This may surprise you but not only has it been reported that only 12% of people leave their job for more money, in my experience of over 15 years as professional services recruiter and coach, I can barely remember one occasion where this was a main reason.
These are some of the reasons talented lawyers have shared with me as reasons for wanting to leave their job:
- The department is top heavy with no opportunity to progress to the partnership or to a senior role in-house
- Partners control of clients, removing the ability (for associates) to build on their client development skills whilst this is a criteria for promotion
- The firm’s mission and/or vision no longer aligns with the individual’s own
- Dislike of, or favouritism by senior team members of, other team members that’s hindering progress
- Dislike of boss due to poor communication, management or interest that’s hindering progress
- No/poor career progression
- To move to another city for better quality of work or life or both
- No/poor training.
There are more:
- Forced into a discipline they do not enjoy
- Disengagement and lack of enjoyment with the law/career they believed they were going in to
- Stress, long hours, no work/life balance
- A desire to move to larger/smaller firm more aligned to one’s client base or discipline and where they can therefore thrive
- Lack of autonomy/freedom
- To move away from the law
There are quite a few reasons aren’t there? Some of these apply equally to junior and senior lawyers because the bottom line is that lawyers, like us all, are human and have personal and professional development objectives. Or they did once upon a time.
Do you ever feel like this? That you are at a crossroads?
You’re clearly not alone. Many lawyers wait 6 -12 months before taking a first step to leave, agonising over whether it is the right thing to do or not and questioning if the grass could be greener elsewhere.
However, without a passion for your job, your stage within it or the career progression you seek, you will never fulfil your potential in it. This, in turn, affects the motivation that enables you to do the best you can do in that role.
You won’t know that until you uncover what your goal really is and put some structure around it.
It’s the best feeling in the world when you are in a role you are passionate about and that you enjoy.
I was once a lawyer and felt very conflicted when I gave that up to pursue another career that took me onto to yet another (albeit linked) profession. Being happy in your job should be a possibility for all, not the few.
Review your career regularly and make some decisions about what you want to see over the next 6 -12 months.
Regular reviews help you to stay on track and maintain motivation – or, if necessary, look elsewhere. How you do that effectively is the topic of another blog!
Anita Gohil-Thorp is a former solicitor from the City of London, now helping others to accelerate their life and career dreams.
You can contact her on
07961 111 255
All communications are in confidence.