Leaving Your Job, But Have You Done Your Career Assessment?

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The causes of change may or may not be within your personal sphere of influence and most probably there is nothing about it you can do but look for a new job. The opportunities of a legal staff on the verge of losing his/her employment are usually confined to:
  • Continuing to work in other in-house office jobs
  • Moving to a law-firm environment
  • Striking out as an independent consultant
While the second and third alternatives are concrete alternatives for any law graduate, they may not be viable for an in-house attorney unless they are sought actively by you and is the reason for planning to leave a job. Why? Because those alternatives were your first alternatives anyway when you graduated from law school. That you decided to go for a job as an in-house attorney proves that your initial circumstances were not in favor of working in a law firm or as a solo practitioner. Unless, those circumstances have changed in a drastic manner, chances are, that your only viable alternative for the present job is a new one. And, for that if you are up-to-date with your career assessment, you are ready to go any time.

When I am talking of career assessment, I am not talking of a resume, or a report or work experience, but a real deep look at your goals, your methods to attain your goals, and your arsenal of both ''soft'' and technical skills. You also need to take a second look at all your assets and liabilities both personal and professional in nature.

You must make what in industrial jargon is termed as a SWOT analysis that thoroughly breaks down and analyzes your strengths and weaknesses in every field of activity that is relevant to your existence. However inhuman it might seem, in a SWOT analysis, a chronically ill family member is a weakness, and your passion to support and take care of that family member is a strength.

To find a proper workplace it is necessary to assess all your needs and goals as well as your preferences. In spite of meeting your financial goals, workplaces that are out of sync with your career goals or personal preferences will never act as long-time sources of employment.

Also, under the current economic gloom, if your desire to move is self-initiated, then you should carefully go over your present job. Assess all opportunities, drawbacks, and benefits associated with the job position and be extremely sure before setting foot outside, that there were no viable alternatives left for you that could allow you to continue. It is extremely important to be unbiased about your assessment, for your career and lives of those who are dependent upon you hang in balance upon your decision.

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