It was McLeod Duminy’s first birthday last weekend and I have been trying to think of a cute way to link our one year anniversary to some sage and insightful career advice, but actually all I can think of when I consider what has happened in that year is ‘bl**dy hell that has gone quickly’. Yet, as with so many life-changing decisions and experiences, it also feels like we have been doing this for ages. I hope that is a sign it was the right thing to do and that the candidates and clients we have worked with so far think it has all been worthwhile.
We have literally been overwhelmed by the support, encouragement and advice offered from so many quarters since day one, and I couldn’t possibly include all the individuals deserving thankyous here. As the saying goes ‘they know who they are’ and will get to feel the love (and the champagne) when we have our first birthday party in a few weeks’ time.
It is fair to say we have learnt a great deal (I would strongly advise not to get either of us started on IT!) in the last twelve months, but happily it feels like we have been proved largely right that the legal profession prefers to deal with specialists who understand them, dare I say, warts and all. We remain committed to openness and being ourselves, so that those we work with know to whom they are entrusting the careers they have worked so hard to forge. We don’t have flash offices with a cast of thousands, and you won’t get any fancy merchandise when we meet. You will probably get a coffee if you are lucky, maybe a glass of wine if you are really lucky. You will definitely get honest advice, support through some high-stakes decisions and an ongoing interest in your career.
One of the most enjoyable things has been the opportunity to invest in developing our networks via social media and, that much underrated phenomenon, the glass of wine after work. For example we have instigated regular networking drinks for lawyers new to, or returning to, Auckland as much for them to re-create their own professional networks as for us to get to know them better. Our LinkedIn group for Kiwi Lawyers Returning Home is also gathering momentum. Rather than just a job board we try to post all sorts of relevant economic and cultural information that could be of interest to those deciding when the time might be right to come back. The aim is to be working as part of the profession rather than just alongside it.
I will finish by saying we are pretty pleased with ourselves and what we have achieved in the last year. Sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to that success and can’t wait to see what the next year holds.