Perspective for Partners

Perspective for Partners

Solitary career development needs support from time to time

A substantial difference from a career in business

A career in a firm of professionals (accountants, attorneys, tax specialists, management consultants) differs substantially from a career in business. There is virtually no hierarchy, and before you become a partner there is really only one guiding principle: up or out.

For a new employee, the goal is clear: Become a partner. But then, when you’re around 35 to 40, the goal or perspective becomes less clear.

Keep setting new goals

As a professional, you are subject to the same forces that apply elsewhere in society: you want to continue working, you want to continue learning, you want to continue developing, and last but not least: you want to try new things from time to time, and explore new directions in your working life.
To do that, you need to keep setting new goals as a partner. Recalibrate your ambitions from time to time. And continue to carefully and industriously work towards achieving those goals.

As a partner, you are largely on your own in your career development. Your firm probably doesn’t have many resources available to support you in that process. QUIST offers firms of professionals tailor-made programmes to coach individual partners.

Perspective for                  pre-retirement partners

Whether you’re an accountant, attorney or tax expert: it happens to everyone eventually. And everyone struggles with it, but only few do something about it. You know that when you reach the age of 60-62, your firm will require you to retire as a partner. But you also know that you’ll still be energetic and full of life. At the top of your game professionally, willing and able to perform at your best.

The black hole, beginner’s mistakes

The demands of your work make it difficult to schedule time to think about this issue. As a partner, you’re still full steam ahead with your day-to-day work, and you’re certainly not preparing for your inevitable departure at 60. You notice your colleagues falling into a black hole, awkwardly attempting to make their way in a new, unfamiliar job market, and making simple beginner’s mistakes. Their pride keeps them from accepting help where they need it.

In the organisation’s interest for partners to land on their feet after retirement

As an employer, you want to anticipate these developments. It’s in your interest for your leavers to continue to serve as ambassadors for the firm. The younger partners will also benefit from the knowledge that there is still a life after the end of their careers at the firm. Role models, in the form of former partners who’ve found good positions elsewhere, can help them in that.

Perspective for                 mid-career partners

Partners have an especially hard time in the middle of their careers: they’ve worked hard for 15-20 years to reach where they are now. Full Partner, at the top of your profession, respected by clients, staff and peers. This is also the rush hour phase of your private life. You’ve achieved material success, but do you want to continue on this path for another 20 years? What needs to happen to keep this work and this life interesting for all that time? In order to maintain the elements of your life that are truly important, sometimes you need to dare to make some major changes in other areas.

A personal transformation

With a coach at your side, you will have an external sounding board with no other interest than supporting you in your career development. To set new goals and work towards achieving them.
In essence, we guide you through an important personal transformation: to a new interpretation of your duties and responsibilities, to improved performance within your current work environment, or to more harmony and balance by rediscovering your own sources and motivations.

The QUIST Perspective for Partners programme

The programme can be organised around the organisation’s preferences. The characteristics are usually:

  • the goal is to give the partner control over his/her working life
  • offered to all partners within a selected age group. Participation is strongly encouraged, but not officially obligatory
  • draw up a plan for the next few years within this organisation: what can you still achieve, and what form will that contribution take?
  • draw up a plan for your life and work after your 60th birthday (only for pre-pension partners)
  • a series of sessions with one of our coaches
  • sometimes: the insight that it is better to leave early, if you’ve come to the insight that your personal goals can be better realised in another way. For older partners: the insight that the plans you’ve made for after 60 are so attractive that you’d rather start right away
  • sometimes: a psychological assessment, to provide starting points for drawing up new plans


Time frame

Depending on the employer’s needs, an individual coaching process can take up to around 12 months. During this period, the participant will have a pre-set number of coaching sessions. In our experience, a thorough process takes around 10 sessions to complete. It takes time for a professional to let go of the here and now, and to seriously reflect on yourself and your future.