When partner isn’t enough

5 Feb 2015

We will always have ambitions. The problem comes when we have reached the supposed top of our particular ‘ambition tree’. When you’re a footballer and you’ve progressed from Sunday league to England international, where do you go?

In the legal profession, perhaps the comparative position is partner. You will certainly have worked hard to get there, progressing from however and wherever you started in the industry. But what are your ambitions now? Do you want to grow at partner level, continuing to help your firm be profitable? Or are you reaching higher? Is partner not enough?

Essentially, for those at partner level who aspire higher, there are two options; become a managing partner somewhere or establish your own firm. These are both big steps.

For those looking to embark on either, we would always encourage a strong and full self-assessment. Examine your own motives, your own strengths and weaknesses, the skills you already have and the skills you will need to acquire. Ask yourself honest questions; have I gathered enough experience to lead a business? Am I ready to take on the responsibilities and time commitments it takes? It goes without saying that you’ll need a business plan: does it make sense? Show it to third parties. Does it make sense to them?

When you carry out this assessment, there will be gaps in your plan, your skillset or your business make-up. Start planning how to fill them early. It could mean further training, or beginning to form a recruitment plan for the team you need in place around you.

Logistics also need consideration. You may not be used to the paperwork that comes with running a company or with start-up tasks like acquiring office space. All of these are considerations to take account of and assess before you launch yourself into firm management.

When you’ve carried out these assessments, step back and look at the results: are you a credible candidate for the position you are about to create? If not, can you see the areas you need to improve on? Congratulations! You’ve just completed the first tangible action points on your road to achieving your high ambitions.

Jepson Holt work with candidates who wish to develop their career further, helping them to form viable plans and get the training they need to succeed. Read more about career development here.

Or contact us for honest advice.