Partners, which career level was the most challenging for you?

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Director. Hardest job at the firm. Everything rolls up to you and everything rolls down to you. Partners don't really want to hear the whining. And, you have to do my job and your job at the same time. Also, was the hardest time on my wife and kids. Lots of time away...lots of stress. Any way you look at it, it’s a hard role, IMO.

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Manager. I know this might seem like a joke given your title, but it’s not! I found the shift from delivery to BD focus a challenge - and particularly knowing whether I was getting the balance right between the two. I’m still not 100% sure I’ve got it figured out, but things seem to be going OK so far!

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Agreed with partner 1. When you're rolling at SM, you're doing two jobs. The partners job and the SM role.

Take my opinion with a grain of salt, I'm a SM.

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Senior manager. It’s hard to figure out where you fit between the manager and partner (especially on smaller engagements). Your still accountable for the work but not as engrained in the day to day. You have to manage deliver, sell work, build followership, gain eminence. Plus the higher you get the more you start wearing the SM and partner hat. Until you are promoted

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M1, you will know if staff volunteer to help with your proposals, continue to stay connected with you after they’ve rolled off your project, or want to be staffed on your next project. You should know who your followers are and if you are unsure if you have followership, it’s probably an area for you to work on

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First year Partner

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Partner 2, I’m first year. Would live your insights on what made the first year difficult?

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D1 - S&O. The first year as SM was rough because I was getting adjusted to expectations. The next year was fine. It was year 3+ where it started to happen. It was pretty painful and I actually started looking for other jobs. I’m horizontal and was working across multiple accounts so in addition to project, eminence, counseling, and BD, I had multiple account and service area meetings each week and I felt like everyone expected me to participate. I finally had a huddle with everyone I reported up to and my offering lead to align on expectations which helped a lot. The other big thing is I invested a ton of time I didn’t have available on my managers so they could step up and perform as SM

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Partner 2, what service area? When did you feel it happening (playing both roles)? How did you and the family cope? I'm there and it is painful.

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EY1, yup. I was a SM for 5 years. Years 4 and 5 they pretty much disappeared but I couldn’t bring on another SM cause of metrics. Key is to have a M with the same promotion year as you. Easier said than done

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How do you know if you’ve built followership?

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I am a new director and I am struggling to find where I fit and how I can contribute on short engagements. I have my manager running day-to-day, and I have a partner that is very hands on and handles all client communications. So I feel like my main duty is to make sure the team is staffed appropriately and make sure the work products are QCed. Not sure what more I can do without interrupting my manager’s flow and overstepping my partner’s desire to get his hands dirty.

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D1, is you question to partner 2 or principal 2?

Ugh, sorry.. Principal 2

I'm a SM5 who was deferred until next year because we lost spots and its killing me. I can't remember the last time a pped responded to an email or joined a project call

Thanks P2, that’s helpful.

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