All lawyers have different priorities when it comes to their working life and people decide to make a job move for a host of different reasons. There are, however, a number of things that most commonly lead people to enter the job market. If you think you might be getting itchy feet in your current role, here are 5 signs that might signal it’s time for you to make a change.
You don’t feel challenged
If you no longer feel inspired by your caseload or don’t feel as if you’re learning anything new in your role, it may be time to polish your CV. In our 2022 state-of-the-market research, 63% of lawyers said that being challenged motivated them in their working life and 40% said more exciting work would potentially make them interested in a move elsewhere.
You might feel more engaged in your work at a firm that, for instance, deals with a greater breadth of work or, conversely, specialises in a particular niche of the law that excites you.
There aren’t any progression opportunities on the horizon
By their very nature, lawyers tend to be ambitious and for many working within the profession, career development is very important. If you’re finding that there simply isn’t room for you to grow in your current role or if despite meeting your objectives and exceeding your targets, you’re not quite reaching that next rung of the ladder, this could be a sign that it’s time to move on. Whether it’s the size or make-up of your firm, or there are internal politics at play, if you’re finding it impossible to score that promotion, it may be worth exploring new opportunities that will allow you to reach your full potential.
Your job doesn’t allow you enough flexibility
For many lawyers, the benefits of working remotely are invaluable. For some, it will help them live a healthier lifestyle; for others, it will mean saving time and money on a commute; for those with caring responsibilities, it will mean being more present, less frazzled and less stressed about getting to where they need to be on time.
In recent years, flexibility has become a prerequisite for many lawyers and many law firms have responded to this demand and rolled out various flexible working measures, with employers offering an average of three days a week home working.
If you’re looking to improve your work-life balance but your firm is unable or unwilling to accommodate this, this may be a sign to take stock of what you’re looking for from your working life and whether your current firm is the one for you.
Your current role’s affecting your wellbeing
Sadly, our 2023 Wellbeing in the Law report revealed that 62% of legal professionals have experienced burnout as a result of their work, with a further 21% saying they often feel stressed. If you can relate to those lawyers and find that your job negatively impacts your wellbeing or mental health, it might be time to consider whether you might be happier elsewhere.
Recognising that the long hours and punishing workloads traditionally associated with the profession can have a significant impact on lawyers, many firms have put a real focus on the wellbeing of their employees – whether by offering incredible flexibility, a manageable caseload, additional health benefits or a supportive culture. If your current firm isn’t looking after your wellbeing, there will be another firm out there that will.
You’re not being paid what you’re worth
In the current economic climate, there’s never been a more important time to understand where your salary sits in relation to your peers. To help you better understand where your salary sits in relation to your peers and why variations in pay may exist, we have developed our practice-area salary guides for 2022.
If you’re being paid below market rate for your PQE and you can’t see this improving any time soon, you might find your experience and skillset are better appreciated elsewhere.
Are you thinking about the potential next step in your legal career?
Unlike most other recruiters, at Realm, we aren’t just here for when you want to make a move to another firm. We are truly passionate about helping legal professionals like you achieve their career goals and provide you with tailored advice on what you need to do to progress to the next level.
If you would like to discuss your salary or career progression, please feel free to get in touch with our specialist team of legal recruiters here.