Big Four & Leading Accounting and Consulting Firms – news, opinion and career opportunities for aspiring & current professionals & alumni

10 reasons to seriously consider changing firms if you want to make partner quickly at a Big 4 firm

While everyone’s route to partner in a Big 4 is different, there are four main routes to making partner. In this blog post Heather Townsend shares an exclusive extract from the 2nd edition of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’ (Click here for a free sample chapter) and explores why you should consider one of the four routes, the lateral route, if you are considering making partner in a Big 4 firm.

The lateral route to partnership

The lateral route to partnership has become more common in recent years. Most firms expect that they will need to regularly augment their talent pool with experienced hires from outside the firm. This happens where the firm hasn’t been able to develop their own talent in a particular specialism, or the firm chooses to bring in an experienced hire for strategic reasons, eg the experienced hire brings with them a valuable client portfolio.

You will need to seriously think about choosing this route to partnership if:

  • your route to partnership within your firm is blocked by more senior members of your practice area who will make partner before you, and, in all probability, significantly slow your career progression;
  • your personal values are clashing with the firm’s values;
  • you are not excited by the thought of spending the whole of your career with your current firm;
  • you feel as if your face doesn’t fit within your firm;
  • you’ve had some personality conflicts within influential parts of the firm and believe that people will block your way;
  • you feel as if you won’t be able to achieve all your life goals if you make partner within your current firm;
  • you are not excited and passionate about your firm’s clients and likely future clients;
  • your firm is experiencing financial difficulties and growth of the firm is looking very unlikely;
  • your firm has many partners within your particular specialism, none of whom is likely to leave or retire in the short or medium term;
  • you want variety, to experience work in more than one firm before making partner.

To find out why you should consider the other 3 routes to partner, read chapter 3 of How to make partner and still have a life’  


How to Make Partner and Still Have a Life 2nd editionGet your copy of the 2nd edition of How to make partner and still have a life

To get your copy of How to make partner and still have a life at a 20% discount, use code HTMPG20 at the checkout on the Kogan Page website. Click on the image buy your copy


This article originally appeared in a different form on the How To Make Partner website.


Heather Townsend helps professionals become the The Go-To Expert. She is the author of the  award winning and best-selling book on business networking, the ‘FT Guide To Business Networking’, Poised for partnership and the co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’, and ‘The Go-To Expert’. Over the last decade she has worked with over 300 partners; coached, trained and mentored over 2000 professionals at every level of the UK’s most ambitious professional practices. 


Heather blogs regularly at How to make partner and still have a life and works with future and current Big 4 partners and professionals from mid-tier firms all over the world.

Share this post:

Comments are closed.