{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Has “being patient” with your career ever helped? Keep getting told this by senior leadership but I’m unclear about whether it’s actually good advice or just bs they’re telling me because they don’t want to help me advance in my career.", "post_id": "5fa1c1acd5738a001a24163f", "reply_count": 97, "vote_count": 46, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }

Has “being patient” with your career ever helped? Keep getting told this by senior leadership but I’m unclear about whether it’s actually good advice or just bs they’re telling me because they don’t want to help me advance in my career.

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I love the support you're getting to advocate for yourself and to make your career your own. That is great advice. Definitely do that.

In addition, consider the context with which that person is telling you that. What do they have to gain by the status quo, what could the benefit be to them if you got your promo? Are there other pieces to the puzzle into which they have insight, or do they mean something different than sit around and wait your turn?

Some things to consider...
1. I was told "be patient" when it really meant "choose your battles more carefully"
2. I was told "be patient" when it meant "I'm already doing everything I can, and I think you're a shoo in"
3. I was told "be patient" when it really meant "wait for this asshat to leave in 3 months because he is holding up the process for you"

While I think there are some folks who will tell you that managers don't give any effs about you, and they're sometimes right, there are some folks who will tell you to trust, but verify. Dig deeper. What does patience look like? Staying the course? Sitting your hands coasting? Waiting for a specific obstacle to clear? Building relationships where you can dig into getting coaching on navigating the system and politics is crucial. Because... Despite all the things it could mean, "be patient" is too vague to act on.


It depends entirely on the context.

I have seen junior staff fail because they were pushy for advancement when they weren’t ready (but thought they were) and turned people off.

I have seen formerly strong performers fail when they were promoted early but then encountered a new or challenging situation that they didn’t have the experience to handle.

Being told to be patient is fine as long as it is paired with a timeline and clear next steps you need to do to be ready to advance. Or at least a frank explanation of the reasons why you need to wait your turn. In addition to these types of actions it’s good if leadership is putting their money where their mouth is.

I was told to be patient before my last promotion. I didn’t like waiting an extra cycle but was confident it was the right thing to do because my mentors shared some of the politics behind why certain others had to go before me and they created opportunities for me to get broader visibility and support.


Politics are so heavily weighted

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They always say this: be patient, you are still young, what’s the rush? And then when I check their career advancement, they were either promoted on time or fast tracked. So I’m sorry if I may sound pushy because I don’t think that you got your promotions by being patient ....


Be direct in your feedback and ask them what is required of you to be promoted. Right that down and check in on those items every check-in. Articúlate how you’re meeting or exceeding those expectations. Document through emails and if promotion comes around and you don’t get promoted, leave. If they can’t support your career find somewhere else that will.


Partners are almost always looking out for themselves in my experience. Push back—you have value.


Gucci loafers are cheaper than Loubous.

No. Don't believe people that tell you to be patient. I've been told this several times and I know it's not helped. My pushing for growth hasn't helped either because the response I get is "be patient".


Yes, but not for long.

I was up for promotion to SM and missed the annual cycle. Was told I ‘got screwed’ but was still given an outsized raised and asked to wait 6 months. A couple months later I landed a job offer from a competitor for SM money but a manger title. That same day I had been given the notice that would be promoted mid-year.

I stayed with that firm another few years and did well. I didn’t make partner but landed a very good role with fantastic WLB. If I had jumped I’d probably have had to wait another 12-18 months for the SM title and my career would have slowed down for a while.

So be patient for a matter of months or maybe a year. Longer than that, walk.


True. As you go higher up. It makes more sense.


Err on the side of pushing for advancement because others won't do it for you.


Promises are the cheapest form of compensation.


Do not be patient. I have been told this, not listened, and it has paid off. I was told I wouldn’t be ready for manager within the next 18 months (despite performing manager role), left to another firm (higher tier) at manager, was promoted to senior manager in that 18 month milestone. You need to evaluate if you are really ready. If you are, then look for someone who will give you that opportunity


SM3, ACN tends to do that for some reason. They told me I wasn't ready. I switched to another firm as M and now up for promo to SM. Know a few others with the same story.

The person who wants you to be patient either a) doesn’t have enough control to support you or b) doesn’t support you.

Respect. Walk.


No; the only time I’d accept “be patient” is with a firm timeline. e.g. “we have an annual review in 3 months and are killing it on your project. Keep it up and good things will happen then, be patient”


A few thoughts: if you’re in one of the big firms, promotions almost always happen on a set cadence and at a set annual time line (@Deloitte this is aug/sep.) 2) standard timing is harder to accelerate at more junior ranks (consulting this means below manager.) 3) the best chance you have to break standard molds is to jump around early.


I used to work at a smaller company where people were promoted quickly, based on performance. One of the consequences of having lots of young managers was that people management skills were often pretty poor, which was a burden on the college grads we were hiring. Experience has value, which companies need to consider, even though you may be an exceptional individual talent.


In my experience “be patient” is a candy coated NO. They think either they can squeeze more performance out of you, or maintain performance without you looking elsewhere. Always keep your eyes open for a lateral shift.


Don't be patient. I've been patient for too long. Got an offer over 80% of my salary. Move on when you get fed up or feel ready


it’s bs


Time waits for no one.


“On the plains of hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of decision, sat down to wait, and waiting died." -George Cecil


Definite yes for me. I wanted to switch my group after about 6mo at my firm. I stayed patient for quite a while and eventually was able to make a change - 6yrs later I’m still here and that change is why. Can’t imagine my career otherwise.

That said, I was told be patient but every single leader was eager to talk and have an open conversation about things. I was never brushed off and I got honest opinions about career opportunities/trajectory either way, including advice from mentors and practice leads on alternate avenues to pursue. Leaders helped find internal initiatives in the meantime more aligned to my interests.

If you’re being told to be patient and not getting those sort of conversations, that’s lip service and you should reevaluate.


A1 I’m at Huron (Education), so part of my experience was possible because it’s a smaller firm but mostly that’s just our culture - I’ve found leaders to be much more accessible/engaged/genuine and that I have more control over my career than my peers at other firms do - especially as an Analyst/Associate when this was happening. I also think it helped that I was a high-performer, so there was an incentive to keep me even if it meant some realignment.

D4 if you’re getting support already, I’m assuming you’re thinking more about post-transition? Generally going to be easier the lower your level, but I’d say accept that you’ll be going from something you’re good at to something with which you’re unfamiliar - there’s going to need to be more self-study time to ramp up. Have a level-setting conversation with your new project leadership of “this is my background. these are the skills I don’t have and am eager to gain on this project, these are my plans to build up, etc.) so there’s transparency but also so they’re bought into your growth and hopefully will invest time in your development.


Patience has paid off for me big time, promoted 3 times in ~10 years. Sounds like eternity but its steady progress. Keep in mind, at least at D, your direct manager almost never has full autonomy to make a promotion, raise or bonus decision. Also, a good leader is not going to be oblivious so if you are too pushy, for example you have already expressed that you are fielding interviews, in that case they are probably already looking for a replacement. If s/he is usually straight up with you then I would trust that they are pushing for you but are facing challenges pushing you up the ladder. In my experience patient and loyalty pay off. Being impatient and annoying will get you replaced.


To me it just meant that the opportunities that I wanted weren't available to me at my last job.

It might not necessarily mean your manager isn't well meaning, but the impact is the same.

If there are skills you're lacking that prevent you from being offered an opportunity, ask about working on those. But if the opportunities themselves aren't there, then try to find them elsewhere.


It’s BS


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