I am often talking with people whose careers have seemingly come to a full stop in their firm. Sometimes this is fixable, and other times it isn’t. This is the second part of a 2 part blog post rounding up the seven common reasons why people’s careers do come to a full stop at their firm. (First part here)
4. Being passed over for partnership more than twice
If you have gone for partnership twice in your firm and been refused both times, this means you are unlikely to make it to partner at this firm. It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee and find a firm who truly does embrace all of your talents.
5. The firm is going through hard times
Sometimes the problem with your career progression is nothing to do with you, and everything to do with the state of your firm’s finances. Any firm which is really feeling the pinch will halt any new partner admissions and is likely to put a stop on promotions. This may be a temporary blip for your firm, or a sign that it will either fold or get swallowed up by another firm.
6. You are bored by the work being given to you
This is actually a very common problem for people in the early stages of their career. After all, anyone with a reasonable bit of intelligence will get bored if all they are doing for a couple of days is photocopying files for a court case. (And yes, any junior lawyer, this is something which will probably come your way.) Similarly, the ticking and bashing of junior auditors can be mind-numbingly boring. If you are in this position, then you have to take a decision. Can you make it through to the more interesting work ahead? Or is it time for a career change?
7. Too many people ahead of you in the hierarchy
Many firms struggle with a concrete layer of middle management. These are professionals who have become career managers. This can often leave a firm with a talent management and succession planning headache, because this concrete layer stops younger talent coming through the ranks. A firm has to either take some difficult decisions and exit some career managers, or grow the department sufficiently to justify promoting more people to management, or proactively accelerate the development of younger talent up and over the concrete layer.
If you are the junior talent and you don’t see any of these steps happening in your firm. Then it is probably time to look for a new firm.