Advice

Do I take a pay cut for a job that might lead to a training contract?

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Short-term sacrifice, but potential long-term gain

In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, one wannabe lawyer is weighing up the value of money versus the value of potential career progression.

“A little background before I continue. I am a GDL graduate (pass) and I have always wanted to be a lawyer. I don’t have a training contract, but I do have years of work experience in my home country of Italy. The issue is last week I had an interview for a firm, which made me an offer that I accepted. It’s in an area of law I’m interested in but the firm doesn’t offer training contracts, and I am due to start later this month. However another law firm has since approached me for an interview for a paralegal position potentially with a view to a training contract, and I will have to complete a phone interview this week. I’m looking for some suggestions on what to do if I receive an offer from the second law firm. I am a professional, my word is sacred and something someone could rely on. I don’t want the first firm to look at my behaviour in a bad way. On the one hand, I know that accepting this other paralegal position will entail a pay cut, but, as the law firm recruits trainees from paralegals, it is something I think I might be ready to accept to pursue my career in law. I really want to avoid any negative repercussions.”

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