Last night at the Pro-Recruitment Event ‘How To Make Partner’ I was asked: “What is the one thing that you must do to ensure you successfully get to partner?” What a question! After all, there are so many things you must do to get to partner. Where should I start? Well, this post is going to answer that question – what IS the single most important factor to making partner?
What happened at the Pro-Recruitment Event?
This was an event hosted by the Pro-Recruitment group, and over 110 professionals turned up to find out ‘How To Make Partner’. I was speaking and then we had a question and answer panel session with David Kilshaw from EY, Martin Lambert from Grant Thornton and Martina Fitzgerald from Menzies. At the event, which was aimed at accountants and tax professionals, I talked about 10 lessons learned by my client Michaela on her two year journey to make partner.
Which was the most important lesson?
They were all important! In fact in the question and answer session after my talk both Martin and David confirmed that they have had to learn all ten lessons on their route to partner. However, they both also said that there was one lesson which stood out for them. Surprisingly, this lesson wasn’t about hitting your numbers or having a cast-iron business plan. The key lesson – and the most important lesson to learn for any aspiring partner – is to change your mindset and act, think and feel like a partner, rather than a senior fee earner. This means you need to get:
- making partner is not just another promotion, it is where your partners trust you enough to give you a slice of the firm
- that it is not the firm’s responsibility to drive your development or career, it is your responsibility
- it’s no longer about ‘me, me, me’, it has to be about focusing on what is good for the team, department and firm rather than your particular agenda
- business development needs to be part of your day job rather than something that you do when the workload is light
- you need to treat your practice like a business, not just a job to be done