When It’s Time to Move On



How can I know for sure when it’s time to move on from my current job? And once I find a new position, how can I leave on good terms with my current employer?




Staying in a job too long is something you may come to regret. That’s why it’s essential to recognize these signs telling you it’s time to look for something new: 


  • You’re feeling overworked.  Legal professionals often work long hours, but it’s important that you feel like your efforts are valued. If you regularly burn the midnight oil or work through weekends with no recognition from your boss, your morale will dip and you risk burnout. Look for a position with more flexible work arrangements or one where going beyond the call of duty wins you both kudos and tangible rewards. 
  • You dread going to work.  Everyone can get the Monday blues. But if you frequently wake up feeling miserable because you have to go to work, that’s not normal — and you need to make a change. If the problem stems from being overworked, talk to your manager and give them the chance to find a solution. If it’s a toxic work environment, moving on quickly is probably your best option. 
  • There’s a lack of opportunity for advancement.  Career development  is essential to being happy and satisfied with your job. If you’ve advanced as far as you can, or if your firm doesn’t provide enough opportunities for you to grow, look for a position in an organization that will help you develop and advance in your profession. 


How to leave on good terms  


In the legal field, who you know matters almost as much as what you know. So, it’s important not to burn any bridges on your way out. 


Remember to provide plenty of notice. Two weeks is standard, but if you have the flexibility to provide more, your employer will appreciate it. Schedule a meeting to inform your supervisor directly, then work with them to find a time to share the news with the rest of the team. 


Finally, help your manager prepare for your departure. Make sure your clients are left in good hands, tie up loose ends and offer to train other employees on your responsibilities if needed. 


Even if you’re unhappy, these last two weeks should fly by if you have a new position to look forward to. Putting in a good final day will help you maintain your professional network and start the next chapter of your career on a positive note. 


Jamy J. Sullivan is executive director of the legal practice at Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized talent solutions firm. Robert Half offers contract, temporary and permanent placement solutions, and is the parent company of Protiviti®, a global consulting firm. Visit RobertHalf.com.