Meet Rebecca Hayes, one of our pilot cohort who has accepted a permanent role in the Employment team at CMS.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you were doing before the Reignite Academy came along.

I am an employment lawyer.  I trained at Barlow Lyde & Gilbert before moving to Linklaters at 3 years qualified.  I worked as a Managing Associate at Linklaters, returning after both  of my maternity leaves.  Shortly after returning from my second maternity leave I decided to take a career break and retrain as an interior designer.  I wanted to try something completely different and work around my young family.  After retraining at KLC design school, I set up and ran my own interior design practice.

What made you decide to return to private practice?.

If it had not been for Reignite I would not have returned to private practice: I did not think that it was an option for me, given the length of time I had been out of it.  However, I believe that it is the best place to upskill and retrain if you have had a significant career break, because of the training opportunities, ability to learn from others and opportunities to broaden your network.  CMS have been amazing and I can not thank the Employment Team enough for giving me the opportunity.

What are you enjoying the most?

Regaining financial independence, being intellectually challenged and working in a corporate environment.

What’s been the most surprising/challenging thing about being back?

I have been surprised by how it is much more acceptable to work in a more agile and flexible way. The most challenging element is simply time pressure. Juggling family and work life is definitely a challenge, even though my children are older.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about returning to private practice?

Go for it!  It will be a challenge, but so, so rewarding.  I’m gradually beginning to feel like the old me.

Best box set/book/film recommendation. 

Box set:  Pose (I’ve watched it twice). Book:  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Film: Has to be Grease!

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