We've all heard of the three most important days in a person's life. First, the day you were born. Then, the day you find out why. And lastly…...the day you make a lateral move in your legal career! That's how the saying goes, right?
Although the latter might not apply to everyone, making a lateral move is one of the most important decisions in a lawyer's career. Unfortunately, despite the severity of this time and the lasting impact this decision will ultimately have on your career, lawyers often fail to put themselves in a position to get the best options.
More often than not, attorneys are hesitant to apply to several firms. However, I can confirm this is not best practice. Although it may seem like a reckless way of handling a move, exposing yourself to multiple options in the market is an excellent tactic to help you land that dream job.
Lets take a look at a few reasons why you should be putting yourself in front of more than one firm
When it comes to getting a job, much more goes into it than just submitting a resume and waiting for an offer, as we all know. Being a stellar candidate and nailing the interview process is an art form. Picasso didn't lay a paintbrush on a canvas when he was five and just became Picasso.
He practiced! What better way to hone your interviewing skills than to have multiple interviews?
Now here come the objections…
"But Andrew, what about mock interviews?"
Mock interviews are great and something you should be doing before any interview. That said, nothing compares to sitting across from two partners who have the final say about whether you will be accepted into their firm. So what is the best practice to nail your interview? More interviews!
A common misconception when finding a new job is that it is solely about you selling yourself to them. It's 2023, people. Wake up! The interview process is just as much about you finding out if the firm is a good fit for you as it is for them finding out if you're a good fit for them.
Intel is essential in this process and allows you to further understand what you are looking for (and not looking for - which can be more important) in your next role and firm. Be sure to ask lots of questions. Meeting with multiple firms allows you to see what some do that you like and dislike. Seeing first-hand, what certain firms have, or are missing, can give you insights into what your perfect role will look like (some of which you may have never known you cared about).
Although you may have your dream destination in mind when making a lateral move, there's no guarantee they will have a role at that time. Even if they do, putting all your eggs in one basket is quite a risk for your career. Having multiple options in the recruitment process can only help you find the best home, even if it's not your number one choice.
Momentum is key! Unfortunately, though, it is often overlooked. When your search is solely based on one job, and that job ends up hitting a dead end, all the moment in your search is stifled, and you're forced to go back to the drawing board. With multiple options on the table, even if one hits the fan, you still are able to maintain that moment with those other roles!
The key to getting the best offer possible? Having the upper hand. How do you get the upper hand? Have other offers or processes on the table!
When it comes down to negotiations, you always want to get the best offer for yourself. What better way to do that than with Leverage? Walking into the room with two other offers and a final interview with another firm next week, compared to going in there with nothing else in the background, puts you in two very different positions.
All in all, taking advantage of the market is the best thing a lawyer can do when finding their next role. Can it be a little overwhelming? Sometimes, yes, but nothing is better than knowing that you have made the best decision possible by exhausting all your possibilities. The world of law is a dynamic and deep field. Go out there and explore what it has to offer you! If you would like some more tailored advice, don't hesitate to reach out.