Firstly, well done for making it to partner! You have probably made the biggest and toughest step up you are ever going to do in your career. In the few months before your appointment to partner becomes permanent you have some essential activities to see to.
In this article, I examine your top 6 priorities. There is a lot needed before you actually sign on the dotted line!
Do your due diligence on yourself and your firm
The partnership admissions process is a demanding and exhausting one. Before you formally accept the offer of partnership you need time to recharge and centre yourself. Don’t feel as if you have to immediately sign on the dotted line. Do talk with members of your support team, particularly your immediate family and friends, to see about how they feel about you finally making it to partner. You may find it very helpful to revisit the due diligence you did as you were starting to build your business and personal case for partnership. If you have not previously had the right to look at sensitive partnership documents, now is the time to request these documents and finish your due diligence. After all, you are going to be investing a chunk of your capital in the firm.
When you sign on the dotted line and accept your new status as a business owner of the firm you want to be absolutely sure that this is the right decision for you.
Celebrate with family and friends
Make sure you take some time out to enjoy yourself with family and friends. After all, it isn’t every day that you get asked to join a very exclusive club. You are going to have some tough times ahead as a junior partner, so take the opportunity to enjoy yourself before the honeymoon period finishes.
Arrange your finances to invest capital in your firm
Most mid to large sized firms will have arrangements with a bank to provide their new partners with a loan to cover the capital they will need to invest. However you choose to finance your capital to the firm you need to have it ready by the time you are formally appointed to the partnership.
Sort out your personal financial affairs
On the day you get made up to partner you will have to resign and become self-employed. You will lose all your employment rights – unless you have negotiated to retain some – and all the employee benefits you have enjoyed will come to an end. This means you need to:
- Find out what benefits your firm provides for its partners and what they will cost you.
- Potentially organise a personal pension.
- Sort out your life insurance and alternative suppliers for the employee benefits the firm previously provided.
- Find out how and when you will be able to access drawings. You may need to organise a short-term loan to cover the gap between when your monthly salary stops and when you are able to access your drawings.
- Find out what support your firm offers to help you with your tax affairs now that, if you are in the UK, you will be on self-assessment rather than PAYE for your tax.
Create your PR and communication plan
Making partner is a massive achievement, which becomes a great news story and marketing opportunity. In fact you probably have a window of up to 9 months to exploit numerous PR opportunities in the local, national and trade press just because you are ‘hot property’ as a new partner.
Before you start to construct your own plan, talk with your marketing and PR team to see what they have already planned for you. After all, you don’t want to duplicate the effort. They can also advise you when the embargo on the news of your partnership will be lifted.
As a minimum your PR and comms plan should include:
- How and when you will break the news on social media, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter. Remember you may not be able to change your job status on LinkedIn until after the day you are formally admitted to the partnership.
- How you will contact personally, by phone or face-to-face, all of your A-listers, especially your clients and professional intermediaries, to tell them your good news
I encourage you to do more than just the minimum I have laid out. Which trade publications would you like to appear in? How about thinking about some articles that you could pitch to them?
The Go-To Expert will give you some great tips and techniques to get your PR into the media.
Build a new 3-year career plan
It is always a great moment for us when a client we have been supporting makes it over the line and gets the approval to join the partnership. However, the work doesn’t stop there. After all, once you have reached the top of one career ladder, you then need to start at the bottom of another one.
Don’t be surprised to feel a sense of anticlimax. After all, making partner may be what you have been striving for since you entered the professions as a trainee fresh out of university.
It is at this point that we recommend to our clients that they get an empty piece of paper and build themselves a three-year career plan.
It’s after you find out you have been successful for partner that the work really begins!