I often think about the people that I have met in my life – at school and university, from my old swimming clubs and even from part-time jobs as a teenager. Having originated from Guernsey and lived in several different places, I never expected that my new job at Taylor Vinters in Cambridge would lead me to reconnect with people that I knew from my childhood.
But here I am as a second year trainee, having recently come out of a meeting with a girl (or I should say, woman) from the nemeses island of Jersey, that I used to compete against in swimming competitions when we were about 13 years’ old. Not only that, we would stay at each other’s family homes for the duration of the competition.
13 years later, she now works in the HR department of one of our well-known clients and when I was told who we would be meeting I couldn’t believe the coincidence.
Alarmingly, a day before this chance encounter I had also read a marketing report that had been circulated by a colleague. I instantly recognised the name of the individual she met. It was yet another old swimming team mate of mine, who works as an accountant in Guernsey. I swiftly sent him a LinkedIn message to get back in touch, and he joked about how he now has the misfortune of sharing a swimming lane with my sister, who insists on still getting out of a morning session early “so that she can get to work on time.”
Several weeks earlier, I was asked if I could recommend any Guernsey-based law firms that could assist in providing some local employment law advice for a new client. Putting two of my former colleagues in contact with my current colleagues was a strange experience, but it was nice to know they still remembered me (given that the last time we had contact was at the firm’s Christmas party in 2012, where several alcoholic beverages had been consumed and the next week I had moved back to England in pursuit of a training contract). As a result, we now have two fantastic new contacts to add to our International Counsel database.
These experiences are a nice reminder that there is nothing wrong with “rekindling old flames”. In a non-romantic, professional environment, of course. I’m grateful and lucky that my personal network that began from when I was a teenager has served some purpose in my current employment, and hope that I continue to be surprised as my career develops.