The 2 year life cycle – myth or reality? June 1, 2012Posted by travisthetrout in Job hunting, Working Life.
So you are “stuck” in a paralegal job, underpaid, riddled with debt and there is no training contract on the horizon? You may not be unhappy, but it is still not fulfilling the dream.
There is much discussion whether if you have been unsuccessful in your TC hunt at your current firm whether you should move on. Rumour has it that if after two years you are in exactly the same position you should change jobs. True?
Paralegals at both my previous firms tended to move on after a couple of years if they had not been successful in the firm’s two years in advance recruitment. Sometimes this proved successful with them obtaining a training contract in six months, other times the move only prompted another “stuck” feeling (but usually due to the workplace environment rather than the lack of TC).
Regardless of whether the 2 year life cycle of the TC hunting paralegal is true or not – you should always be on the lookout for good available opportunities. Something better could always come along (and if nothing else a job offer elsewhere might make your current firm assess/reconsider your suitability for a TC).
I don’t think it is essential to your career progression to firm hop every two years as a paralegal (after all you want to show commitment) but you need to make sure you are actually getting progression.
When may it be a good idea to move on?
1. They have said there is no TC available.
2. If your firm recruits 2 years in advance and you have been unsuccessful so far
3.You have failed to get a TC with your current firm with your current CV and you will be applying yet again, with the same CV (and to other firms with the same CV as the last round).
4.You don’t really want a TC at your current firm but they *might* offer you one
5. You are bored and not adding anything to your CV – even as a paralegal they should still be serious about your career progression
6. There is no internal application process (if a larger firm) and you feel your needs/career progression are not being considered.
When is it not necessarily a good idea?
1. When there are no other job offers – a job is a job and money is money.
2. when you still have a shot at getting a training contract
3. When you love your job
But – don’t be swayed by promises of good things. Promises can be broken – Make sure they act on them.
I don’t know whether the 2 year life cycle is a myth or a reality – but I can see merit for the argument. And many friends agree – usually the problem is finding a new job to move to.
Please add your opinion in the comments.