Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about feeling demoted:
I have been working with my boss (an attorney) for over 5 years now. I have been a loyal assistant and have followed him to one other place besides where we are now. Since he opened his own practice a few years back he has 2 associates. Just recently he hired another secretary to help with the workload but it seems she has taken over my job. We are assigned to cases and not attorneys. I feel demoted, almost like I am on the way out. How do I approach my employer about this issue without sounding so petty?
Signed, Don’t Want To Sound Petty
Dear Don’t Want To Sound Petty:
Our site doesn’t give legal advice, but I sent your question to an attorney, Bonnie Jordan, who before she became an attorney, worked in a firm such as yours might be. Her advice follows:
As to the assistant’s problem, I believe that honesty is the best policy. If she feels as if she is being forced out of her job by someone else, she should confront the attorney and ask if there is some problem that’s developed with her work and ask whether she feels justified in feeling as she does. It may be a simple case of insecurity, or it may be that her intuition is right. She will never know unless she asks.
If her intuition does prove to be true, then maybe it’s time to move on. It wouldn’t be the worst thing. Attorneys are always looking for good assistants and there may be someone else out there who will appreciate her loyalty and work ethic. It’s best to address the problem now before it festers and affects her overall performance and happiness with her job. Bonnie Oppen Jordan, Esquire, Guest Respondent