Should you hold out or take what’s on offer in the here and now?

It’s a dilemma many of us will face at one time or another in our careers. You’ve been searching and applying for a new role with a different law firm but the ideal role hasn’t quite presented itself, yet you have an offer on the table. What do you do?

 

If you pass up on the offer you run the risk of missing out on the job you really want that may be just around the corner. But it might not and if you play the waiting game you may leave yourself in a vulnerable position.

 

This is more than a simply a question of yes or no. If your personal finances are a tad on the tight side then the decision to accept the current offer has already been made for you. If you’re financially set and can afford to hold out for a while longer, then do so.

The legal sector has been growing year-on-year since the turn of the decade. With this growth comes increased competition between law firms vying to secure the best talent to join them and competition between that talent (i.e. you) to win the best roles that will enable you to take you legal career to the next level.

Settling for a role in the short term that doesn’t quite fit with your longer-term aspirations could effectively be applying the brakes to your progression. But it isn’t the end of the world – it’s a question of mindset.

If you make the choice – forced or otherwise – to accept a position that you believe is either below your potential or isn’t the perfect stepping stone to get you to where you want to be heading next, don’t be resentful. Rather, view it as an opportunity albeit in the short term.

The role of a legal practitioner is evolving and the skills required to perform each role are expanding all the time. Look at the position as a way of learning and acquiring new skills that could be beneficial to you in your next role, and the one after that. But do not take your eye off your overall objective – to get the job you really want.

If you are as good as you believe you are, then you should never ‘settle’ for a role just because it is readily available in the here and now. Be the best person you can be in the role you are in now and focus on achieving some quick wins – notable successes that you can add to your CV.

This is very important, especially if your ideal job suddenly becomes available and you apply after a short period in your current position. Indeed, most of your contemporaries in your position will simply be going through the motions until ‘something better’ comes along.

By seeking to make an impact within a relatively short period of time you will win several Brownie points with a potential employer. They will recognise in you a person who is not only ambitious but that you are also someone who gives every role their all, no matter what the circumstances. And that makes you a very attractive employee.

As Henry Ford once said: “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” The very act of starting the ball rolling will shift quite a few of these obstacles for you and we’ll be here to support you at whatever stage you are in your career.