Business person on a graph, representing success and growth

It’s been hard work but you’ve finally made it to a manager or associate role in your firm. In this blog post I share an exclusive extract from the 2nd edition of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’ (Click here for a free sample chapter)  to show what is typically expected from you when you become a manager or associate in a Big 4, Magic Circle or Mid-Tier Firm

Let’s talk about how your role will change as you move upwards in the firm.


Typical job title: supervisor, manager, managing consultant.

Key focus of work: running and managing client assignments for partners.

Depending on your profession and the size of firm you have joined, at this career stage you would normally be given responsibility to actually run and manage client assignments on behalf of the partners.

It is likely that you will be the day-to-day first point of contact for some of these clients. Your work and correspondence will continue to be checked or reviewed before going out to a client. While you are expected to maintain and deepen your level of technical expertise, your supervisor’s and partners’ expectations may begin to focus on more than just your ability to deliver to the client’s expectations, eg how you get the work done, whether you are covering your costs and are making a profit for the firm.

If you haven’t already started to develop a personal technical or sector specialism, you would be expected to do so now. Unless you have developed a very niche specialism for your firm’s practice, you would normally be expected to manage or supervise more junior staff, either by having your own fixed team, or more usually on an assignment-by-assignment basis.

In most firms, as you are now the client’s first point of contact for day-to-day matters, you will be expected to get involved in business development initiatives.

While you are probably not expected to find and convert new clients, you will be encouraged to develop more work from your existing client portfolio. It is also likely that you will be routinely involved in preparing for pitches and tenders, and may also be a member of the pitch team.

Sounds like a big ask? We created the Progress to Partner subscriber-only site to make this as easy as possible. There are guides, self-study courses, useful videos, workbooks waiting for you – everything you need to know about how to make partner all in one place! There’s even a course on “how to make the time for business development”.

We also have a great course called How to put together a development plan to achieve your career goals.  The course gives you the structure, clarity, and guidance to gain the skills, knowledge, mindset, and experience to take your career to the next stage or level – whatever you want that to be. Check it out here

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