Saturday, June 25, 2011

My Close Friend Just Got Promoted

I just got word that a close friend of mine from my previous employer – the auditing firm – will be promoted to partner by this year.  Oh, there’s no formal announcement yet or celebration, but I’m happy to say that I’m still in the loop so I hear about these things. Plus, I checked her Facebook wall and I saw that very same announcement.

 Her promotion got me thinking, if I stayed all this time, would I have been promoted too? I mean, we were promoted to senior and manager at the same time, have the same number of experience, have almost the same evaluation results, etc. It’s only normal to think that the answer to my question would have been yes. As one of my former seniors told me, I should have been promoted also to partner this year.

But then again, I get to thinking. The same number of years of experience and being promoted at the same time are not really guarantees that you will become partners at the same time, especially if you’re in the Big 4.

For one, if you managed to displease a certain partner you’ve worked with in the past, chances are, the same partner will block your nomination to partnership. I’m not kidding. I’ve seen this happen before. Managers who have been working for a long time in the firm don’t get promoted to partners. Why? Because one or two partners don’t want them to be promoted to the partnership (despite the fact that these partners were in the minority). There were even rumors when I was still with this firm that just one partner saying ‘nay’ will destroy your chances to become one even though the others agree to the promotion. Take note: this is just a rumor, but after my stint in the auditing firm, ‘news’ of the partners’ meeting tends to leak down to the managers’ level.

For another, the other partners may think you are not yet ‘ready’ to become a partner. I’m not really sure what the word ‘ready’ means as far as the partnership goes but I know for sure that years of experience do not necessarily equate to this readiness. And who will determine if you are ‘ready’? Why the other partners of course. They are, after all, in the best position to see if a manager is ‘worthy’ of becoming one of them.

Lastly, you, yourself, may think you’re not worthy enough to become a partner. Or you may think that you don’t want the life of a partner. Yes, I know the monetary value is great but then again, so are the hardships, the sleepless nights and the pressure of being a partner. I haven’t really seen a manager refuse to become a partner, but I’ve heard of managers who think that they shouldn’t be promoted to partners yet because they don’t think they can do the job. Some of them ended up becoming partners and some ended up leaving the firm.

As for me, well, I don’t think the life of a partner is for me. And I can only congratulate my friend and wish her well.

What about you? Do you think you will become a partner of an auditing firm?

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