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Episode 16 - An Associate's appraisal - part 3

The scene – at a corner table in Costa’s, London WC2, Jordan (an associate) and Rob (managing partner) are on their second round of flat whites

(After Rob’s dilemma about having to cancel the appraisal meeting (read Episode 2 here) and then the rescheduled meeting getting off to a good start in the office (read Episode 5 here), Jordan and Rob are continuing their conversation in Costa.)

Jordan didn’t offer to pay for either round of coffees. This was an important appraisal and he was trying to direct all his energy and attention to the business in hand – and he’d forgotten his wallet.

It had been a pleasant surprise listening to Rob go through a list of Jordan’s achievements – running the Extensis transaction which had got unexpectedly complicated and negotiating a good deal on the fees, mentoring two of the new trainees (one of whom had gone very wobbly after a couple of months) and hitting his utilisation targets consistently. “It’s amazing”, he thought to himself “I thought I would have to remind him, but he’s actually done his homework”.

It had been less pleasant to hear about (and be reminded about) his drafting disaster back in February. It was even worse to hear, for the first time, that he apparently found it difficult to work with Hamish and wasn’t prepared to listen to feedback. “Where the hell had that come from! Well, Hamish obviously but he’s never said anything to me”, was Jordan’s distracted line of thought (now wishing he was back in the sanctuary of the office meeting room). So he only caught the end of what Rob was in the middle of now saying.

“…. other firms, not the best way to get a salary increase here.” Rob paused. Jordan hesitated. “Look I’m sorry, but I lost you there … about “other firms”, what was that?” “Oh, it’s the way you have apparently been approaching other firms when we all thought you were committed to FFS”, said Rob giving him a quizzical stare. No one, absolutely no one, was meant to know about that.

“A word of advice Jordan. I don’t, and most people don’t, like being held to ransom over pay rises. If you feel you deserve one and have got a good case then tell me.” This was all unravelling horribly thought Jordan as his chin dropped into his chest. Deep breath. Head up, eye contact. “OK, well I do and I have.”

Rob stood up. “I know you do. Come on …. Back to the office.”

Have your say

What do you think about the appraisal conversation Rob and Jordan are having?

Episode 16 - An Associate's appraisal - part 3

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Add your comment – Appraisal conversations can be very difficult. What’s your experience – good and bad? What advice would you give an associate? Share your thoughts and feelings.

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# Simon McCall 2017-07-12 14:02
That's a bit harsh by Rob!
# Lise Seager 2017-07-12 14:12
Is a coffee shop the place to have a meeting like this?
# Simon McCall 2017-07-17 13:51
All tactics are ok when trying to get a pay hike! What does Rob expect.
# Simon McCall 2017-07-20 13:58
Asking for a pay rise ... the most difficult work conversation I have ever had.
# Mac Mackay 2017-08-10 14:19
Perhaps Jordan should read this piece on how to get noticed by headhunters:

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