In summer 2016 Heather Townsend revealed the 10 lessons that every potential partners needs to learn to an audience of 200 lawyers and accountants. In this short 2 minute video clip, Heather talks through the first lesson – the importance of committing to your career.

I’m often asked by people what it takes to make partner.  That’s a great question because the road to partner is often shrouded in mystery and conjecture.

This is part of a series of ten lessons which I’ve learnt from my clients that all make the difference on how to make partner.  So what is the first lesson? 

The first lesson is to commit to your career.

I just want to ask you; do you have a career plan?  And I’m not talking about that conversation you have in your appraisal where you and your partner sit there and tick some boxes.  I’m actually talking about do you have a plan which you look at weekly, and that you’re working on to progress your career?  Because we’re all really busy people, none of us have time these days and that’s the problem with making partner.  You can just get sucked into the day job, and then before you know it, 3, 6, 9 months have gone past and you think ‘I’ve not moved that forward’.

So I found with the people I work with, the ones who are really successful are very committed to their careers.  So what does that mean?  That means they have a career plan that they’re working with, that they work on their career and treat it as if it were a client.  They have time blocked out in their diary for ‘the client’, i.e. their career.

Now some of these people actually work with an external coach, because that really makes you committed.  After all, paying money out of your own pocket ups the stakes, and it’s amazing that the people we find that pay for a coach to help them with their career, it’s no surprise that they’re the ones that we see making rapid progress.

So the first lesson to make partner is, truly commit to your career.