The Hot 100 career quiz: Deloitte's Emily Foges – The Lawyer

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“Don’t overthink your career. Do what you love and find your tribe. You will know instinctively whether you can work together in the first few minutes of meeting someone so don’t ignore those niggling doubts.”
Name: Emily Foges
Organisation: Deloitte Legal
Role: Partner
Based: London  
Read her Hot 100 profile
What’s your most vivid memory from your first job?
I was a supply chain manager for a fashion company so I would come into the office early to catch up on all the faxes coming in overnight from the factories and freight-forwarders in India. I remember turning on the lights in the studio and seeing all the samples hanging on rails around the walls in a blaze of colour.
The fax machine sat in the middle of the room churning out pages and pages of updates about quality issues, fabric that hadn’t turned up, questions about designs and when shipments were arriving. It was all very real and very exciting, and all done without a computer on my desk…
What is the wisest thing anyone ever said to you (and who said it)?
I met Neville Bain who was the CEO of a fashion company when I was about 23. He told me I was really lucky to start my career in a small business because I learned how everything worked: sales, marketing, production, finance, stock management, buying, and I got involved in everything. I went on to work for him at Jaeger and he was right, that end-to-end experience made me much more effective as my career developed in all sorts of new and interesting ways, eventually ending up with law.
Who (for better or worse) has been the most influential person in your career? Why?
Can I pick two? My former colleagues Lynne and Jill taught me so much and I think about their advice most days. Lynne Baker is an HR genius who helped me work out what I love doing so that I can make the best decisions about where to take my career, and help my team do the same. I think about her every time I interview someone and in every coaching discussion.
Jill Pringle is a marketing genius who I worked with on post-merger integration projects. She showed me the power of your brand in uniting your business behind a single, compelling vision and this was so important when we took Luminance to market. Now I’m really excited about the potential that Deloitte Legal has to shape the future of law using Deloitte’s powerful brand.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get to where you are/do the job you do?
Don’t overthink your career. Do what you love and find your tribe. You will know instinctively whether you can work together in the first few minutes of meeting someone so don’t ignore those niggling doubts. And network all the time – put effort into the interesting people you meet as they will definitely come in useful one day, you just don’t yet know exactly when or how.
What’s your best friend from uni doing now?
Reader, I married him! And he is a writer which is very handy because he can be relied upon to be around for our three teenagers while I’m rushing around and travelling. He is also a trained architect which means we get to do interesting things with building projects on the side, and I get to hang out at exciting events like the Venice Biennale with him and look at beautiful designs.
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