How do you know if you are on partner track? How early would you know? If you are not, is there anything you can do to become on track? Or is everything out of your control?

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Everyone above me knew way before I did and didn’t tell me for a very long time. I’m highly technical but grew and developed my own relationships and service offerings. For me, it was simply about surviving PA, not being laid off, and not letting anyone layoff anyone I’d hired. Yes, I sell a boatload of work, but I’m not a used car salesperson by any stretch of the imagination. I am capable of doing the actual work (but don’t usually unless it’s troubleshooting the big issues) but it’s a lot more about being there for your clients and your team, developing the trust that makes your clients refer you to other clients without hesitation and vouching that you’re the GOAT. And with your team, have their backs and their best interests at heart at all times. I think being a good partner means often putting your team’s interests way in front of your own. I know this sounds like sunshine and rainbows and unicorns, and some days are anything BUT those things, but I’m thankful to make a difference in my own small ways. And always happy to have a job!

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This is great! Thanks for your insight

Dude just sell shit and drive & grow the business. Do that for a few years and you automatically sort of get into the door. Differentiate yourself and show your firm why they'd be losing a share of the pie without your subject matter expertise.

It's not rocket science to be in the partner track. The tougher part sometimes is that if you suck at networking, then the right opportunities and deals never show up at your desk and you kind of get screwed compared to someone that is far more well-connected compared to you. Just my two cents.

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Depends what level you are. At PwC we have a specific program for experienced Directors called PCLDE which is where candidates that are considered to be “on track” go through various activities to get feedback from other partners in order to refine the business case, receive direct feedback, etc.

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You are in partner track if you’re able to “make your market”. E.g. I’m the partner selling large ERP deals - I will invite other partners to the table who are able to talk to and sell - Cloud, Integration, Analytics, Compliance, Cyber, Global Trade, Automation, Data Governance, etc. Each of these work-streams could make you Partner. That’s about 9 partners on 1 deal. When it is a 100 million life sciences deal this is pretty typical. Find your niche that will make your market. Become the go to guy at your firm for something.

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Most partners are basically salespeople. Go to any company that hire sales people and you'll find that partners are essentially cut from the same cloth that sales people. So if you don't have basic sales acumen, then invest your time and ability to grow that acumen.

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Senior manager and above, you will be explicitly told. Below that, you are attached to 1 or 2 partners who really go out if their way to champion you.

Seen someone hit SM with 5 YoE post undergrad which I thought was pretty wild.

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What business line was this SM?

It is also about luck and timing... things have to line up for u... certain things that r just out of ur control...

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Thanks! I am currently a second year manager. So I guess it's normal if I have no idea whether I am on track or not right? 😂

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When I was at a similar position in my career (at PwC) I was making the move from Risk Assurance to Advisory and had a Partner that I was getting to know (he ended up being my sponsor). It was around 2/3rd year Manager when I shared my ambition to become a Partner and asked him to be straight with me if there were development points or concerns with that ever happening. From there we’d have a dialogue occasionally and I always felt like I knew where I stood with him. Then when I was included in the formal PCLDE program is when I started to learn that not only was he personally supportive but that (a) he was willing to sponsor me and (b) he had some confidence that others were supportive as well.

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I'm often brought in to coach high-potential professionals (or hired by associates looking to get to the next level. Your knowledge is assumed. You need client development (sales) skills, leadership skills, and internal relationship building skills. The right people need to know like and trust you.

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You are told usually after a year or two as SM . Till then you will get feedback saying “partner potential” but till you are explicitly told as an SM - it doesn’t mean much

This is all very interesting. I thought other places had something more official than you have “partner potential” if you do x,y and z.

I see a lot of SMs exit and then be told they had a future with the firm. Makes no sense to me.

They probably had an MD/non-equity path and were unhappy with that. I’ve only known a few truly on partner path who chose to leave and they wanted “time not money”.

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