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Changing job roles within the same company

by Natalie Atherall | 25 October 2017

I joined Sellick Partnership in December 2014 as Placement Co-ordinator for the Legal Public Sector team after graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University in July that year. This was a busy and demanding role, which involved being responsible for ensuring every candidate that worked for us was 100 percent compliant. I was also responsible for all of our audits, and ensuring that we met all applicable legislation. It was a fast paced role, maintaining and developing relationships with key stakeholders such our clients, candidates, consultants, and managed service providers. And then of course there were matters such as IR35.

Having worked as the Legal Placement Co-ordinator for just under three years, I felt like it was the right time to take up a new challenge, and in August 2017 I made a sideways step within Sellick Partnership to a sales role within the team. This was a little daunting, I could have easily stayed in a role where I was incredibly knowledgeable and comfortable day-to-day, but having spoken to my Director Hannah Cottam, and letting her know what I would like to do, she was immediately very supportive, and the team began to facilitate a new role that meant I could embark on a new career as a Recruitment Consultant in the Legal Team.

Making a sideways step also brings its own challenges, and it was really important for me to start this role with a clear head, leaving my old role in the very capable hands of my successor. My previous role was very process-driven with lots of information flying around all the time, and it has been difficult to completely switch that off and change focus. 

Something I would really recommend if you are making an internal move, is to take some annual leave in between roles. Before commencing as a Recruitment Consultant I took a full week of annual leave, and I think that helped enormously. It meant that I had cleared my head of any information about compliance and dealt with any pending compliance queries before taking some time off.  It was important to do this as although I was staying within the business, I had to adapt to a new way of working. 

At first it was difficult, I had to adjust to using the same database but in a completely new way; to talk to the same candidates I had previously spoken to about documents, and talk to them about roles. On top of this, I was, and still am going through the training programme designed for me – learning about the sales process, learning what different lawyers do, getting my geography up to scratch for Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire (as these are the areas I will focus on) – there has been a lot to learn, and having that week off in between meant I was ready to tackle my new role head on. I have also really enjoyed embracing my more creative side, writing adverts and even now writing my first blog!

The last three months have certainly been focused, and a steep learning curve as I continue my training as a Recruitment Consultant but I am certain it was the right move for me. I am fortunate to work for a company that cares about my professional development, and thinks outside the box. It wasn’t at all obvious to anyone, least of all me that I could make the move into a consultant, but I am so pleased that I did.

My advice to anyone who loves the company they work for, but wants a new challenge, would be to go for it! Never assume that your manager knows that you want to move, or a fresh challenge – they are after all not mind readers!  Speak to your line manager to see how you can create that new challenge internally and if you work for a company that truly does care about your career progression and professional development, they will make it work – good luck!

If you would like to discuss you next legal career move with me then please get in touch by calling me on 0161 834 1642 or view my latest roles

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