James' work at Sellafield helps him make a positive difference to the UK.
Caroline is well connected in Carlisle
Caroline Smith, 30, an Associate Solicitor in Family and Dispute Resolution at Cartmell Shepherd lives in Carlisle
Caroline’s home city of Carlisle is the perfect base for her to pursue an interesting career and enjoy an excellent work/life balance.
Caroline values the work/life balance Cumbria has to offer as she develops a promising career in law.
“I was offered a training contract at Cartmell Shepherd whilst in my second year at university and I have qualified for five years now” she said. “In my role, every day is different and I am lucky to work in two departments both of which are headed up by nationally recognised experts in their fields of law, which is great.
“The demands of the business are different to if you lived in a big city. In Cumbria, you tend to find that a lot of the clients are members of families who have used the firm through the generations, in particular in agricultural law.
“My employers Cartmell Shepherd have built up an excellent reputation over many generations and I feel part of that legacy. Cumbria provides a pleasant environment to work in.
“Here, you can earn a decent wage but have an excellent work/lifestyle balance. In a bigger city, you may be expected to work very long hours every day and whilst I work hard I also enjoy sporting activities and other hobbies in the evenings and at weekends.
“I work with a forward-thinking firm and in an innovative environment. My employers have invested heavily in IT and I use Skype for Business and remote desktop services so I can work for anywhere at any time. My employer’s flexible working policies are also a huge plus.”
Caroline also enjoys the friendly working environment in Cumbria and the opportunity to network with other professionals.
“Here we know solicitors in other local firms as we all tend to go to the same networking events, which is great because you get to know your peers better. There are lots of things going on in Carlisle and I like to know other solicitors by face rather than just seeing their name on a letter or in an e-mail.
“My firm encourages staff to get involved in marketing and there are fantastic opportunities to volunteer for all sorts of activities and events. I took part in the Cartmell Shepherd cycle team riding from coast to coast across the North of England to raise funds for Hospice at Home. I also regularly engage with my firm’s social media on Facebook and Twitter.
Caroline has also had the exciting opportunity to work abroad during her career.
“I had ten months out in 2014 to work in industry,” she said. “I was still based in Carlisle but working in places such as China, Hong Kong and Germany. I did quite a bit of travelling and it was a fantastic experience, but it wouldn’t work for me in the long term as my roots are in Carlisle and it is such a friendly place to live and work.”
Caroline is well connected to the UK and the rest of the world in Carlisle and is proud her home city is now firmly on the map.
“Carlisle is an interesting place,” she said. “When I say to people from out of the county that I am from Carlisle, they generally know where it is and know that it is a city close to Hadrian’s Wall.
“It’s definitely on the map more than it was 10 or 15 years ago.
“It’s a beautiful place to live, close to the Lake District and all of the amenities that provides. The countryside is on your doorstep and property is more affordable here.”
Caroline’s short commute means that she can make the most of her evenings outside of work.
“It takes me 5-10 minutes to get to work,” she said. “I don’t want to spend an hour and half in traffic as I would rather go to the gym at the end of the day.
“I also like going out to eat and for nights out with friends and Carlisle is a good place for things like that and is only a 10 minute taxi ride away. The city is definitely improving in terms of nightlife with a huge variety of restaurants and bars and more social activities.
“It’s a really exciting place to be yet it still retains a local community vibe.”