Starting a new role is a big change that is not to be overlooked, especially in the legal industry. There are a number of variables to consider to make sure your move is actually going to improve your career, rather than be a strain. One thing that is vital, is making sure you always put your happiness first.
Richard Holmes, Director of Wellbeing at Westfield Health, gives his top 5 factors to look out for when switching to a new firm:
Staff retention rates
“It’s always a good idea to get an understanding of staff overturn before starting out at a new firm. Do employees tend to jump ship after just a few months, or do they tend to stay for a number of years and complete their training contracts? Consider checking out the Linkedin profiles of people who have worked there, how long have they been with the business and have they progressed? If you’re making a big move, you want it to be the right one with a firm that offers lots of opportunity for progression.
“In a recent review of scientific studies, it was found that the more hours people sat, the higher the number of negative health outcomes. ‘Heavy sitters’, defined as those who sat down for 7-9 hours per day, showed a 90% greater risk of developing diabetes and an 18% higher chance of dying of heart disease or cancer than those who sat less. These days many law firms are taking their staff’s health into more serious consideration, with on-site fitness facilities such as gym suites, lunchtime running clubs and funded sports teams. Being able to exercise regularly has countless health benefits, and getting involved at work can have great social benefits.
Physical and mental wellbeing
“According to research, 75% of employees in the legal industry are looking for better physical and wellbeing support in the workplace*. When starting a new role, take some time to review their wellbeing offering, outside of the traditional health cash plan structure. Do they offer mental health support, such as with MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) training? Do they have a clear line managerial support structure in place?
“Traditionally, the industry is very restricted to the 9-5 working hours. However, with more and more firms recognising the need to offer flexible hours, you should consider those that are happy to accommodate to your needs wherever necessary. For example, if you have regular childcare responsibilities, hospital appointments or other family commitments, it’s important they are happy to work around these.
“Whilst they shouldn’t be the determining factor of moving to a new firm, with the competitive nature of the industry these days, additional fun perks do end up playing a part in selecting a new firm to join.
“Perks can include discounted theatre tickets, restaurants and beauty vouchers. Socially, many firms host summer BBQ’s as well as the traditional Christmas party too.”