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The Top Three Reasons Why You Didn’t Make Partner

It’s the time of year when many partnerships announce the names of new partners. If you are not one of the lucky few, it’s time to look at what you needed to do differently.  In this article, I look at the main three reasons you may not have made the cut this year.

Does your firm have room for more partners?

Let’s start with a very basic question: was partnership really on offer this year? Before you start analysing what you did and didn’t do, just pause. Is your firm reducing the number of partners, or even pausing admissions for a few years? In lean times, there may not be much profit to share around as it is. They are not going to want to dilute it even further.

If this is the case, then maybe you need to rethink your plan to make partner in your current firm.  On our website, we look at ways to make partner in a new law firm.

Was your business case strong enough?

If your firm is not restricting partnerships, then the most common reason people don’t make partner is their business case lets them down in some way.  Either it is not strong enough, or it is not articulated well enough. Your business case is where you set out the commercial advantage the firm will receive if you are made up to partner. Is your client following robust enough? Have your made your credentials explicit?

Look at our site to see a definitive guide to creating a cast iron business case for partnership.

Conversely, some business cases have too much content. See the post on the five essentials for your business case for partnership.

How much time did you invest in yourself?

I know, I know. You have a demanding job, calls on your time outside work, and you still need to eat, bathe and sleep.  It seems impossible to find time to concentrate on planning your career. It’s really no surprise that so many talented professionals never make the leap to partnership.  You have to prioritise your personal development to be one of the few that does make it.

A personal coach can be the key to success or failure here.  Without someone to keep them on track, focused on their goals, stretching for the milestones, many. many people fall by the wayside. The partnership track is not an easy stroll and most of us need help along the way.

These are the top three reasons I see time and again when people don’t make it through the partnership admissions.  Over on the How to Make Partner website, we go through some additional, and still important, reasons that you need to make sure you have covered before you try again.

Author Credit

GTE thumbnail_100Heather 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’ 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

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