Want to take terrifying but exhilarating steps into the unknown? Listen and learn...

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Embracing the difficult challenges she faced, Chamber Ambassador and Managing Director of Loch Employment Law Pam Loch writes about the way she pushes herself forward constantly, setting up her own business from a flat in London, a terrifying but exhilarating step into the unknown.

I grew up on a rough council estate in Dundee, and dealt with my Mum’s mental health issues and Valium addiction from an early age. Even at the tender age of eleven, I knew that I was not going to be defined by my past, but decided to choose my own path.

I completed an Accountancy and Economics degree at Dundee University, the first generation university graduate, which brought with it some challenges. Family and friends I had grown up with made me feel isolated, different and claimed I was “lucky”.

I moved to Edinburgh and got a good job and after my son was born, I went back to work full-time when he was six months old – part time wasn’t really an option in those days! It was a struggle (one that many women face, to manage the house, child-care, supporting my mum and a full time job).

When my son was 2 ½ years old, I decided to retrain in Law. Despite doing well in my career, I knew that the legal profession was my destiny. To support my family, I also tutored at the university on Tax and got myself a Research Assistant job at Mackay Simon – pushing through the boundaries of my capacity and working hard – I don’t think there has ever been a time when I was more tired!

I focused on my end goal and got a Distinction in a two-year accelerated degree, a rare achievement I understand. I got a training contract with Mackay Simon in Edinburgh, a specialist employment law firm.

My husband’s work moved us to Newcastle in the middle of my contract so I ended up commuting two or three times a week from Newcastle to Edinburgh, racking up thousands of hours on the train (battling many a delay due to those dreaded leaves) and juggling being a mum, wife and employee.

After working for regional and global law practices, I set up my business from a flat in London in 2007, I remember the feeling on day one even now…it was a terrifying but exhilarating step into the unknown. As someone who had always been well-respected in law firms, I was on my own and responsible for my own success and I focused on working smart and networking, looking after my client relationships to secure repeat business.

I moved the business to Tunbridge Wells in 2008 and took on my first employee. The responsibility of another person being dependent on my success spurred me on and by 2009, we had outgrown the office and moved to a larger premises and took on more staff. This year I celebrated 10 years of the business, having opened offices in Brighton, London and Edinburgh, and I am thrilled with how we have evolved and grown.

My best advice is to listen and learn. Listen to yourself and don’t be restricted by anything or anybody. Listen to the market and don’t be afraid to try something new. Listen to your clients and constantly delight them. Listen to what others are doing in your market as you can learn a lot from them.

Thank you to Pam for providing this blog. For more about Loch Employment Law visit: http://www.lochlaw.co.uk/

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