I was having a conversation today about the whole ‘how to make partner and still have a life’ proposition. In the conversation we explored our reactions to an e-mail I had received from one of my network, which contained the damning and immensely sad lines:

I don’t think my firm would approve of me wanting a life.

Ouch. In my career I have always done things my way – which may explain why I had some short-lived career moves! However, something I’ve always been passionate about is the requirement to get the job done and then leave work. In effect, I’ve always chosen the right to have a life outside of work.

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If you are serious about making partner AND still having a life, then you have to take a conscious choice to make this happen. In 2009 I was faced with the choice of taking a full time role and never seeing my husband or children, unemployment or starting my own business. I choose to face up to my demons and start my own business. In effect, I chose (not the easy option) to create the work/life balance that I wanted. I turned down the opportunity to probably earn double what I have done in the last three years. But, seeing my children smile and laughter on a daily basis has been priceless, and worth every penny. That’s what motivates me to do what I do.

No-one said making partner and having a life outside of work was going to be easy. It is a conscious choice, which you will have to make and work towards. It may mean that you move to a different firm who will embrace your desire to become a well-rounded individual.

Life is what happens when you are busy making plans. –John Lennon

So, for a brief minute, forget about your firm, forget about what everyone else wants for you. If you could choose, what would you choose?

Now, what is the first step you need to take to act on that choice?

Click here to download our free Career Action Plan template and full instructions on how to use it to move your career forward. (email required)

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