Poke the Bear or be Happy With What I Have?

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Poke the Bear or be Happy With What I Have?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:13 am

I'm a 3rd year at a tech company doing IP work. There are parts of my job that I really enjoy, the hours are nice, and the company as a whole is a mostly good place to work. However, the legal department is much less enjoyable than the company as a whole. The department culture sucks, the management cares not a whit about whether I do quality work, and I'm spending a large portion (maybe even a majority) of my time doing non-legal work. Not non-legal business development work, but non-legal clerical or HR type work. Add into that the fact that my specific department changed leadership a couple years ago, and there hasn't been a single promotion across the 20-some attorneys since then. My group is led by committee, and we have 4 layers of management, meaning that we get tossed about by the waves as each layer of management shifts their focus to our group. Frustration seems to be the common emotion felt by my coworkers.

There's a certain part of me that doesn't want to poke the bear. The compensation and benefits smooth over most of the dysfunctional parts of the job. The pay is on the lower side of competitive, but the benefits are pretty great. On the other hand, I didn't become a lawyer to run diversity initiatives or code up intranet pages or halfass my job. I want to work somewhere that will give me the resources necessary to become good at my profession.

Is it worth seriously considering a change at this point, or am I likely to find that the grass is pretty green on this side of the fence? Going back to a firm is not really on my radar, but my (admittedly limited) experience in other in-house legal departments says that there are less dysfunctional companies out there with competitive hours/comp/etc.


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Re: Poke the Bear or be Happy With What I Have?

Postby jhett » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:00 pm

Yes, there are better work environments than the one you are currently in. There's no drawback into shopping around - you can always decline offers if you find you aren't interested. This isn't a situation where you have to get out immediately, so you have time to do research, interview around, and find a place that suits you better.

My view on things is that even if your job is going well, you should always be on the lookout for better opportunities, especially in-house since the opportunities pop up less frequently. I (mostly) like my current in-house position but I have looked around and interviewed a bit myself.


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Re: Poke the Bear or be Happy With What I Have?

Postby rom10 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:39 am

OP - there is absolutely nothing wrong with looking onward and upward, and you've actually identified a salient issue. If you are not developing in the way you want to, that is a legitimate problem for your long-term career.

I think jhett has the right of it here - checking the market isn't poking the proverbial bear.

Only one question on my side - is there anyone in your department who you might be able to sit down with and ask for better and stronger work, or more responsibility?

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