Warning! Reactive career decisions can seriously damage your wealth

Posted in Latest News on 13 Apr 2021

A data driven article to help you maximise your earnings potential.

While 1 in 5 legal professionals cite career progression as the reason they changed jobs recently, 1 in 3 moves were reactive and included external factors such as job security, working conditions and office conflict.

Contrary to popular belief, a career move does not always result in a pay rise. People make career moves to lower salaries for all sorts of reasons, including Douglas Scott’s second most popular career motivator - job security.

Junior lawyers are more likely to make proactive career moves rather than reactive ones. 21% of junior lawyers cited progression as the main reason they left their previous role. This rose to 23% for 6-10 years PQE solicitors, and 27% for 11-15 years PQE solicitors. 

It reduced in more experienced professionals, with only 15% of solicitors with 16-20 years PQE moving for career progression. But solicitors with upwards of 11 years PQE are twice as likely to change their job because of the commute than junior lawyers. They are also 4 times more likely to move firms because of conflict or office politics.

A reactive career move can cut your chances of securing a rise in salary by a half and make it three times more likely that you lose money.


There are occasions where candidates take a step back to move forward and the consequential loss of salary is factored into long term career progression prospects. However, it is usually a given that a move up the ladder will trigger a pay rise which averages out at 20% across all legal professionals.

Maintain an upwards trajectory by plotting your career path and make proactive career decisions, such as career progression and an increase in salary at every stage of your journey. Keep in touch with legal recruiters like Douglas Scott so you keep abreast of sentiment and market changes and always be aware, no matter how comfortable life is, that things can change quickly through no fault of your own.

Douglas Scott Legal Recruitment are the leading legal sector recruitment experts. Call us today to put your career in context, discuss next steps and gain peace of mind that any prospective legal sector job move will be born of a fully informed decision making process.   

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