New Year, New You…New Year, New Career? Fluctuating variants, the precarity of rising inflation, and the popularity of the Great Resignation has made many seriously consider leaving their lackluster careers. For good.
People want more flexibility, a better work-life balance, and to put it simply- to have control over their lives. The average employee is seeking a hybrid work model, looking for part-time interaction, and the ability to work remotely. It’s not surprising that many employers are failing to meet these needs.
Quite frankly, people are burnt out. The striking imbalance between what employees want, and what employers are willing to give is the cherry on top of the cake. One viable cure? Quitting. Saying no is becoming increasingly fashionable, and quitting is now considered as the ultimate form of self care. But as we all know, it’s easier said than done. Don’t give up hope just yet! By carefully strategizing an exit plan, you can put yourself in the best position to find that dream engagement, and finally let the door slam on that less than ideal job.
What about Legal?
Well, the world of legal has not been spared. The legal profession is undergoing drastic changes due in part to the interruptions Covid has left behind. Big Law has traditionally offered better compensation and benefits, but they’ve experienced a lag in progress that’s left lawyers looking elsewhere. And, when some companies tried to make a return to office mandatory...they were swiftly faced with a surprising number of employees who resigned.
According to Attorney at Law Magazine, large numbers of lawyers have quit due to the treatment they have received from customers, management, and law firm partners…basically all major stakeholders! Management strategies and employee incentives of the past have done little to retain associates in 2021. Big Law firms are desperate to retain top talent, and some have even looked toward Canada to fill vacancies. Let’s not forget that many large firms have increased starting associate salaries to $205K this summer, which is up an ample 10% compared to last year.
So, where are they going? More and more legal professionals are seeking flexible arrangements that allow them to maximize their work-life balance. Lawyers are opening their eyes to building their own solo-practice, so they can take charge of their career- and lead it in the direction that best suits their needs.
Practical tips on how to resign
Let’s face it, quitting can feel like jumping into an unknown abyss. There are endless potentialities, and it seems like a logistical nightmare. Of course, you’re asking yourself: How soon can I land another job? Can I afford it, and for how long? Is it even worth it? Shall I just stay put?
In an ideal world, you’d have your dream job lined up before quitting your current one. But that’s not an option for most. If you’re truly seeking a change for the better, the process will take time…but it doesn’t have to be as arduous as you might think.
Here’s what you can do to plan your escape.
Step 1: Decide what you want
Sure, it sounds simple. But you need to spend time on this. You’ve already been dreaming about leaving your current position, although it may seem like a jumble of mini rants about what you hate about your boss, your coworkers, or the job itself. Start taking note about what you dislike, so you can search for the exact opposite. Thoroughly consider what’s not working at your current job, and what you are non- negotiables for your next position.
Try out the tactic Robin Arzón (former corporate lawyer turned VP of fitness at Peloton) used to switch out of her 80-hour workweeks in Big Law. She blocked off 10 minutes a day to figure out her next career move. It makes it less daunting, and can aggregate into something real over time.
Step 2: The Financial Stuff
This is the most crucial step for everyone. It’s the breaking point between a plausible exit, or staying financially stable but unfavorably stuck in your current role. It may even be the reason you want to quit…We’re not going to sugarcoat it. It’s a touchy, and outright scary topic.
Be prepared to leave financially, the moment you give notice. In fields like legal, the confidential nature of the work may result in being asked to leave right away to protect internal information. Make sure you are able to cover at least three months’ expenses. Take a minute to review all the benefits you’re currently under, and consider if you can live without them for a bit. You may have to take a bare-bones approach before landing something new.
That’s all fine and dandy in a perfect world. The reality is that many are not able to afford that. A more feasible alternative? Consider moonlighting as a starting off point. By working part-time roles, you can explore opportunities that better suit your interests, and save up so you can secure the financial stability to actually take the exit. Just make sure to read the fine print so you know if it’s within your company’s policy.
Step 3: Clock Out, for good
So you’ve done all the upfront planning, and your goal date is fast approaching. You have another job lined up, or are taking some time to land your perfect role. Either way, it’s finally time to say farewell! Make sure to give plenty of notice. Although the standard is two weeks, it may be beneficial to give your current employer more leeway. After all, it’s in your best interest to leave on good terms…even if you’d rather make that dramatic, rage-filled exit we’ve all fantasized about.
Give notice the right way. The formal way to call it quits is through a resignation letter delivered either face-to-face, or via a video call. Be direct about it. State your reason for leaving, when you are leaving, and a closing statement with some form of gratitude for the opportunity. Keep it cordial, after all- you want to secure that recommendation letter.
Plan as best you can to make the transition smooth for all parties involved. Make sure you’ve tied any loose ends, and briefed your coworkers on any important to-dos. You never know who you’ll work alongside in the future, so it’s important to leave a positive impression. Say a formal goodbye, and let that chapter (finally!) close behind you.
Quitting takes guts. If you’re looking for the opportunity to finally cultivate that perfect work-life balance, or looking to moonlight for a bit before landing that dream gig- now is as good as timing will ever be. At Lawtrades, we’re pros at getting you hired. We offer part-time, full-time, or even project-by-project opportunities. What’s more? You have the freedom to choose the hours and rate you deserve.