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Ask Ash

14 September 15

Advice column: I'm struggling to focus on my job after missing out on another

Dear Ash

I recently lost out on getting a new job which I had my heart set on. I had really positive feedback through the various stages of the recruitment process and so didn’t expect to miss out in the final round. The problem is that, as I had mentally prepared myself to leave, I am finding it really difficult to focus back on my current role. In particular, I am not motivated in making any effort in my work or with colleagues and just feel as if I am going through the motions. I am concerned I am not making a great impression, but I just can’t seem to snap out of the way I feel.

Ash replies:

I do think that you are being hard on yourself. You have effectively been rejected for a role in which all the signs seemed to indicate that you would be successful, and rejection is not easy for anyone to accept.

On the positive side, you clearly had the necessary skills and aptitude for the role and this is why you were able to progress successfully through the various recruitment stages. Therefore rather than be hard on yourself, you should seek feedback on your interview and use this for preparation for future roles. The lack of motivation in your current role is something you will need to work on because, even if you are still set on leaving, the fact is you will need to stick around until another suitable role appears, which could take time.

You don’t want to jeopardise your position in the meantime, and if anything you should grasp the opportunity to immerse yourself in new projects and cases in order to enhance your skillset and make yourself even more marketable in your chosen specialism. You may have mentally left your current job already, but it is important that you do make the effort to refocus on your job, because even if you do leave in the near future it is always better, where possible, to leave on good terms and without burning all bridges.

“Ash” is a solicitor willing to answer work-related queries from trainees and solicitors, which can be put to her via the editor:, or mail to Studio 2001, Mile End, Paisley PA1 1JS. Confidence will be respected and published advice will be anonymised.

Please note that letters to Ash are not received at the Law Society of Scotland. The Society offers a support service for trainees through its Registrar’s department. For one-to-one advice contact Katie Wood, manager in the Registrar’s department, on 0131 476 8105/8200, or 

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