Julia Iball

Inspiring Professional Women

Head of Philanthropy and Partnerships at Oxfordshire Community Foundation and current Chair Institute of Directors (IOD) Oxfordshire

I have lived a fortunate life.  I decided when I was 14 that I wanted to be a lawyer, and this made it easy to make decisions about what to do next.  Looking back, with no knowledge of the realities of a career in the law, I was lucky that my choices, which university to go to, where to do my Articles, what type of work to specialise in, worked out well.  I ended up doing exactly the type of work I had hoped to when I first decided to be a lawyer, in a beautiful part of the country, at a firm that supported me through a 25 year career, during which I had children, and then developed new skills as I took on the management of the business.

Since I left the law, I have followed my passions and interests, volunteering with a number of different organisations and working as a mentor and coach.  Over time, I have realised that the drive to help other people is still with me, and I have begun a new career in the charity sector, while continuing my interest in coaching.  This has been a real eye-opener for me – a total change from my planned career in the law – by following my instincts and allowing myself some time to listen to my heart instead of my head, I have arrived at a very fulfilling role.  I realise I am lucky that I have a range of skills to enable me to start a second career at this point in time, and I love the fact that I still feel that I have plenty of years left to progress in it.

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Reflect – I have learned to trust my instincts and my feelings when considering my choices
Connect – You never know who you might meet and how they might be important to you
Perfect – I am entirely content to admit to my ignorance in some areas, and excited to learn new skills


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