Articles From the Team

Olivia Colman and a lesson for all of us

February 2019 will forever be inscribed in film history as the day when a 45-year-old British mother of three shocked the world by beating Hollywood royalty (and a 'nailed on' favourite) - walking away with the Oscar for Best Actress in a leading role.

While her utter shock and surprise – along with blowing a raspberry when told to wrap her speech up – has endeared her to millions, what interests me is the story behind the victory.

For many people of a certain age, Olivia first came to our attention in 2003 as a cast member for the comedy, Peep Show. However, even a cursory glance at Wikipedia demonstrates that prior to this she's been working her way up through less glamorous roles, honing her talent across a range of media.

Further comedy roles followed - including the very popular Hot Fuzz - before Olivia landed a part in the wildly popular Broadchurch, and moving on to The Crown. An excellent performance in Murder on the Orient Express further increased her stock. Fast forward to today and we've got the Oscar-winning performance in The Favourite.

So what is the lesson we can all learn here? And what does Olivia Colman's Oscar win have to do with legal recruitment?

Overnight success - it doesn't happen

The lesson for all of us is that 'success' doesn’t happen overnight. It's taken Olivia 18 years to get on that stage for the win. That's 18 years of slog and hard graft, of auditions, and of inevitable rejection. That's 18 years of resilience and of a willingness to re-invent herself, try new things and go in different directions.

Why has a legal recruiter chosen this as a blog topic? Because we're approaching NQ season and I think this is an incredibly relevant message.

It’s fine (and actually pretty useful) to have goals but you’ve got to be realistic on their achievability. You’ve got to look at the steps you need to take in order to get where you want to. Maybe you can do it one jump. Maybe it’ll take you 18 years. Ultimately, you can always get to where you want, but more often than not it'll take time and the right help and guidance.

What's age and children got to do with it?

I appreciate that some will question why I mentioned Olivia’s age and the number of children she has. The reason is simple. Every day I speak to candidates who believe what they read on social media: that parenthood and taking paternity or maternity leave will irreparably damage their careers! Every day I speak to candidates (male and female) who believe what they read on social media: that they're too old to achieve their dreams.

Whilst I appreciate that acting is very different to practising as a solicitor – every day I speak to, work with and assist people who are moving their careers in the right direction and achieving the things that they want to.

If you feel like your career isn’t moving in the right direction or you’d like to have a conversation to check that it is – get in touch with BCL Legal or call us on 0845 241 0933.

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