So You Wanted New Year Predictions?

Sorry but the crystal ball seems to be a bit cloudy.

January in any year is always very busy for recruiters as people turn over their proverbial new leaves for a new year and decide that they need a fresh challenge, a change of scenery or simply can’t face the prospect of going back to the same office after a lovely summer break. Some of those people will ultimately stay put and decide that there isn’t greener grass to be had as they head back to work and get used to wearing closed toe shoes again. Others will pursue a new opportunity and, all being well, make a good career step towards their short and long-term goals.

Whichever camp they fall in they will all want predictions about the state of the ‘market’ and the trends we are seeing. It is simply another way of asking what the prospects are of them finding what they are looking for whilst retaining enough typically Kiwi reluctance to talk about themselves.

At this point we can give broad brush answers and say that overall things are looking good. Conversations with our clients are certainly more upbeat than this time last year and there is already a good job flow for the New Year and talk of more recruitment to come. Teams are busy and economic indicators and wider business confidence are as positive as they have been for some time. With any and all growth, investment and development comes more work for lawyers so let the good times roll, right?

The reality is of course far more complicated than that given the ‘market’ we so glibly talk about involves living breathing human beings in their infinite variety. In fact in most cases your prospects of finding a new role are more likely to depend on your area of law, your PQE, where you trained, your academics (sorry, but that is still the truth of the matter), the area of the country you are in, your communication skills and business nous, ability to compromise and be realistic, timing, some luck and lots of other factors that all have to line up throughout a recruitment process.

The key thing that a strong market delivers is choice. Instead of just one or two options you may find you have four or five options, making it much more likely that you will make a bigger step towards your goals. So by all means ask for predictions but make sure whoever is advising you is clear on your place in the market and where you want to head. You’ll definitely make better decisions that way.