How many of your peers when you started as a trainee or junior wanted to make partner? After all, isn’t that you are expected to do as a new entrant into a professional services firm? Make partner, and achieve the kudos, status and fiscal reward which is perceived to come with the title of ‘partner’. In an interview with Jo Larbie, my co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’, Jo talked about this need to stop and think. In fact, the first question which Jo asks prospective partners is:

Why do you want to make partner?

As Jo and I both know, that it’s very easy for people to strive, decide they want to make partner and not really think about what it means. Let’s answer that question now, what does making partner really mean? It means:

  • as Toni Hunter and Myfanwy Neville told me in an interview, making partner equals the buck stops with you.
  • You now own a small part of the firm – however, you may not have much influence as a junior partner in how things are done. (Let’s be realistic here)
  • You now have the responsibility to feed not just yourself, but your team and potentially others within your firm. Yes, you need to grow your own client portfolio.

In my interview with Jo, she talked about a junior partner who came to see her and told her that he hated being a partner.

The constant pressure, and the need to always be doing more and build a business was too much for him.

This junior partner had only focused on the status which comes with being a partner, rather than what it actually meant. So, how do you decide whether partnership within your current firm is right for you?

  1. Identify 2-4 partners who you trust within your firm
  2. Have a confidential conversation with them about what it takes and means to be a partner in the firm
  3. Listen to what they have to say!
  4. Then take some time to reflect and try on for size being a partner in your firm, not just for 1 year, but 20-30 years. I.e. are you excited about what it takes and means to be a partner in your firm?
  5. If the answer is yes, then there is probably a fit between you and your firm and your partnership ambitions

Have you stopped and thought about ‘why’ you wanted to make partner?  

Related Post

  • How to Succeed Quickly in Your New Role

    How to Succeed Quickly in Your New Role

    Joining a new firm is an exciting prospect. However, the pressure to prove your worth can be incredibly overwhelming. So, to help you put your best foot forward, we’re sharing our advice on how to succeed quickly in your new role! From exiting your current firm to establishing boundaries at your new one, we will…

    CONTINUE READING > >

  • Should I Stay or Should I Go? How to Decide Whether to Find a New Job

    Should I Stay or Should I Go? How to Decide Whether to Find a New Job

    There will be times throughout your career when you ask yourself, “should I look for a new job?”. It may be because you’re feeling overworked and undervalued. Or perhaps your firm doesn’t have the time or resources to support your personal development. The truth is, there is a myriad of reasons why you may consider…

    CONTINUE READING > >