03 Nov Worried about your current workflow?
The global economic climate has felt distinctly cool this year and the legal sector is not immune to this. Much of this is a natural readjustment after many law firms raced to hire lawyers and support staff over the last couple of years to keep up with booming global dealmaking demand. Some firms are very busy, and firms with strong counter-cyclical areas are all active. At MBS we continue to receive new hiring mandates every day.
There has been so much growth in recent years that it was perhaps becoming unsustainable and what we are experiencing right now is more ‘normal’ levels of legal recruitment. However, some law firms in Australia have started laying people off and it is natural to feel anxious about the current economic situation. If you are concerned about slowing workflows and potential job security, there are a few things you can do:
Think carefully about how you are filling any spare work hours.
- Can you attend any team or firm training programmes? Perhaps you can help deliver any training initiatives?
- Are you actively seeking out new work and letting people know you have capacity?
- Are you being flexible regarding the different types of work you are willing to take on? Can you assist other teams or offices?
- Are there any business development or marketing initiatives you can get involved in?
- Can you do any pro bono work?
- Is there any reading or a free training course you can do to expand your skill-set? Let people know that you are doing this and why.
Be visible and helpful.
- It’s probably not the best time to be working excessively from home or to have partners/managers wondering what you are doing.
- Be accessible and ready for when work comes in.
- Ask your manager what would be useful/helpful for the team for you to be doing. A ‘can-do’ attitude goes a long way.
Your personal reasons for moving will be more subjective. Your answer to this question needs to convince an interviewer that you will be happy living and working in New York (and will therefore stay). You also need to persuade them that you have knowledge of, and connections in, the city, so that you will quickly settled. This way you will be less focused on building a new social life and able to concentrate on your professional goals.
Stay positive and give off good energy.
- Buoy others and they will buoy you. You want to be the team member that everyone likes to have around.
- Remember that markets and economies are cyclical – work will pick up again!
- Although this is not the time to go AWOL or to down tools, try not to stress if you are not as busy as you would like to be. Downtime, and a chance to reset, is actually healthy for us physically and mentally, especially after a period of intense activity.
Try and objectively assess just how risky your personal situation is.
- Is your firm one which typically hires and fires “investment bank style”?
- Is the current slowdown a blip? What’s the longer-term pipeline looking like?
- Are the partners in your firm or team visibly worried or are they reassuring you?
- How did you score in your last performance review and how does the firm rate you?
If you are worried about your position, taking control of your personal situation is a good way to allay your fears and improve your mental health. Talk to a trusted recruiter to find out what the market is like for someone at your level and with your skill-set.
At MBS we are here to advise you at every stage of the recruitment process and what your options are if you want to (or have to) make a lateral move. We have been assisting lawyers and legal support professionals in their career journeys for many years and can help you apply, prepare, interview and be successful in securing the role of your choice and the career uplift you seek. Get in touch with Karen Waldock to find out more.