You can find as many reasons as you want to leave your law firm: the boss is a jerk; advancement is unlikely; the hours are killing you, etc.
But you better think it through because in the law business, it is easy to go from the frying pan into the fire. That’s because there are a lot of lousy bosses, under-valued workers and killer hours out there.
Here are the top five reasons to bolt the law firm, no matter what:
Stress kills, doctors say. It’s a major contributor to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, anxiety and depression, among other things.
Not that law practice is always stressful, but it is enough. If you add to that the pressures of a bad boss, unforgiving hours, cruel deadlines, clients, or judges, it’s enough to consider moving on to find that happy place.
Working for a living or living to work? In the work/life balance, your health and your family should be the most weighty considerations.
“Moving to be closer to a family member, or where you are from, is a common reason for moving firms and also a good one,” says law recruiter Harrison Barnes. “Law firms like it when an attorney relocates to join a family member and go home.”
It’s telling that lawyers are trained to argue both sides of an issue. We call it advocacy, but others may call it duplicity.
In any case, if your conscience twinges when you take a position in your job, it may be time to change jobs. If your ethics or your liability are continually at stake, get out already.
4. Job Satisfaction
This is a catch-all consideration when deciding whether to leave your law firm. It incorporates everything that matters to you: working conditions, pay, advancement, etc.
But it is near the last on this list of reasons to bolt because every job has unsavory aspects — even the top dog has fleas. So figure out what you’re willing to accept first, then look at those things that you cannot.
5. Better Opportunity
It’s almost a no-brainer that you should answer when opportunity knocks. But unless your health, family or conscience demands it, don’t walk out the door of your law firm until that happens.
If you have made it this far, you should have already done a good job search. Now it’s about timing. It’s never too late to improve your circumstances, even if you bolt the door behind you.