Don’t Wait to Make a Job Change

Posted: Nov 04  |  By: Jennifer Clifton

”Call me in January.” “I can’t move until after I receive my bonus.” “I am going to start my job search after the holidays.” Sound familiar? There’s no time like the present when it comes to finding your next great attorney role. Below are some terrific reasons why you shouldn’t wait another day to explore the market.

  1. The Year-End Bonus You are Waiting For is Not Guaranteed

Most year-end bonuses are only “target” or “potential” bonuses which are contingent upon hitting a specific billing goal or based on company/firm profits. Last year, a global AmLaw firm paid minimal year- end bonuses last year due to lower than expected profits. Many of their attorneys missed out on great opportunities waiting for a big expected bonus that didn’t materialize.

  1. Your New Job May Offer A Signing Bonus

Top talent is in demand. Firms and companies will offer a signing bonus to get the right lawyer. Our AmLaw client just paid a coveted corporate associate a $25,000 bonus to compensate for the bonus being left behind. Although this signing bonus was smaller than the expected “target” year-end bonus, our client showed their commitment to getting this lawyer into the role ASAP and it worked!

  1. Firms and Companies DO Hire During Holiday Season

Contrary to popular belief, a large amount of attorney hiring is done in fourth quarter. The holiday season is often our busiest of the year in terms of perm attorney placement. If there is a strong need, firms and corporations will make the time to interview the right lawyers. Sometimes they even schedule a phone interview during their own vacation! Last year, my clients interviewed an attorney on the day after Christmas and during the week of Thanksgiving to ensure they got the candidates they wanted on their timeline.

  1. The Opportunity May Not Wait For You

Timing is everything. Finding the right role can be challenging. When you see it, go for it. Rarely does your perfect opportunity line up with your ideal timeline. We recently worked with a terrific labor and employment associate who wanted a coveted in-house role with one of our clients. The timing wasn’t perfect for our candidate and she passed on pursuing the role. By the time she changed her mind four weeks later, the role had been filled. Law firms and corporations are very flexible in working with candidate’s time constraints but they won’t hold a role open when they need it filled quickly.

  1. A Job Change Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Do some job searches move at the speed of light? Sure! This month we had a law firm extend an offer two days after beginning their search. But the typical attorney job search involves multiples rounds of interviews and months of back and forth. We recently placed a commercial real estate attorney with our client and the conflicts process alone took over three weeks. If you want to make a move in the next three to six months, start now. The market is constantly changing. It can take a month or more for even great attorneys in high demand practice areas to garner interest from the right firm.

Moral of the story? Give yourself the best odds possible to find the right role and call Parker and Lynch Legal in your market to get started!