A friend was up for partner at my law firm. He played by the rules: sucked up to all the right people, gave lots of presentations to influential people in the industry, built up a decent book of business, did excellent work, and was very well regarded. Superiors in his department assured him that he was doing everything right and gave him the impression that he would make partner this year. He really wanted this.
He didn't make it. The firm announced 10 new partners this morning: 8 "income" and 2 "equity" and he isn't among them.
He didn't come to work today. I tried calling him several times, but could not reach him. Of course I am pissed off on his behalf. And you can't help but look at the people who were promoted and compare them and wonder why the people whose opinions mattered chose them instead of him or maybe others who were passed over. I know several of them but not that well. They are fine lawyers, and I have some idea why two of them deserve this promotion, but not the others. Why them and not my friend? Though I am sure they don't promote the undeserving at my firm, they just don't promote all the deserving. And what or how much more does one have to do to get partnership? How much more ass-kissing, public speaking, politicking, etc. does one have to do to get the brass ring?
Not surprisingly, thoughts turn to fragility of our job security. What's worse, waiting for a promotion that doesn't come or sweating out a new round of layoffs...? Probably the latter, but my friend sure got screwed yesterday.