Seven signs it’s time to move on from your firm

by Samantha Woodhill07 Sep 2015
How do you know if it’s worth sticking out the long hours and countless compromises at your current firm?  According to recruiter Jason Elias, there are seven tell tail signs when it’s time to move on.

“If you’re on the fence about whether you need to make a clean break, here are some red flags that it’s time to move on,” Elias wrote.

1. Staying doesn’t make financial sense
According to Elias, taking a new opportunity may mean you end up earning more, and with added benefits like working more flexibly than your current role. 

“Instead of contributing to the retirement fund of the full equity partners, take a larger slice yourself,” he wrote.  

“After all, some firms are now offering 70 cents in the dollar and cross-referral fees.”

“You may find you even have time to take that holiday that never seems to come around,” Elias added.

2. You’re risking guilt by association
“Ask yourself: how positive is our firm’s reputation in my practice area? Who are we being compared to? Are we being held back or even missing out on work because of the way the firm is perceived?,” wrote Elias.

If moving on could be better for your reputation, it might be time to think about it.

3. You’re being pushed out of the main game
A perceived conflict on a matter could be holding you back and you may be excluded from managing bigger clients, according to Elias.  

“Managing demanding clients is one thing.  Managing internal conflict is another level of stress altogether.  Sometimes firm management just won’t be on your side,” he wrote.

If politicking is taking up too much of your time, it may be time to think about your other options.

4. Your firm is choked by bureaucracy
You don’t need too much paperwork and too many meetings eating away at your practice, said Elias.  If your workplace is overcomplicated now, it may never improve.

“You would be better off developing business and nurturing client relationships rather than attending endless irrelevant meeting that go nowhere,” he wrote.

“So ask yourself, do you have time to wait around while these knots are being untangled? Or do you have better things to be doing?”

5. There’s been a change in direction
If you’re finding it harder to align yourself with the focus of the firm, it may be time to make a choice whether or not to get on board a new plan.

“When you started your current role it may have been a perfect match,” Elias wrote.

“But things change.  If your firm decides to take things in a new direction, your areas of focus may simply not fit anymore.”

6. There’s a values mismatch
“Even if your situation looks fantastic on paper, a fundamental mismatch in values or personalities will wear you down over time,” wrote Elias.

Values underpin every decision and it doesn’t have to be spelled out in a document.  But if you can’t work towards your firm’s values, it may be time to revaluate.  

7. You know something better could be out there
If you’re thinking about it and not taking any action, you might be missing out on golden opportunities.

“We all know the best roles are often those that go unadvertised – part of the “hidden” jobs market,” Elias wrote.

“Now might be time to get a proper assessment of what your opportunities are and let those enviable jobs to come to you by getting to know connected recruiters in the market.”