Copying and filing
The absolute low point of my career was the 6 months I spent in the property department of Ashurst. I remember sitting in a dark corner spending days photocopying documents that could have been written in ancient Greek for all they meant to me, feeling very sorry for myself. I was on crutches at the time and being the middle of winter didn't help. I had no responsibility, not much to do, and no girlfriend to boot...
Finding your niche
And whilst things eventually got better, it's fair to say that I didn't have a stellar legal career.
In fact the only person in my intake whose star shone less brightly was a certain Jason Mohr. He's subsequently gone on to find success and fame as the founder of the UK's largest rubbish removal business, AnyJunk. I happen to be a non-exec at AnyJunk along with Jason's backers and mentors who come from the senior team of FTSE darling Big Yellow. When it comes to running our business I'm not afraid to ask the Big Yellow guys for advice and, so far, they have been happy to provide.
We recently ran our staff survey. We always get told it's a great survey - short, brutally honest and taken seriously by just about everyone who works for us. I can't take too much credit as 80% of it comes straight from those nice folk at Big Yellow. What about the results? Well for the most part very good. We've created a great working environment. The core team is just under 50 strong and the business is growing.
Responsibility and ownership!
Everyone has responsibility and we are at pains to force people to take ownership of the part of the business they run. Of course it creates problems and too many of our people have worked under too much pressure in the last year. But everyone enjoys working here and is challenged by the present and excited about the future in equal measure.
Pressure or no pressure that must be loads better than having a bunch of glorified gofers?
P.S. The person who I shared those dark legal days with was Logan Mair. He's had a brilliant legal career at Ashurst. The mind can play funny tricks - maybe it wasn't quite as bad as I remember.