Suffering End Of Year Career Blues, Is It Time to Leave?
- September 15, 2019
Here we are, over halfway through the year already, and if you’re currently on a sun lounger sipping a cocktail (lucky you) enjoying a well-earned break, you may be thinking about your return to work and whether you’re currently happy in your career, or if it’s time for a change.
We all get the mid-career blues. And it can be for several reasons.
Perhaps you feel you have plateaued in your legal career, reaching a certain level of achievement but you can’t seem to break through to the next level?
Or you may be feeling a bit jaded in your current job role and looking for the thrill of something different?
Or maybe you really do think it’s time to up sticks and seek out a new career with a different law firm?
Spending some time asking yourself what the cause of your dissatisfaction stems from will enable you to make a rational decision on how to progress so that when you return after your summer break, you’re one hundred per cent committed and sure of your next steps.
So, let’s take a look at some of the things that could be stalling your career.
Have You Become Static in Your Current Law Career?
If you feel you have reached a plateau in your legal career, it may seem that there’s no way you can progress. Asking yourself what you ideally want to accomplish at work will help you decide the best way forward in this scenario.
There are several options to consider:
Make a lateral move. Perhaps there’s an opportunity for you to do a similar job elsewhere in your law firm but working in a different area. This would give you new day to day challenges and prevent you from feeling you are stagnating in the same job role.
Using the soft and hard skills you have already acquired in your career will set you up for success in a slightly different position as you will be able to adapt quickly to different tasks.
New tasks could also lift you up from a wellbeing point of view, improving your mental health and outlook and enabling you to feel positive about the future.
Become an expert in your area. If a move is not possible, you could consider becoming the ‘go-to’ person for information and expertise in your specialist area.
For example, if you are a Dispute Resolution Legal Secretary you could enhance your knowledge of IT so you are able to help others with IT-related questions.
Or if you are a Residential Conveyancing Fee Earner you could hone your customer service skills and knowledge to become an in-house trainer for colleagues.
By expanding your understanding of a specific area and developing your personal profile, you can soon become the name everyone thinks of first for advice or guidance.
Additionally, with your expertise, you could offer to train up new employees, giving both yourself and the firm a boost.
Consider an alternative to a salary increase. If there’s little chance of a pay increase in the foreseeable future within your law firm, have you considered other non-material rewards instead?
As well as the options of adjusting your working hours, having more flexibility with working from home will improve work-life balance – giving you more opportunity for activities outside the office: going to the gym, socialising with friends or spending time with your family.
It’s also worth remembering that by staying with your current firm, you could also enjoy less stress in your day to day job as you know what you are doing and what the firm’s goals are already.
This avoids the stress and anxiety that a new job can bring.
Are You Feeling Jaded in Your Current Role?
If you feel you have exhausted all opportunities within your current career specialism, it may be time to look for a new challenge.
Changing jobs is always a daunting prospect – especially if you have dependents, rent or mortgage repayments to think about, or even just a step outside of your comfort zone.
The Law Society offers practical advice on changing specialisms.
Although not for the faint-hearted, it is possible to take on a new challenge. This could be a move within your current firm from Property Law to Personal Injury, for example.
If you do decide to go down this path, being prepared is critical. Make sure you do the necessary research and be focused in your approach.
It takes courage to choose this route, but it could reap dividends in the long run.
Are You in Danger of Burn-Out?
The dangers of over-doing things at work and suffering burn-out, as a result, are very real.
There’s a lot of pressure on all employees these days, and especially on Senior Partners and Managers within a complex and competitive legal marketplace.
It’s crucial to remember that it’s vital that you remain mentally at the top of your game at work – you can’t run a legal firm with employees who are trying to burn the candle at both ends.
Something is going to crash and burn.
So, look after yourself.
Daily exercise, yoga, meditation, socialising with friends – whatever is your preferred way to relax away from your desk.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day (or by one person!)
Stop trying to do everything and make time in your life for relaxation to ensure you are in peak form physically and mentally when you are in the office.
Is It Time to Break Away and Look for Something New?
If you really can’t see a way forward in your current law firm, then perhaps it’s time to consider a move.
If you are considering this option, here are a few tips to help you plan your move:
- Set up job alerts. Make sure you have registered with relevant career search sites online.
- Update your LinkedIn profile as recruiters and hiring managers will be looking here to find out about you.
- LinkedIn also provides the opportunity to seek employment and new challenges but beware of making this visible on your page unless your current manager is aware of your intentions!
- Talk to colleagues you can trust at work and ask them to let you know of any opportunities. They can also provide an excellent sounding board for interview practice.
- Contact a specialist legal recruiter to help you navigate the job market. They can offer valuable advice and have many contacts to help find the right job for you.
If you’re reading this article because you are looking for the next move in your legal career, call one of the Clayton Legal team on 01772 259 121 and let’s have a conversation to explore your options. With our help, your transition can be smoother and quicker.
About Clayton Legal
Clayton Legal has been partnering with law firms across the country since 1999 and during that time has built up an enviable reputation for trust and reliability. We have made over 5,000 placements from partners to legal executives, solicitors to paralegals and legal IT personnel to practice managers.
If you are building your legal team or looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.