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Living in a Dead-End Job

With so many associates unhappy at law firm jobs, this piece by Carrie Printz, Preparing to Survive a Dead-End Job (National Law Journal, 5/10/07) couldn't come at a better time. As Printz writes:

The harsh reality is that sometimes a job just doesn't work out. This can happen to anyone -- it often does. Recognizing the signs early on and being prepared for change are key elements necessary for a rapid recovery. There are two entities that can determine whether one has landed in a dead-end job. The first is the firm that will not promote an associate -- for whatever reason. The second is the associate who is unhappy -- also for whatever reason.  In either case, it is in the associate's best interest to be prepared for the possibility of seeking new opportunities.

Printz presents a checklist for associates to use in evaluating their situation. She advises associates to (1) identify their preferred specialization and whether they have an opportunity to handle those matters at their firm, (2) evaluate the workflow and ask themselves whether they'd like more control and (3) examine their compatability with existing firm culture. If associates find that none of those factors is to their liking, they should begin to take steps to explore other options. Likewise, if a firm is unhappy with an associate, that's another signal to start looking into other jobs.

As Printz writes, there's no reason for associates to stay in a dead-end job. To paraphrase what one lawyer's already stated so eloquently, life's too short -- get a divorce [from your firm].

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on May 10, 2007 at 07:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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