5 simple steps. Or if you’re looking for that perfect role, then check out all the vacancies we have available, and please do register your CV with us.

You may also like to download our guide on How to Develop Your Legal CV.

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