At first reluctantly and then with more of a sense of purpose, Jo had taken the call from the recruitment firm. And ignoring Alex’s stare and wink, arranged to call them back.
Now she had some time to think. Did she want to move? Did she want to move now? What was so wrong with where she was now anyway? Simply sitting at her desk, or gazing out of the window or drinking another cup of coffee (or even hot chocolate) seemed unlikely to generate any answers. A long walk or a visit to the gym and a good night’s sleep were more likely to help.
The next day she called back. “Ok Kaz, can you tell me the firm?” she asked. “Not at this stage, but they are a significant presence in the London market and you will know them.” Then she asked, “Why do you think I would be interested …. Or they would be interested in me?”
“They are looking to expand their team and make employment a key practice area – they have already added three people in the last 18 months. And they are incredibly busy with both employer and employee work, as well as having a dynamic ongoing business development orientation.” Where did they learn to talk like that she thought, but let it pass.
“But why me?” Jo asked again, hoping that she didn’t sound too bewildered. A voice in her head was telling her “This is part of the interview process – sound assertive and confident you stupid woman!” “You seem to have the right level of experience and they are particularly keen to talk to people who are in medium sized firms, because one of their partners is very strongly of the view that those are the people with the practical, hands-on legal and client skills they want”.
“OK, well I’m interested, but you need to know that I’m pretty happy where I am, it’s a firm that’s going places and they tell me I have seriously good prospects here.” That bit about “seriously good prospects” was towards the “making it up” end of the assertiveness spectrum, but had seemed the right thing to say. In fact, telling people if they had good, some or no prospects was something the partners at FFS found virtually impossible. It didn’t seem to happen in formal appraisals nor in informal conversations. And then they seemed surprised and
hurt when good people announced they were leaving!
“Yes I can meet up Thursday week and early evening would be best …. and yes The Law Society would work for me. Text me with a time and I’ll confirm.”
“Well let’s just see where this all leads” pondered Jo before she was distracted by (yet another) text from the very eager Roberto.
Have your say
How easy is it to know whether it is time to move firms? Is it better to go after the firm you really want to join, even if they are not advertising? And what about not getting feedback about your prospects from your firm – is that your experience?
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