Karen Holden of A City Law Firm shares her views
It is often debated whether women can ‘have it all’ and I truly believe we can. There is nothing stopping us climbing the career ladder whilst being doting parents, providing you are willing to work hard and sacrifice.
I started my own legal practice after being concerned about the impact pregnancy would have on my career. I remember working for an international law firm when a colleague of mine said she was having a baby and it was as if someone had died! From that moment onwards, I knew I’d have to go it alone and in 2009, A City Law Firm was born.
In the very early stages, every spare moment is used to make the business a success, even if that means not getting home to put the baby to bed or missing date night with hubby. I’d spend family holidays permanently glued to my iphone, sneak off to make calls at dinner parties and be disengaged with friends whilst responding to client emails.
Getting the balance right is hard but there is a solution if you don’t mind sacrificing a little sleep.
To avoid disrupting quality family time, I often resume work during ‘the magic hour’. This is usually between midnight and 3am when my husband and Son are asleep. It’s a hugely productive time of day because I can work uninterrupted, without feeling guilty. I also find that it gives me the edge in business because I can get so much work done and be better prepared for clients in the morning.
The ‘magic hour’ enables me to take my Son to school and read him a bedtime story. I can get up to speed on client depositions and still have time to meet friends for cocktails or hubby for dinner.
I acknowledge this isn’t a solution for everyone, especially if you like a solid eight hours each night, but luckily for me, I love what I do and I am happy to lose a little shut eye if it means more time with my loved ones.
It’s a system that has worked brilliantly for me over the years and has hopefully benefited our clients too.
A City Law Firm are go-to legal experts for entrepreneurs and start-ups. Since launching in 2009, we have been voted Most Innovative Law Firm 2016 and been listed in the legal 500 for the first time. I have also just been shortlisted for a Working Mums Champion Award 2016.
Mumpreneurs are an incredible breed of women who are driven to succeed in every aspect of life and my amazing Mum is one of them. She worked three jobs to raise me as a single parent and I credit her for injecting me with such drive and determination.
I came from nothing and went onto have it all. If you are prepared to work hard and show a little sacrifice, anything is possible.
When people ask if women can have it all, I will always says ‘yes’, just minus a little sleep.