In this week's Throwback Thursday Lynn Knight explains why it's important to embrace every opportunity that comes your way, even if it's not quite the path you planned.
"Success is better than perfection" - one of the many great pieces of advice my dad gave me when I was growing up. When I was young, I was an ardent perfectionist and I always had a rigid life plan. From the age of 11, I wanted to become a doctor. I studied hard, got into medical school and then discovered that blood and gore in copious quantities made me either throw up or pass out or (if I was really unlucky) both! I tried to get over this but without success, and so had to admit defeat and go "off plan".
To be honest, I fell into law - a couple of my new Uni friends were studying law and they said it was great. When I quit medicine, the University allowed me to transfer into the law faculty and I loved the degree course. The next challenge was what sort of lawyer I wanted to be. Based on my experiences at University, I thought family law was the thing for me, and I hung out for a contract at one of the top flight family law firms in London. My family seat was the last seat in my training contract and I couldn't wait for it to come round. When it did, I discovered that I just wasn't cut out for family law in practice - another flaw in my life plan.
Just before I qualified, my firm merged with a boutique corporate and commercial firm. The new team were in need of a newly-qualified solicitor and I was given the opportunity to join them. Knowing very little about corporate and commercial work, I took the job and I've never looked back. I have been in the Shoosmiths corporate team for 10 years now. I joined as a solicitor and gained my partnership in 2008. People sometimes ask me whether I wished I'd chosen another area of law in which to specialise, as corporate lawyers' hours can be "interesting". The answer is no. I love what I do. I'm part of a great team working with great clients.
Along the way, I've learned some valuable life lessons, including the fact that life never goes according to plan and we become successful by embracing the opportunities which come our way and making the most of them, rather than striving for perfection.