Category - Career Change


Strong skills as a lawyer, and being seen as a consummate professional are two constructs which fit well together.  Think of one of the best lawyers you know, and the most likely adjectives to come to mind will probably include disciplined, hard-working, forensic intelligence, client focused, and self-controlled. It seems there will always be a

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Managing Change with Humanity

Throughout Australia currently, public servants in a number of contexts are losing their jobs.  Funding is shrinking, restructuring is being imposed, and some areas of services are being outsourced or quietly abandoned. Much the same has been happening in the private sector for the past five years or so. However in our experience, the support

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We have published a number of short papers on the challenges facing law firm partners contemplating a career change.  Most recently our paper: Creating New Careers in the Changing Law Firm Landscape looked at emerging new practice models, and the opportunities these present. Here we reflect more on the bigger picture partners need to consider

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Unplanned career change brings with it a sudden array of pressures.  These can include dealing with the uncertainty created by the loss of a formal position, financial concerns, and family instability, as well as the need to articulate capabilities and begin to exploration and capture a new career. At the same time, as a wise

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Meauring Quality in Career Transition Services

Career Transition services are generally secured to acknowledge a duty of care to individuals displaced by organisational change and as a critical element in reinforcing an organisation’s brand and reputation. An employer’s reputation or “brand” is built through what existing and former staff says about the organisation. It is not built through brochures or through

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Creating new careers in the changing law firm landscape

In recent years a variety of new law firm practice models have emerged.  These are presenting challenges, and opportunities, across the sector for those aiming to win clients and build careers.  Large law firms will remain with us, and will most likely continue to capture most of the international work, and high level activity for

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Evaluating Service Suppliers

Career transitions for senior people are significant events. This may be the first time you will professionally take stock of your career, truly reflect on new directions and make informed choices about the next phase of your career. The period immediately after leaving an organisation can be initially a little challenging. Continue reading…..Evaluating service suppliers


In a second survey of senior managers and professionals across Australia ran late in 2009, Macfarlan Lane focused on what senior managers and professionals actually experience in career transition services – and what is needed for such services to deliver value, in their eyes. Our first survey identified five elements considered by middle and senior

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Moving on from government service as a business of one

Career resilience means independently leading your own career development, taking up opportunities in an organisation – and sometimes creating them – coping effectively with unplanned changes and working to a broad plan which best suits your evolving interests. Career resilience sometimes means moving into periods of self employment, and perhaps building portfolios of activities. Moving

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Enabling senior level career transitions

Government Departments are under pressure again, and this time it does seem that the next career moves for many public servants will be to the private sector. For those at the Executive Officer/Senior Executive service level, how can departments ensure exits from the public sector are treated in a dignified way, which uphold strong values

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Career transitions from the public sector to the private sector

Government departments and agencies everywhere, in both Federal and State contexts, are facing major budget constraints currently. Many are faced with pressures to reduce headcount. What does this mean for those directly affected: those whose roles may be disappearing? Most particularly, how should a senior public servant with perhaps extensive service in the public sector,

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Senior Public Service Appointments – testing for capabilities

The Capabilities Framework developed by the NSW Public Service Commission is an interesting exposition of what will now be required in senior appointments in this sector. The framework provides some 16 capabilities across four broad groups: Personal attributes, Relationships, Results and Business Enablers. There are then another four capabilities in the People management group, for

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The door many partners find hard to open

What comes next, when the work of a partner in a law firm or a professional services firm begins to lose appeal, and fails to generate enthusiasm – when the “R” word begins to swirl around in one’s consciousness? For many partners, retirement is not an attractive prospect for a multitude of psychological and practical

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Interim or enduring self-employment can be a liberating, creative career path

In the current difficult business environment, active exploration of self-employment can be a constructive area to explore. For the most part, the senior people we work with focus on capturing another regular appointment.  However more than a few invest some of their time to focus on new, self-employed ventures – and this is often a

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Navigating changes as partners in law firms

Partners of law firms face a multitude of challenges right now.  Unease within partnerships can have both external and internal dimensions.  Externally, the worlds of clients of these firms have become more difficult: budgets are being cut, support for new investment can be hard to secure and transactional activity continues to be subdued.  The internal

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Leadership and the art of plate spinning

Senior executives will better balance people and priorities by embracing the paradoxes of organizational life…..   leadership_and_the_art_of_plate_spinning (McKinsey)

The successful appointment of a CEO

The successful appointment of a CEO The business media, analysts, investment funds boards (and those they represent) and of course staff in organisations all have a strong interest in the capabilities and likely success of CEO appointments. CEOs are sourced most usually amongst previous or current incumbents in similar roles external to the organisation, from

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When the platform shifts

When the platform shifts Achieving standing as a CEO, or as a divisional or function head in a large firm is a terrific achievement. From an outsider’s perspective, the path to this point might look straightforward, but for those in such appointments a great deal has usually been invested into bringing this period of leadership

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Dealing with unease in the face of change

Dealing with unease in the face of change In many government departments, the cool (perhaps arctic!) breeze of change is in the air. Budget cuts and consolidation is all around. The work of recent months and years can be suddenly sidelined as the time consuming machinery of government process grinds into action – with meeting

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Shopping for career transition services

It has become a practice in recent years for some organisations to prompt senior people experiencing retrenchment to choose between different suppliers to select a program of support following their exit from the company. The practice is well-intentioned. HR directors have told us that they are at pains to seek to ensure that executives retain

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In the period before retrenchment

Are you going or are you staying? Read how you can navigate through this difficult and emotional time and come out looking professional, composed and in control. In the period before retrenchment

Understanding the territory of the CEO role

Do you have what it takes to be considered CEO material? This paper discusses the likely career path, and skills and capabilities that will get you there… Understanding the territory of the CEO role

Resilient Leadership – What it takes in tough times

With on-going cuts in both the private and public sectors, and continual threats of restructuring, mergers, reorganisations and downsizing, many executives are experiencing stress. Resilient Leadership – What it takes in tough times