This follows on my â€œKool-Aidâ€ piece of last week. This is the first of several further installments justifying what some consider superficial reasons for jumping ship. So here goes:
If greener pastures beckon; heed the call. If you are eyeing what others are making in a different firm and thinking of making a move, listen to the impulse. Frankly, associate pay and PPEP (profits per equity partner) are reliable indicators of the current strength, prestige and desirability of a firm–especially when you think about sitting on the partner side of the desk. If you think that you have the chance to make it in a bigger/better/sexier firm, you should seriously consider it. The positive ramifications of a move upward are huge, and not just to your pocketbook. A firm that has made correct management, market focus, platform, rate, and client choices, usually gets rewarded by the market. Of course, those same beloved market forces are currently keeping profitable firms in line on associate compensation. More importantly, considering the variable and shifting market and economic forces of the 21st Century economy, maybe you cannot afford not to be in the next tier of firms. Given market consolidation, there will be fewer firms at the top. Firms that are currently besting their competitors are the most logical bet in terms of longevity, growth, and access to the best clients-and these issues should be central in your mind as you are molding your practice.