How to signal the desire for, and get on, the partner track
To what extent have you discussed your desire to make partner with your spouse/partner? To what extent is it a shared goal? The route to partnership is easier in many ways if both you and your partner/spouse/co-parent are committed to you achieving it and understand the likely impact on family life. If you and your partner have made a joint decision for you to work towards partnership, it paves the way for a smoother time ahead with less guilt about being out late and the inevitable pinch points when work is getting much more of you than home, for example.
Jenny Allan, associate, CMS Cameron McKenna
Kate Hart, solicitor, General Teaching Council for Scotland
A US study of nearly 50 dual-earning, middle class families who were successfully managing work and home found ten common themes, one of which was maintaining work boundaries (Haddock et al, 2001). These families were clear on the time they were setting aside for family and excluded work-related activities at that time - and when at work they were completely immersed in work to the exclusion of all else. There will always be more you can, want or perceive you need to do to make partner. However, without downtime you risk ill health, crumbling relationships and poorer professional performance. Many professionals report the quality of the time spent with their family - and everyone being clear on when this time will be, and sticking to it - being more important than the quantity.
Nicole Conroy, trainee, Caird Vaughan
OVER TO YOU
The following prompts are designed to help you consider whether partner track is right for you at this point and how to get on it.
- Fast forward to your retirement party. Who is there? What key achievements are you celebrating? What role are you retiring from? Consider how well this vision aligns with your current choices and priorities.
- Thinking about your aspirations, how good a fit is your current firm?
- What do partners know about you? What are their perceptions of you? How could you find out?
- What are the partners looking for in future partners in your firm? Which one or two people would be a good starting point to find out?
- Are there small ways you could demonstrate greater commitment, without cost to your family?
- Also see the other 11 guides in our Parents in the Profession series
- Career mentoring scheme
- How to Make Partner and Still Have a Life by Heather Townsend and Jo Larbie (Kogan Page, 2013)
- Articles on how to make partner from the author the book How to Make Partner and Still Have a Life
- Our Standards of Conduct
- Ensuring fairness, creating opportunity: A practical guide to equality and diversity for Scottish solicitors
- Haddock, S.A., Ziemba, S.J. Zimmerman, T.S. and Current, L.R. (2001). Ten adaptive Strategies for family and work balance: advice from successful families, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 27, 445-58