There was once an era of job security – where one would figuratively be married to the firm. You would be courted during articling, engaged during your first year associate position, and soon make a lifetime commitment to the names on the front door.

It is a fantastical and quaint idea to most young associates in the present day, that one marries their firm, till death due us part, when associates are notorious for having to prove themselves year after year. For many young professionals, breakups are simply the nature of the beast, and job-hunting a habitual activity.

In a striking similarity, divorce rates across urban centres of Canada are rising, and so too are the “divorce rates” among those “married to the firm.” Long-term job security is no longer a guarantee, a norm, or the ideal for many young professionals. Today’s job market is marked by much more uncertainty and transience; job security has taken on an entirely different meaning. Marina Glogovac of the Globe and Mail recently describes this as a labour economy marked by “outsourcing, part-time and contract work.” The legal industry is not immune these wide sweeping changes in the way Canadians work, for whom they work, and where jobs are (un)available.

Job Security: With divorce rates rising, and the promise of forever sadly off the bargaining table, how can junior and mid-level associates adapt to what seems to be an unstable industry?

Don’t get engaged, date around, flirt, and be courted.

The monogamy of one firm for life is an archaic concept. Always look at your options in an honest and earnest manner. Don’t pigeon hole yourself into any particular niche or firm, but rather talk to various professionals across the field and from different firms. When the opportunity presents itself, allow yourself to be courted and explore the possibilities that a changing market has to offer.

The only thing we can be sure about, certain about, is that change will happen. Be ready for it. Job security is rooted in your own transferable skills and knowledge, not in your marriage to any particular workplace. Be open to the opportunities, you never know where life will take you, if you let it.