29/4/2020 by Duane Cormell
Our priorities, at least career-wise, are likely to change over the years. Yet we rarely sit back and think about what matters to us.
In this instalment of 'Advice from Realm', we give you four reasons why it pays to be clear about your priorities, whatever the circumstances.
1. The dream job presents itself to you
In 2020, it is rare for a solicitor to stay in one place all of their professional life. Sometimes your life circumstances will necessitate the move. Sometimes a fantastic opportunity presents itself in front of you out of the blue - you receive a Linkedin message about it, a friend of a friend mentions it in passing. The hesitation kicks in. "Is this really a good move for me?" "How do I know I'd be making the right decision?" Having a clear understanding of what your priorities are will ease these doubts. It will give you a clear and loud signal that this is likely the one career opportunity you cannot pass on because it ticks all the boxes for you.
2.Focusing on self-development
Some of your priorities, including better promotions prospects or more interesting/challenging work, are going to be relatively easy to improve. Realising how high up they are on your list may prompt you to spend more time networking, building up a circle of contacts which will generate work and lead you to take on more clients. It could also motivate you to look after your mental wellbeing—regular exercise or taking more breaks during the day to maintain a healthier work/life balance.
3.Finding a new job at short notice
If for whatever reason, you need to find a new job at short notice, time is going to be of the essence. With the looming changes that will affect the legal market post-pandemic, there will be little time for hesitation. Post Covid-19 you're likely to have even less time to make your mind up about a job offer, having to respond within a 24/48h window. This is only going to be possible if you know, from the outset, what your requirements are.
4.Finding out if the grass is really greener
Part of having a fulfiling career is knowing when it's right to stay and when it is right to move on. Often, we are too busy to think about which elements of our job we enjoy the most. Quantifying certain aspects of your role will help to give you some perspective. It is likely to reaffirm that you're at a supportive firm. If the exercise shows that you have just one or two, easily fixable issues, the sensible thing to do is arrange that chat with your current employer. If there's more, perhaps it's time to reconsider your circumstances.
What are your priorities?
In the beginning, you should think about what things are essential to you. Partnership? Having your own office? Part-time hours or ability to buy extra holidays? More money, closer commute, or working in a friendly, tight-knit team?
If you're struggling to identify or articulate what it is you're looking for, it may be useful to think about what's missing from your current role. Do you wish your employer invested more in your development and offered more definite routes of progression? Are you looking for a more varied workload or a higher salary? Would you ideally like to work flexibly or be able to work from home occasionally?
Once you've made a note of your requirements, it is a good idea to rank them based on which are most important to you; our Priorities Scorecard will be a useful tool. You should also think about which of them are non-negotiable and which you'd be willing to compromise.
Want to discuss?
At Realm, we'll work closely with you to develop your career, providing advice and guidance to help you get to where you want to be.
For a confidential chat, get in touch with us today. Call our legal recruitment consultants on 03300 245 606 or visit our website to see our latest legal vacancies in private client, personal injury, property and family law.