Dear Help Me Hillary:
So, I got my bonus and now what? I am a second year associate at a large firm. I don't hate my job but I don't really like it either. Should I change jobs?
The first step in figuring out if you should change jobs is to figure out exactly what you don't like about your current position. Is it the hours, the location, or the work itself? Deciding the aspect of your current job that makes you unhappy is the key step. If you can really break it down, you will have a better idea of what you need to change. Sometimes only a minor change is required, for example working with a different partner. Other times, a more major change, such as switching practice areas or going to a smaller firm, is required. Or, you may decide you want to start looking outside of traditional legal jobs altogether. Everything is a tradeoff, so think about what you are willing to give up to get what you want.
Another idea is to go out on a few job interviews, just to see how you feel during the interview. Attending some job interviews will help you compare your current position with what else is out there. You may decide you have it pretty good where you are now; on the other hand, it may prompt you to leave your current position. January is a great time to "test-market" yourself, because there are usually a lot of job listings out there. You might also want to set up some networking meetings to investigate other career possibilities. Sometimes the only way to decide whether or not to leave a job is to take action -- and then see how you feel.
If you have your own question for Hillary send her an email to Help me Hillary.
Hillary Mantis, Esq.,is a career counselor and author of career books. She is the author of Alternative Careers for Lawyers and Jobs for Lawyers: Effective Techniques for Getting Hired in Today's Legal Marketplace.
Ms. Mantis consults with individuals and corporations on issues including: career transition, career advancement and direction, interviewing skills, leadership development, women in the workplace, and professional growth. She has been affiliated with Fordham University School of Law Career Planning Center for the past six years, and has been a career counselor for over ten years. She is a graduate of Brown University and Boston College Law School. For more information about private career counseling, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.mynewcareer.net.
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