Joanna Leaver
Joanna Leaver
Operations Manager

Articles From the Team

What to do if you feel financially unrewarded in your job

Do you feel like your efforts at work go financially unrewarded? If so, you’ll be pleased to know there’s a simple solution: ask for a pay rise.

This is what I advise lawyer candidates, who I work with; who are fed up and frustrated by the amount they earn versus their effort. All is solved in one simple step: communication.

Before you look for a new job, do this

If the only reason you’re considering working with a legal recruiter boils down to salary dissatisfaction, I urge you to have the ‘pay rise’ conversation with your employer first. The outcome of this meeting could be the instant answer to your problem.

How to go about it

A face-to-face request is harder to turn down than one made in writing and demonstrates more confidence in what you’re communicating. It also enables you to elaborate on the relevant points you wish to raise and is undoubtedly the most effective negotiation method. 


Before you call a meeting, write down what you intend to say to assist you with the structure of the conversation and to organise your thoughts. Not just for your own use, you can provide a copy to your employer after the meeting’s taken place, in case there’s a need for the main points raised to be passed on to HR or a higher level of management. 


Timing is everything. Try and tie the meeting in around points of personal recognition (annual reviews or informal 1-2-1s), or when good firm news has been announced such as awards etc.

Generally, it’s best to schedule this type of meeting when your manager isn’t too busy, so if you’re in a position to call the meeting and it’s to solely discuss a potential pay-rise, check diaries and find a quiet meeting room rather than going to their office.


Once you’ve conveyed everything you need to, listen to what your manager has to say.

Because a lot of people find it uncomfortable to ask for a pay rise, they end up overcompensating for perceived awkwardness and as a result, talk too much when it’s not needed. A useful thing to remember is: silence is powerful because it demands a response. No one likes an awkward silence, but it’s wise to provide an opportunity for your manager to break it, not you.

If you were recently asked to take on more responsibility, you’ll also need to focus on demonstrating your value to the firm; highlighting your worth in the current market. You need to think as your line manager would. After all, the last thing a firm wants is to lose their strongest fee earners. 

What if it’s a no?

If the ultimate answer is no, at least you know you’ve done everything you can before considering a move.

It’s at this point we can help.

Good luck! 

Get ahead on the Career ladder

Search our Jobs Today!

Search Jobs