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ChessLeading food supplier Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) recently announced its intention to offer early retirement packages and make some modest adjustments to its workforce by June 30. I think it is unlikely that ADM’s legal department will shrink, and I have no inside information on whether any existing in-house attorneys are taking early retirement.

ADM is a strong, financially healthy company, and this is a reminder that reductions-in-force occur routinely in all macro-economic environments. The rest of this column is not about ADM, but rather the chord this news struck with me. It prompts me to offer advice that I have offered to many attorneys directly over the years.

Play offense! If you have hit a ceiling of any kind with your employer, don’t sit tight. Don’t quit, of course, especially if you like your employer and your job. But put yourself quietly into the market while you are doing so from a position of strength. It may take a year or more before you find a better situation, but that’s ok. You are mentally strong. You can be happy where you are AND play offense. You will only move when the next opportunity is truly exciting to you, rather than moving because you have to take what you can get.

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