Is the Wrong Job Now Better than the Right Job Later?
Julie Lehrman, Recruiter
I recently worked with an attorney who was interested in one thing: moving to a certain city to join her partner, who was already living and working there. She was interested in several opportunities that I would not have anticipated would interest her: she was coming from a large firm and suddenly considering tiny firms and solo practitioners in addition to the large firms she was originally contemplating. She even suggested changing practice areas in order to broaden her net.
Let's be clear: flexibility is great, and I often work with attorneys who are not quite flexible enough. I always believe it is best to submit your resume and talk to the firm before deciding an opportunity is not right for you. You never know when a firm that looks wrong on paper may turn out to be the perfect fit once you meet everyone there and get to know more about the practice.
Having said that, there is such a thing as too much flexibility. Grabbing the first job that is offered to you is foolish and short-sighted, and can hurt you in the long term much more than you may realize. Having moved myself, I understand the temptation to get a job so that you can move to your new destination, especially one that will pay your moving expenses and bar costs. You may imagine that if you end up hating the job, you can always get another job later. This is a mistake.
If you are practicing in city A and you move to city B for a job you end up hating, you may find it very difficult to get another job. This is because you now look like a job-hopper. Additionally, the lawyers in your new market probably know one another, and a good recommendation from your new firm is going to be key. If you can't get that, you may not work again in your new town. Last, certain cities want to be sure that you understand their culture well (Denver comes to mind). If you try to change jobs too soon, you send the message that your move to their city may have been a mistake. Again, this reflects poorly on you.
Be sure to take your time and find the right position, rather than jumping at something without examining it too carefully. You could end up doing yourself a disservice, or even sabotaging your entire career.
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