Raising your profile in your firm
Here are some great ways to start building your internal network. Be brave, and tackle a different one every month. This isn’t a one-off activity, it has to be a sustained effort on your part. You’ll soon see your profile rising within your firm.
One of the best ways to expand your internal and external network is to volunteer for high profile or cross department assignments. What can you get involved with in the next few months? What’s coming up? Speak to your partner and tell them you’d like to be considered.
How to make the best out of a secondment opportunity
In many law firms secondment opportunities are used in terms of a legitimate business development tactic. And you as a senior associate may be part of that secondment. In this video we tell you everything about how to make the best out of a secondment opportunity.
If you want to grow your profile you need to be prepared to put your hand out and volunteer for stuff outside of your normal day-to-day workload.
There are normally many ways for you to contribute to your firm. This could be standing on the social committee, supplying articles for the department’s newsletter or intranet, writing a blogspot for the website, organising or getting involved in a corporate social responsibility initiative etc.
There are always opportunities to get involved in cross-firm projects outside of your client work. Do choose carefully, and aim to be present on committees, steering groups, projects or assignments where you will get to increase your internal network and contact with key influential partners.
Having a presence on cross-firm initiatives, projects, or committees should form a part of your personal Networking Strategy. It’s one of the best ways to get noticed. These projects and initiatives will still be happening whether or not your firm’s senior people work mostly from the office or their home.
Go to firm socials
The firm’s socials may not be at the top of your list for things you want to do. As an aside, many firms are getting really good at hosting innovative and enjoyable social events virtually. For example, such as wine and gin tasting sessions or cooking lessons. These social events can give you great access to many of the firm’s partners who you would not normally bump into. Take the opportunity to talk to partners you don’t know at these events and also organise a one-to-one over a physical or virtual breakfast, coffee, lunch or a drink after work.
So many people put senior management up on a pedestal, or decide that ‘they are too important to want to talk with me’. Your boss’s boss has a big impact on your career – so why take the risk and be an unknown to him or her?
One of the times that you will be exposed to senior management is in big staff briefings, workshops or communication sessions. Do be brave and be prepared to diplomatically express your real views – particularly when tough questions are being asked, e.g. how good is morale at the moment?
Be positive and enthusiastic
Most people like working with positive and enthusiastic people – and want them to be part of their team. Wouldn’t you like to be first in line when people are picking teams? Be careful not to cultivate a negative reputation – e.g. for moaning, finding problems but not suggesting solutions etc
Get feedback little and often – and then ACT on it
Far too many people have throttled their career progression by not getting regular feedback from all their key stakeholders. Having poor self-awareness will hold your career back. Having been around the professions for 10 years now, everyone knows that each person has different strengths, weaknesses and particular eccentricities. In fact, people are fairly forgiving of most eccentricities, as long as it doesn’t impact client service. What people don’t forgive is when you receive feedback about your performance and you don’t act on this feedback.
Let the partners know when you get positive feedback
When you do get positive feedback, especially from clients, do forward it to your assignment manager or appraising partner. One of the worst career crimes you can do in a partnership is hide your light under a bushel.
How to grow your profile within the partnership while still being authentic to who you are
This recording will help you to learn what gets you noticed positively, what are the real career-limiting behaviours you need to avoid, how to deal with politics and get the most from your sponsor and mentor
Create strong relationships with the influential groups of partners
Within any firm will be influential groups of partners AND individuals who wield much more power than their title, status, or responsibilities suggest. Part of your remit when on Partner Track is to understand who these partners are and the political sensitivities of the partnership. At this stage in your career, it is less about your technical excellence and more about who you know and how they view you.
Build up a strong network with the junior partner population plus the next generation of partners
One of the best ways of being seen as ‘one of us’ is to build your profile within the junior partner population and the people who are likely to make partner before you. Then as they progress further up the partnership ladder, they can take you with them.