As the air turns crisp and students go back to school you may be wondering if it’s time for you too to begin something new. But perhaps another thought pops into your head—if I leave now, will I be giving up my annual bonus? While not always true for everyone, sometimes taking the leap, even if it means leaving a bonus behind, is worth it for your job satisfaction, your career development, and maybe even your bank account.
1. Why It’s Good for Your Job Satisfaction
If you’re looking to make a job change, chances are you are already unhappy in your current role. Maybe it’s a manager or the law firm culture you don’t enjoy, using dated technology, lack of work-life balance, or you’re just starting to feel bored with your role. This job dissatisfaction isn’t just going to go away while you wait for your bonus check. In fact, it will probably get worse. If you’re ready to make a move, identify why, and prioritize finding a technology role at a law firm that will remedy those pain points for you.
2. Why it’s Good for Your Career Advancement
Maybe you feel stuck in your current role and don’t feel like there is opportunity for advancement. Switching to a superior firm in a role that has more room for technical and/or managerial advancement, and therefore future earning potential, can be worth leaving a bonus behind. As you begin your search, identify what level of role you’re looking for, what skills you want to develop in your next role, and how switching to a new firm might help you achieve these goals.
3. Why It’s Good for Your Bank Account
If you’re seeking a new role, you’re also likely looking for a pay raise. If your recruiter or a job description tells you that a sign-on bonus is on the table, some or all of the bonus you would be leaving behind, may still land in your pocket. But even if it doesn’t, you could make a leap in pay and bonus potential that could make taking a short-term loss worth it. (You may also still get your bonus or vacation pay—check your fine print to find out if bonuses and PTO are still paid out even after you’ve given notice or left your company.)
While the desire to stick something out for bonus pay is a natural inclination, it isn’t always in your best interest. Consider carefully whether waiting months to begin your job search is worth that bonus paycheck and decide if it’s right for you. If you would like personalized advice for your job search and career advancement, contact one of our experienced recruiters.