International Women’s Day 2020: Carys Thompson
Carys Thompson is a Legal Director and the Head of Commercial in our Sheffield office:
“I am currently Legal Director and head of the commercial team at Keebles LLP, based at the firm’s Sheffield office. I work 30 flexible hours per week, mostly from home. I haven’t had a traditional career path and I don’t work now in what many see as a ‘traditional’ way.
I trained and qualified as a solicitor at a mid-sized firm in Leeds and went on to work at a high-street practice in my hometown Barnsley. I then left private practice, for a time working for a legal publisher, which was my first taste of autonomous working from home with fairly flexible hours. It also coincided with the birth of our first daughter. After 5 years, I missed practising law and moved to an in-house position working for a very successful large international business in South Yorkshire.
After having our second daughter, I decided to find a way to work alongside our young family and enjoy precious time with our daughters, whilst still doing what I enjoy and good quality work. Sadly, working flexibly was not an option for me at the time in my in-house position. I became a self-employed consultant solicitor (knowing from my previous experience that I have the self-discipline needed to do so) and this is how I came into my current position at Keebles.
Keebles is a great firm, with great clients, really good quality work and some very talented lawyers. They are also fully supportive of the flexible way in which I work.
My unconventional career path has enabled me to work in different sized-firms and businesses with very different cultures to find the right fit for me and has allowed me to follow my ambitions together with my changing personal priorities. It has also been invaluable in what I have learned professionally along the way. From a personal perspective, I have also learnt that there is not one defined career path, nor only one version of success, or even the same version of success for the same person at different times throughout their life and career.
I won’t say it is easy to find the balance between a career and family life that feels right for you, but through hard work and determination it is possible.”