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Lawyer Talk: How to Smoothly Change Jobs

January 25, 2023 0 Comments

Changing jobs doesn’t have to be hard work – putting some energy into smoothing out the transition will pay off in spades.

With the business of the year well underway, it’s not a bad time to be considering whether your current legal job is ticking all the boxes.

If you are thinking along these lines, our piece from last week – Lawyer Talk: 5 Signs ‘It’s Time’ to Look for a New Job – might solidify in your mind that it’s the right moment to spread your wings and seek out your next professional challenge.

Fast forward into the near future – you’ve landed your new legal job…hopefully with the help of the Gorilla Jobs legal recruitment team.

How does it feel? Exciting, of course, but also potentially a very natural sense of anxiety that can come with changing jobs. You’re about to be the new kid on the block, with a whole lot of learning to do around your new law firm, colleagues, workplace culture, client base, systems and office procedures. There’s a lot to learn, and it can be stressful, but don’t let this get in the way of how great it’s actually going to be starting your new role.

Here are a few things you can do to make the changing jobs transition smoother, less stressful and more productive.

1. Be prepared

While you’ve no doubt already done some research about your new law firm prior to interviewing, doing a little more now will give you an edge in the early days of your new job and maybe help quell some of the anxiety or trepidation you might be feeling.

After reading over the firm’s website again, you might also go over any LinkedIn profiles of the firm and your future colleagues or do a Google search of the firm or senior partners to learn more about their work.

Also, speak to your recruiter or contact at the firm to learn about onboarding procedures to give you a better feel for what your first week on the job looks like.

2. Anticipate the challenges and don’t beat yourself up about them

You’ve already proven to yourself and your new firm you are the right person for the job, but even if your new legal job is a role you’ve handled well before, it doesn’t mean it won’t come without challenges.

From getting into a new pre and post-work routine to learning the professional ebbs and flows of a new firm and the people in it, embrace the reality that, at least initially, no matter how skilled or seasoned a legal professional you are, you will face some challenges.

And don’t beat yourself up if you don’t rise to these challenges as quickly as you’d like. Stay positive: You’ll get there!

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

3. Get to know your colleagues

If possible, organise a pre-start coffee/catch-up with your recruiter, HR or new immediate supervisor.

While a catch-up like this may already be planned for your first week, organising a meeting prior to your actual start date will give you an edge on the first day because it’s a great chance to glean more information about the firm, its clients, management style and company culture.

Then, once you’ve started in the role, even if you’re not an overly social type, engage with colleagues over coffee or lunch or by attending social events that come up. 

Forging healthy work connections early on can make the challenges of a new role much more manageable.

4. Adjust and learn

There will no doubt be similarities between your last job and firm and your new one, but when changing jobs, there will also be differences.

The new work environment you’re going into will require you to adjust and possibly perform parts of your new role that are in stark contrast to how you did them previously.

Be open to these adjustments, and, importantly, to learning – even the most senior professionals who may feel they have developed the best way to work should be open to how things are done in a new workplace.

Motto: You can teach an old lawyer new tricks!

5. Never burn bridges

Sure, your previous firm won’t be ecstatic that you left, but they’re also grown-ups who realise that change is inevitable, especially at a time when many in the workforce are becoming more open to throwing their hat in the ring for new work opportunities.

Unless you’re leaving a particularly toxic workplace or have very specific personal reasons for wanting to walk away from your old firm and never look back, which can happen, maintaining ties with some of your old colleagues and management is never a bad thing.

This is mainly because any of them could pop up at firms you move to in the future, so keeping a respectful professional relationship with them and maintaining your professional networks in this way can never be a bad thing.

You may even end up back at your old firm – stranger things have happened!

Gorilla Jobs Can Help

Reach out to us today if you have any questions and would like to discuss opportunities!