Articles From the Team

The Circle of Life

To this day that opening scene of the Lion King is probably one of my favourite moments of a Disney film. The stage show is superb as well; if you haven’t seen it I would highly recommend it! I wish I had a friend like Rafiki… Now I could ramble on and on and on about the Lion King and other Disney films quite happily all day long but really I would like to talk about my mother, and my sister.

Both my mother and my sister work for the NHS, my sister is a doctor and my mother is a nurse. Earlier this week after taking a year off on maternity leave my sister returned to work and the following day, after nearly 42 years of working, my mother retired. Both at opposite ends of their respective careers, both in the same field and service, both have had incredibly different experiences.

I think my sister was a little nervous and apprehensive about returning to work after a year. I can’t imagine the feeling, not being a parent myself, but knowing that my sister is an incredibly dedicated, ambitious and driven individual I can imagine that there was a certain excitement to it as well. Everyone knows those nerves, the first day at school or the first day in a new job. Perfectly normal, perfectly acceptable, if anything I would be worried if you told me you weren’t nervous on your first day in a new job or on your first day back after a long time away.

On the other hand, I know that my mother was nothing but excited about retiring. Now she gets to spend more time doing all the things she wants to do. She can spend more time with my nephew, her first and only grandchild (at the moment); she doesn’t have to wake up at 5:30am anymore to go to work; the list goes on and on. I find it hard to believe that my mother has worked in the same job for 42 years, 36 of those years in just one hospital. Can you imagine getting up every morning and going to work, following the same routine, walking the same steps, smiling at the same faces, opening the same doors over and over and over for 42 years?! It’s hard isn’t it, but actually that is the reality for almost all of us. Find a job, make a career of it, it becomes part of your life in a very significant way.

When I asked my mother why she picked nursing she said, quite simply, “I had just arrived in this country, it was a cold and snowy winter and coming from Sri Lanka I had never experienced anything like it. I had told my parents I was going to be an accountant but somehow I ended up enrolling at Nursing college and here I am 42 years later, it was hard work and there was nothing easy about it but I wouldn’t do anything differently.” I think there’s a certain poetic charm to that, things not going according to plan but working out well in the end.

Things don’t always go according to plan; to me that’s very much part of the excitement of life in general, to roll the dice and see what happens. When it comes to your career, sometimes things don’t work out as you had envisioned or perhaps circumstances change, who knows?! When you took your first steps towards becoming a lawyer perhaps you didn’t envisage working for such a large firm, or such a niche firm, or working in-house, or perhaps you never imagined being a lawyer at all? But here we are, you found a job, you’re making a career of it and it will be a part of your life. You could be starting out, returning to work after maternity leave, perhaps even approaching retirement. In any case, BCL Legal are here to help you, to advise you and to guide you through that no matter what stage you’re at in your career.

For more information contact Gishan Abeyratne at BCL Legal.

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