Opening Doors

When you look back on your career path so far, I wonder who’s opened doors for you?  I don’t mean literally but I do mean figuratively. 

  • Who encouraged you to go towards something?  
  • Who opened a door which would otherwise have remained tightly closed (or you wouldn’t have even known it was there)
  • Who introduced you to someone or something and made it easy for you to go ahead and explore and try your luck?

So often it’s who you know and not what you know that starts you off or supports your development and it’s easy to forget isn’t it ?

We think we need another qualification or more experience in an area before putting ourselves forward when – in reality – we need to ask for support, draw upon our network be it personal or professional.  

  • An introduction.  
  • A good word.  
  • A steer.  
  • A door opened.

All of these are quiet but effective career accelerators.

Having been part of a City Livery Company – The Worshipful Company of Insurers – since 2020 I’ve been encouraged to reflect on the doors I’ve had – and still have – opened for me.

  • Mum encouraged me to go into an entrance exam for a private school which was closed off to our primary school
  • Dad opened the door to insurance when I left school with no idea what direction to go in
  • My boss put me in touch with many influencers in the company to get me ‘known’
  • When I moved into broking I asked a few people I knew and – shazam – off I went because I asked and because I was known
  • Another boss sponsored me to learn French and to go to work in Paris
  • A client opened the door for me to be on a Board for the charity Tender and another client nominated me as part of the Livery company.
  • I’m sharing this not to impress you but to encourage you to reflect on your doors…

Our current Master of the Livery Company is passionate about opening doors.  Having them opened and opening them for others.

It’s made me reflect as I say above and, you know what, I realise how there’s more I can do AND I must be more conscious of it too.

This week I attended a celebration of 10 years of The Insurance Women’s Inclusivity Network, part of the Livery Company I belong to, at The Old Bailey.

Our Master co-hosted the event with the High Court Judge, Her Honour Judge Anuja Dhir KC who told her remarkable journey from an immigrant Asian family in Dundee.  For her, many of her mentors and advocates had been men who saw her as an individual with ability and potential and opened many doors for her.

I wonder if you’ve considered

  • Who’s made things easier for you to move through career moves?
  • Who’s sponsored you or championed you?
  • Who have you given a leg up to?
  • Who could you? 
  • Why wouldn’t you?

A final word on the matter…



 And in other news…

Meeting up with some other ex-Willis colleagues at The Old Bailey was such a bonus and talk about fabulous surroundings!

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