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Deciding whether to move jobs

(1 Post)
CardinalCat Thu 26-Oct-17 12:23:57

background- I'm a corporate lawyer, but I work in a regional city, not London. I had 9 months of mat leave in 2016, and I have an 18 month old. No plans to have a second child.

I am in a massive quandary.

My current firm is one of a handful of 'top' commercial law firms in our city. I am not unhappy at my current firm, but a bit unsettled and I am consistently being held back by one of the partners I work under. The team structure means that I have no realistic prospect of partnership promotion any time soon- probably looking at 5 years minimum when one partner retires, as the market I work in just doesn't have enough growth to justify another partner on top of the existing ones. I also know I am significantly underpaid for what I do and for the income I generate (because my firm has a v conservative pay policy despite being one of the most profitable in the country) but I have been too busy juggling work and motherhood to challenge this (and on behalf of the sisterhood I am really fucking sorry- it is so hard sometimes just to keep afloat.) I also work fairly flexibly (9-5 in the office four days a week, and I log on from home in the evenings if I'm busy, and I work from home one day a week too. obviously for big meetings/ completions, I am in the office with everyone else as late as required that week, and there will be no wfh that week- maybe happens every month or so.) Still, for a corporate/ transactional solicitor this is pretty good going. However, I feel my boss assumes that I'll never move because she sees that I have a 'cushy setup' where I am. This year’s pay increases were terrible across the board and lots of people are disgruntled- thwey are blaming market uncertainty/ brexit.

meanwhile, across the road, I am being wooed by our biggest rival. They have pretty much hinted at a directorship (which is a step up from my current position as senior associate) and a significant pay increase. Still no partnership and I think that would be about 4-5 years, same as where I am just now. Downside is that they have a reputation for being a bit of a sweatshop and I can see my flexible working arrangements going down the shitpan- when I asked them they wouldn't commit to saying I could work in the same pattern as I do now although they said that they did support agile working. They seem like lovely people that I would enjoy working with- but of course, you can never really tell until you're in there, can you? it's a gamble.

I am also being wooed by a much smaller firm. Until recently it was common knowledge that it was in a bit of trouble financially, and was seeking a merger. It seems back on an even keel now, although it is probably less than half the size and stature of my current firm and our rival. However, they are 100% committed to flexible working and are really nice and decent people. I think I'd enjoy working there, and it's close to the station I commute into! I don't think they'd offer me as much money as the rival, maybe just a little more than I'm on now. and there's still no guarantee of partnership (although it would be more likely there, and quicker.) My worry is its financial stability as a firm- I have a mouth to feed. If it was just the shirt on my own back I was worried about, I'd be less concerned. Also, I guess reputationally, it is a 'step down' as it is smaller and less prestigious- I think most of my colleagues and clients would think WTAF is she doing?....

Or maybe I just stay where I am and speak to my boss about my salary expectations.

Urgh. I HATE THIS! Anybody have any wisdom to share?

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