As a lawyer, you’re likely to have worked long hours, put in extra effort, and gone above and beyond to prove your worth to your firm, particularly if you’ve been there for several years. However, even with all this hard work, you may still feel undervalued and overlooked.
Feeling undervalued can lead to a lack of motivation, decreased job satisfaction, and even affect your mental health. Therefore, it is important to be able to recognise the signs that indicate that you might not be as valued as you would like to be. You can then decide whether you need to make a change to ensure that you’re on a more positive career trajectory.
If you can relate to or recognise any of the signs below, it could be worth reconsidering whether you’re at the right firm, or whether you should explore other options. Law firms are currently crying out for talent and there are plenty of fantastic opportunities out there for lawyers looking to make a change, so now is a great time to evaluate this.
A Lack of Recognition
One of the signs of being undervalued is a lack of recognition for your hard work. If your contributions are continually ignored, unrecognised, or dismissed, this may be a sign that you are not being appreciated. This can lead to frustration, dissatisfaction, and even a lack of engagement in your work.
Another sign of being undervalued is unequal opportunities. If you consistently receive less appealing tasks, fewer opportunities to work on exciting cases, or don’t feel listened to in important meetings and decisions, you may be undervalued. This lack of recognition and equal opportunities can lead to feeling marginalised and even affect your career growth prospects.
A low salary can also be a sign of being undervalued. If you feel that your salary does not match your contribution to the firm or your colleagues with similar experience and qualifications, it is essential to address this with your employer. A low salary can also affect your self-worth and job satisfaction, leading to a lack of motivation and feeling undervalued. If you’re unsure how your salary compares with market-rate, check out our 2023 salary guide for your practice area.
Lack of Support and Feedback
Having a lack of support and feedback can also be a sign that you are undervalued by your firm. If your employer or supervisor doesn’t provide constructive feedback, or the right training opportunities, or support for your development, this can hamper your growth prospects and hold you back in your legal career.
It is important that your work for a law firm where you can flourish and meet your full potential. If your current firm doesn’t enable you to do this, there will be other firms that will.
If you feel disconnected from your firm’s culture, values, and goals, it may be a sign that you are undervalued. A firm’s culture will have a big impact on your experience of working there. If you don’t feel like you belong and are not connected to the firm’s vision and purpose, this can impact your job satisfaction, motivation, and productivity.
Being undervalued as a legal professional can affect your mental health, job satisfaction, and even your career growth prospects. Recognising the signs of being undervalued is the first step in addressing the problem and finding a solution that works for both you and your firm.
In some cases, the issues above can be raised with your supervisor or manager and changes made which improve your job satisfaction and happiness at work. However, in others, perhaps because of the culture of the firm or the makeup of your team, it’s not possible to rectify the situation and it might be the right time for you to look for a better opportunity.
At Realm, our vision is for all lawyers to be matched with the right law firms. We work with many supportive and rewarding employers across each of the core legal practice areas. For a confidential chat about your current work situation or to explore the current opportunities within your practice area, feel free to reach out to our specialist recruitment team.