Not ready for promotion?

Was told I'm getting promoted to associate and genuinely don't think I'm ready. I've worked with a rockstar associate who's helped me with modeling, terminology, development questions and general questions that pop up everyday on the job. I'm nowhere close to this guy from a knowledge standpoint, yet we will technically now be at the same title (him closer to VP than associate). Has anyone out there experienced this where you just don't feel ready? Any tips to help me? I'll be working with new analysts come next year lmfao

work at a well known LP shop that does both direct investments, and JV development across all product types 

Comments (11)

Most Helpful
Jun 22, 2022 - 4:29pm
Ozymandia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I wouldn't sweat it.  Just remind yourself that the people who do know more than you, and who are trusting you to run deals and take risk on their behalf, think you're ready!  As someone who has had this issue, I'll only say that you can't spend your life or your career comparing yourself to people with more experience and getting down on yourself because you feel you come up short.

There will always be someone smarter than you, someone more knowledgeable, someone overall better at what they do than you are.  That isn't meant as an insult, I hope you realize.  Just a way to remind yourself that there is always something else to improve on, and as long as you're learning and growing every day, it shouldn't matter than the guy 3 offices down taught you everything you know.   Once upon a time, someone was teaching the Sam Zells and the Jonathan Grays of the world how to hack it.

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Jun 22, 2022 - 4:48pm

Any tips on how to get better in the associate role? Obviously as an analyst you're just there to learn as much as possible but associates at my firm even manage analysts and are the main point of contact for pretty much all questions. I know a decent amount but there's a ton to know in this game

Jun 22, 2022 - 5:02pm
Ozymandia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Any tips on how to get better in the associate role? Obviously as an analyst you're just there to learn as much as possible but associates at my firm even manage analysts and are the main point of contact for pretty much all questions. I know a decent amount but there's a ton to know in this game

I mean, it sounds like you have a great role model in the guy who mentored you.  Pass on what you've learned to the new analysts.  Keep your ears and eyes open and learn what you can.

As you get more senior, the best piece of advice I can give you is to start thinking more and more from the perspective of an owner.  As a junior person, your job is to execute on tasks given to you, to move deals along.  But the way you'll advance is if you start asking "why" at every inflection point.  Why are certain deal terms negotiated the way they are?  Why use one type of construction instead of another?  And so on and so on.  Theoretically every single one of those decisions has been mulled over and decided for a specific reason, and understanding what led there will help you better anticipate what you're expected to do the next time something similar comes up.

It's easy to forget as a junior person, but development is insanely risky (as I was trying to explain to someone on another thread).  You don't really see that risk as an employee, but think about how much overhead goes into supporting the development team for years before the project yields a dime.  You aren't tasked with maintaining a cash balance to satisfy the liquidity requirements of lenders.  I'm sure you understand the concept of bad boy and completion guarantees and the like, but you're not signing those.  The more you can put yourself in that frame of mind, the better you'll be able to understand how you should be executing on the projects your own - which, honestly, can be summed up as "risk management"

Jun 22, 2022 - 4:42pm
roc1719, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Your associate probably wasn't that good when he was first promoted either. He probably got that way from being thrown into it. 

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Jun 22, 2022 - 6:34pm
redever, what's your opinion? Comment below:

So.... as someone with over 15 yrs now total work exp (and closer to 20 than I care to say lol).... my view...

It sounds like ranks/titles have some legit meaning at your firm, this is not always universal, but even where it matters..... the difference from analyst to associate is usually still fairly "arbitrary" (and promotions between are often just justifications for raises/market salary bumps tbh, and reward for good work).... meaning, I doubt the expectations from actually rise that substantially (clearly, I could be wrong, this is all firm and even team dependent). 

That said.... many (maybe most??) are not ready for the positions they get promoted or even hired into, and firms/managers actually know this. You have to "assume" and thus grow into the role. Your feelings mean you are self aware, that is a good thing. Don't worry about it and just have fun! 

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Jun 22, 2022 - 7:34pm

So my firm has hybrid acq/am. The acq work will largely be the same but on the AM side, associates (for the most part) are the main AM with analysts as the support staff. I'm fine on the acq side especially since we always use partners and I'll have a director level person to assist. More so on the AM front where I'll have an analyst working with me and me as the lead is where I'm a bit uneasy

Jun 23, 2022 - 7:52am
redever, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I get what you mean! It does sound like a very legit step up in responsibility. Especially if you get to manage an analyst yourself now. Just be the manager you would want to have, and don't be afraid to ask for help. Really, just be humble and don't worry about being perfect at it, this how progression happens! Congrats!!!

Jun 23, 2022 - 10:00am
CREnadian, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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