At James Legal, we pride ourselves on taking a fresh approach not only to the way we deliver our services, but to the way we treat our employees.
We want every single member of staff to feel valued, to genuinely enjoy their work, and the part they play in caring for our clients. We recruit people not just based on their qualifications, but for their work and life experience, which can create a rich reserve of interpersonal skills that study by itself simply cannot achieve.
And our popular receptionist, Susie Gray, is a perfect example of this. With nearly three decades of experience in the banking sector, looking after small businesses, Susie knows all about understanding a client’s needs and giving a truly personal touch. She explained how she came to join the James Legal team in early 2021: “I took voluntary redundancy from my banking job in 2016 and focused on supporting my husband’s business, as well as launching a local women’s networking group called SWIISH (Supporting Women In Industry Surrounding the Humber) which is still on the go and has proved really successful.
“I then took on a full-time receptionist role at a local law firm but was furloughed indefinitely when the 2020 coronavirus lockdown began, so I decided to be proactive and look for something else. I knew I wanted a part-time role, and was really fortunate to get a lot of interviews and a few offers, which was super, but I also knew the job had to be right for me.”
An amazing opportunity
Susie put her networking skills to use and got in touch with Nick Miller, James Legal’s Founder and Chief Executive, who she’d met through her previous Banking Role and had kept in touch with through LinkedIn. She asked if there were any potential openings at the Hull offices, and, to her delight, he said yes, he was looking for a receptionist three days a week, as a member of the reception team had just moved into another role within the firm. Susie jumped at the chance to have an interview, and was pleased as punch to be offered the job, covering reception duties Monday to Wednesday.
And how does she feel about her new role? “I absolutely love it here, it’s an amazing opportunity and I wouldn’t change a thing,” Susie said. “It’s worked out brilliantly for me, and feels like the perfect fit. It’s all about people, which suits me – helping people is just second nature to me. And they are such a lovely team to work with! I’ve never known such a fantastic workplace.”
Reception is the first point of contact for existing and new clients, so it’s extremely important that we get it right. Susie explained: “Whether the person on the phone line is a new client making their first contact, or an existing client who has a query, it’s important to me that I ensure they feel valued.
“I’ve had some great feedback already from clients, who’ve said thanks for looking after them, which makes me realise I’m definitely in the right job!”
Sense of purpose
2020 proved a challenging year for people in all sorts of ways, and being furloughed made Susie realise that she certainly wasn’t ready for retirement at the age of 55! “I honestly felt as if my brain was becoming fogged and it became clear that I needed to return to work, and have a sense of purpose again. I’ve still got plenty of get up and go, and working part-time has turned out to be ideal for me.
“On paper, I don’t have masses of qualifications as I didn’t do A-levels or go to university, I went straight into work after school. But I do have a big range of skills and experience, especially in customer service and support, and I’m glad that James Legal have recognised this and value it.”
When Susie’s not taking care of James Legal’s reception, she enjoys walking, gardening and travelling to far-flung places (COVID-permitting, of course) such as Lake Garda, Barbados and skiing, with her family.
If you have an enquiry, please ring James Legal’s friendly reception desk in Hull on (01482) 225566.