Listen to my story.
I am a people person and the reason I have been at Clayton Utz for so long is the people. My supervisors, team members, peers and clients are genuine and treat each other with respect. I feel extremely lucky to work with people who support each other and work together so well. If you don't like the people you work with, then the work has to be pretty miraculous to stay. Luckily the work here is good too.
It's also given me the opportunity to learn in a very supportive peer group. During my time as a junior solicitor and now as a partner, I have benefitted from the specialist education and training offered through the firm. It is targeted and tailored to help people through each stage of their career journey.
I'm currently at a stage where the work / life balance (or "juggle", as I prefer to call it) is an ongoing focus. I have a young family and my work also means I have to travel and spend time away from the office at meetings, among other things. I currently work four days each week, and luckily have technology and a fabulous team to assist me to manage the demands of clients and work-flow.
The juggle is nothing new, however. During my time at University, I was diagnosed with kidney disease. Doctors recommended that I defer my studies; at the time I was studying Arts/ Law at Deakin University in Burwood.
I was determined not to fall behind in my studies so I pared back on everything else in my life. It was important to me, at that time, to be mentally stimulated despite the fact that I was unwell. I stuck to my guns and completed my degree with my peers and, in the meantime, recovered very well. I think that my studies kept me in touch with my friends and helped me to stay very positive during a challenging time.
It also helped me develop determination and resilience, which I needed when I set myself the goal of achieving partnership. It made me realise life's too short to work with people you can't stand.
I was welcomed into the Partnership in January 2016. There were many factors which came together, such as hard work, training and the brilliant people at the firm, including a wonderful mentor. However, one thing which I believe played a large part in my success is that throughout my nine years at the firm, I have always taken my whole self to work. I have never felt pressure to fit into a particular mould at Clayton Utz. My personality comes with me to work and this has meant that I have had the freedom to truly be myself at work.