‘Listen to others but have the self-belief to evaluate and make your own decisions...’

Tina Maxey

Tina Maxey - Credit: Archant

Tina Maxey, an employment solicitor based at Ellisons Solicitors , offers some advice to her younger self

How would you describe yourself at 18?

I would have to say that I was a carefree and adventurous 18 year old. After leaving college I hadn’t really thought about my career path, but knew that the bright lights of London were calling me. Without really thinking about how I would go about living in the city, I packed up my bags and like a shot went to see what the capital could offer me.

Luckily for me, I obtained a job within a week of moving. However, it was short lived. I ending up leaving the job and London behind, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. It gave me invaluable commercial insight into how businesses operated.

What three tips would you give to your younger self?

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Firstly, I would tell myself to battle fear head on. I think when we are younger we can be afraid, which stops us doing things. I would tell my younger self to not let fear hold me back, and stop me from doing things. You need to push yourself out of your comfort zone to grow and achieve.

Secondly, I would remind myself that people will always have opinions, and it’s not necessarily the more outwardly confident people who know what they are doing. It’s important to listen to others but then have the self-belief to evaluate and make your own decisions.

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Look after yourself from the inside out. Be mindful of what you eat and drink, and make sure you exercise. To be the better version of yourself, and gain all the energy you need to ensure your client’s case is handled in the best way, you need to be mindful of what fuel you put in your body. Although, I doubt whether my younger self would have listened to the advice.

Is there anything you would do differently?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. There are many things that I would do differently, but that comes through experience. However, I am not one for dwelling on what might have been, and I always try to take something positive away no matter how negative the experience.

Are there any projects you are particularly proud of?

One of the reasons I came into the legal profession was to help people, and early on in my career I found that it was often the small cases that meant the most. I acted for someone who’d set up a business, purportedly in breach of his restrictive covenants, and he was being threatened with an injunction. Although it was a worrying time for him as the business was his livelihood, he had the confidence to fight, and we successfully challenged the enforceability. It meant the world to him, and I won’t forget how winning that case made me feel too.

Can you point to a turning point, a landmark which told you that you would be a success?

At the time of starting my law degree, there was only a 40% chance of female graduates successfully going into the profession, something I am glad has changed over time.

With that statistic ringing in my ears, along with my own pressures, I can’t put into words just how delighted I felt when I was offered a training contract; it made the time and money spent studying worthwhile.

Why is Suffolk a good place to do business?

I’m relatively new to the area, having practised in Norfolk for most of my career. However, there are a number of things that attracted me to Suffolk.

In the region it’s not hard to find fantastic, thriving businesses with commercially-driven people at the helm, the transport links to surrounding counties and London are great, and of course, the scenery is also lovely.

If you could relive one day, what would it be?

It would have to be a long summer day when I was younger.

My friends and I used to cycle about 10 miles to spend the day messing about by the river and sunbathing. It was a time when I had no real responsibilities and the day seemed to last forever.

If you were to choose one motto what would it be?

You can achieve anything if you want something badly enough. Through grit and determination I have been able to put my experience and knowledge into a career where I can help people.

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