As in any good romance novel, the conversation always starts with a warm smile. I mean, who can resist the temptation of being noticed?
Then there’s the approach – typically a subtle suggestion to meet informally over a cocktail or dinner. After all, who would know?
This is followed by something like, “I’ve heard so much about you and I’ve been looking forward to this date/meeting.” The conversations can lead to seemingly innocent questions about your past, while gauging your interest. At the conclusion, you leave feeling appreciated, validated and desirable.
Do you see the parallels?
Naturally, the mere presence of the date/candidate suggests that their present relationship/position isn’t working, or perhaps they’re on the cusp of a breakup. After all, the host is charming, engaging and more than eager to listen to your story with compassion and offer a sympathetic ear.
This scenario will play out dozens, if not hundreds, of times over the holidays, as law firms prepare to attract the latest crop of talented lawyers into their firm. No, we’re not talking about young associates, we’re speaking about experienced partners who have been ignored or grown disenchanted with their current law firm and law firm leadership.
But how does one honestly know when feeling underappreciated and undervalued means it’s time to end the relationship? After all, no job is perfect. Some believe that most broken relationships can be fixed. And besides, aren’t all law firms created equal?
It’s natural for seasoned partners to struggle to make the right decision while attempting to stay the course. And unfortunately, much like the hit song in the original Top Gun movie, “You’ve lost that loving feeling,” many leaders in law firms will encourage partners to leave. Yes, this scene will play out over and over throughout the legal community. But be cautioned, before making the decision to leave, and consider the wisdom in this truth: Don’t be quick to jump into something new because you are running from something that you view as bad.
Take a thoughtful step back and consider these basic questions:
1. What are you feeling? For example, if you are feeling anxious, can you identify and write down what you’re feeling anxious about?
2. If trust has become an issue, can you identify why or who that mistrust is related to and why?
3. Is the firm giving you the impression that you are no longer valued? If so, can you write down a couple of examples of why you believe that to be true?
4. Everyone needs a mentor. Can you approach someone you consider to be a mentor and explain your feelings? You want to be cautious here.
5. If a fundamental issue has developed, such as significant business conflict or you’re under compensated, these can be tricky to navigate.
Our hope is that this short article offers you some guidance and ideas to consider. But if you would like to speak more specifically and confidentially, JAGLAW LLC has an accomplished record fostering the needed strategy for your transformative success. Specializing in assisting experienced lawyers navigate the complexities of the legal market that is moving at a rapid pace, our attention and awareness in the legal community provides us with a distinct advantage that could be just the resource you need to give you the confidence to move intentionally.
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