Following on from last week’s blog post on what you need to do before you start writing your personal business case for partnership, we are now considering in the last part of this 2 part blog post, (Part 1 here) a vital step to making partner – building up your fan base with the partners in your firm.
4. Avoid having a fixed date in time when you want to make partner
One of the faux-pas that many potential partners make is having a fixed idea of when they want to make partner. Equity partners get incredibly cheesed off hearing that ‘so-and-so’ has to be a partner by next year. There maybe better candidates ahead of you, or the economy is such that there isn’t any new partners being admitted for a few years. By all means have an ‘ideal timescale’ in your head, or a provisional loose timescale that you are publicly working towards. Just don’t go around telling partners that you will be a partner by this point in time… (You may find this article on ‘what is a political mistake? And, can they really wreck my career?,’ useful reading)
5. Go to firm socials
The firm’s socials may not the top of your list for things you want to do. However, they normally give you great access to many of the firm’s partners who you would not normally bump into. Take the opportunity to talk to partners you don’t know at these events and also organise a 1:2:1 over breakfast, coffee, lunch or a drink over work. (For more information on why your internal network is important, read 6 reasons why you must not neglect your internal network if you want to make partner)
6. Take an strong interest in them and their part of the practice
Most people really appreciate being listened too – and partners are no different. In fact, they do tend to have an ego (not all partners) which needs a certain amount of stroking. Almost treat your partners as if they are your best client – after all, they are probably the biggest stakeholder in your career right now.
7. Choose an influential mentor
I clearly remember working with the head of audit at my old firm. I was amazed how much influence and power this partner yielded. In an ideal world, you want a mentor with this level of influence and power. These are the people who can easily facilitate your path to partnership and ‘sell’ you to the other partners. Sometimes just the association between the two of you is enough to get a partner’s to vote for you.
8. Find referrals for them
There is nothing quite like bringing in high quality referrals for other partners to generate a great fan base for you. Partners love work winners and in particular, work winners who bring in stuff for them personally.
If you are to successfully make the transition up to partnership, then you will need a fan base amongst the partners in your firm. (For other tips and practical help on creating your personal business case for partnership, download our FREE guide to writing your personal business case for partnership.)