Sometimes a decision to change jobs or careers is really easy. For example, when you absolutely hate your current working environment or when you are going for your dream job. However, there are times when the pros and cons of the decision are much more subtle, or where there are different factors pulling you in opposite directions. For example, when you really enjoy your current role however a new job is offering you more career progression. Or when you are giving up a well-paying job for a much lower paying job that is in your dream industry.
I have certainly grappled with this tough task over the previous month, or more accurately, over the previous year. I had qualified as a Lawyer back in February 2014 but had opted not to practise law in favour of working in the Risk & Compliance team of a large, well known national group of companies. I found that over the last year, the thought of practising law was always in the back of my mind, causing me to constantly doubt and second guess my career path. An opportunity presented itself for me to work as a Lawyer in a mid-tier law firm and I had to very quickly decide whether I was willing to embrace the change.
I considered the following factors, however they are definitely not equally weighted. I downloaded a weighted pros and cons app so I could assign the appropriate ‘level of significance’ to these factors. Though the financial and lifestyle differences were quite large cons (it must be one of the best kept secrets that many Lawyers don’t actually make that much money!), the benefit of actually practising law (and thus avoiding future regrets and uncertainty) was too great and dwarfed all other setbacks, particularly at this early stage in my career. However, this list was still very helpful as it allowed me to conduct my due diligence in a methodical manner, so there would (hopefully) be no surprises as to what I what I was getting myself into. (more…)