Solicitor Brooke Reardon MIML can’t thank mentor Chris Blair FIML enough for helping her pluck up the courage to start her own business
Brooke Reardon MIML, principal practitioner at Your Law Firm Horsham, joined AIM’s mentor program to help steer her through a life-changing career move. She was teamed up with Chris Blair FIML, Enterprise Manager at legal documentation company Topdocs, and credits his guidance with helping her take a leap forward.
Why did you join AIM’s mentor program?
BROOKE REARDON: I was at a crossroads in my career. I was working as a solicitor at a law firm and decided to join the mentoring program because I felt like I needed guidance to help make some big decisions. Chris was instrumental in building my confidence to not only start my own business early this year but also to join the Your Law Firm franchise.
CHRIS BLAIR: I’ve been involved in mentoring one way or another for a long time. The first experience was at least 20 years ago when I was working for big global company and they introduced a mentoring program. I loved it. I always had mentors earlier in my career, not that they were probably called mentors in those days!
What did you get out of the experience?
BR: Have you read the book Who Moved My Cheese? It’s an oldie but a goodie. I think Chris was a partner on the journey of looking for the new cheese for me! He helped me explore different options and put me in contact with people who could also help. He never made the choices for me but he helped me uncover different options that may or may not have been suitable for me.
CB: Brooke is a really smart lawyer and a really nice person. I’m a helper by nature and I like coaching and encouraging. Mentoring provides a total support system and it’s the kind of trusted relationship that I thrive on.
What did you learn from each other?
BR: Chris was very approachable, very considerate, very knowledgeable and very quickly understood my position and where I was seeking to go. I don’t think I would be where I am now without having Chris’ guidance along the way. He was woven into my career story from the minute he became my mentor, so when I tell people about my journey of how I became a practitioner, the AIM mentoring program and Chris himself are a key part of that story.
CB: Brooke was really stuck in a difficult position. It was inspiring to see her make a decision for her career that will have life-long positive impacts. It’s not just, “Hey, I got this little promotion”. What Brooke did will change her life forever, and that’s really powerful.
Would you recommend the mentor program to others?
BR: Absolutely. Without a mentor, you can live a bit in a vacuum because you’ve got no one to bounce things off. It also increases your confidence when you’ve got someone else giving you feedback on your ideas. The whole experience was exceptionally valuable to me. It was life-changing.
CB: Definitely. If somebody needs to have an external second opinion, coach, mentor, or whatever you want to call it, so long as they’re matched up well, it can provide a real helping hand. You may also gain a lifelong friend at the end of the day.