How do I lessen the resentment I feel towards associates who do subpar work, or take lots of vacation? Being more successful and making more money only goes so far.

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First stop judging. It’s coming from a negative place and really just says that you’re judging yourself. The fact that they are making choices that make them happy does not reflect anything upon them in a negative way. The fact that you are valuing yourself only upon your title as an attorney and how “hard you work” is your issue and not theirs. you are in control of your life and if you choose not to take a vacation and to work yourself to the brink then that is your choice. If they choose to have a life and work to live instead of living to work that is their choice. You are resenting it because you are unhappy. You’ll continue to be unhappy until you make the choice to choose your life and you will see that everything will be OK.

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Again, this happens all the time in every firm. There are superstars and there are middle of the pack associates and there are bottom associates. You should be glad that the partners view you as reliable and their go-to. If you’d rather not be, then start saying no and taking more trips. Superstars have to work harder. You don’t get extra credit for nothing. Yes, you actually have to work more and work harder to get paid more and get better recognition. That’s how it works. If you don’t care about that, then stop doing it and fall to the middle / bottom like those you resent so much.

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I actually disagree with a lot of the posters here. There is a difference between a colleague taking a vacation and a colleague who actively is selfish, throws you under the bush, and saddles you with work that can destroy your sanity, especially when their own work is clearly under par for even a high schooler. This is not a “you” problem. I think grappling with the resentment means first recognizing that you have the integrity to not abandon your teammates at the first sight of trouble; and second, that karma is ALWAYS a bitch. People notice team players. I’m sorry you’re going through this - I am as well.

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This happens to everyone and always will. There will always be better people - those people are rewarded with more money and success. How you respond and deal with it is entirely within your control and is squarely a “you” problem. As other people have mentioned, if the money and success/credit aren’t enough, there is something wrong with the person, not all the others. The post reeks of immaturity. I’m guessing this is a fairly young / junior associate.

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Grow up.

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1000%

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Therapy.

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...Knowing enough to think you're right, but not enough to know you're wrong. Ask yourself this, if suddenly you were no longer at the firm, would the firm stop winning cases? Would billables evaporate? Would life disintegrate to a lawless wasteland?

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Learn to appreciate them! They make you look like a superstar! Better than the other way around, right?

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Most of the time when you get completely screwed by a fellow associate, legal assistant, etc, they leave the firm shortly after. A lot of people stop trying when they have made up their mind that they are moving on.

Stop making your worth about how hard you work. You are much more than just your job title and your job. Let go of the notion that by working harder you are somehow a better human being. You are not. What makes a better human being is how they treat others.

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Associate 4 - I can bet you’re the one everyone resents at your firm. From your comments here, it looks like it’s not without reason.

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Yikes.

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I suspect you are always going to be working with others who you feel are not pulling their weight, so you need to change your reaction to them since that dynamic isn’t going to change. If you are truly feeling resentful as your post suggests, consider speaking to a mental health professional about coping strategies. This job is hard enough without that added layer of struggle.

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The fact that money and success aren't enough to fix everything should maybe tell you something about how you're living your life and how you view other people. Maybe you resent them for being less miserable than you.

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This ^

Yeah, this is a “you” problem, not a “them” problem. Ask for appropriate staffing and resources if someone is going to be out rather than passing judgment on whether your peer can take a vacation.

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Hi everyone! Regardless which side you are on, go home, have a drink, and do some online shopping for your loved ones! Life is so much more than this.

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Take comfort in the fact that your better work product and more hours is actually rewarded and recognized. Some firms don’t really care.

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Throw them under the bus

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In hindsight this was a knee-jerk response based on something that happened to me recently. Definitely not the best way to deal with this

What is “lots?”

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Sounds like you should blame the partner who dumped the work on you, not the associate who took some time off. Surely there are other associates the partner can pull in to help you?

Agree with Associate 5. If you arent happy it's not because of what someone else is doing its because of what you arent doing. You need to reflect on yourself and figure out what makes you happy. More time off? More vacations? More money? There is no wrong answer. You can create the life you want. Really realize what you want. For me I'm a business owner, I cant help it. Its who I am. I won't be happy unless I'm putting out fires. My business partner isnt like that. We are both happy.

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They arent going to fire you if they need you. You can stop at 5 pm as well. It all depends on what you want out of your career/life. If you want career/partner track it's a shit ton of work and a lot of cleaning up other people's messes. Trust me, your efforts don't go unnoticed. Legal partners are notorious for being poor communicators but just like associates go to happy hours and talk about partners the partners go to happy hours and talk about associates. That all being said if you arent interested in the long arduous path to partner that is fine. It's your call. A lot of people I know are super happy because they walked away from big firm life. They make a little less money but are much more satisfied. Some people get satisfaction from their professional career and some dont. Whatever you choose you will be sacrificing things and watching other people get certain things you wont get. There is no situation that gives you 100% of what you want. Everything is a tradeoff. Take a close look at the partners of your firm, a very close look at their personal lives, professional etc and see if that's what you want.

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You probably resent them because they arent trying to make partner like you at whatever sweatshop you work at and/or you want to take a vacation and can’t or don’t have the chops to do it because you’re afraid it will jeapordize partnership. My advice, stop over pleasing everyone in your office and take some time for yourself.

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I find my reward for being organized and doing my job well is I get to clean up after the people you described in the original post. Remember you cannot take care of everyone else if you are not taking care of yourself.

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Or give them bad reviews and get them fired

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Make your bed and lie in it.

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