Hey little me,

On your first day at school I thought I would share some of the many things I have learned over the years.

Throughout your life, you’ll face challenges, but they’ll all be worth it as they’ll shape who you become. Use your platform to challenge inequality and fight for inclusivity. Despite being told it is for boys only you’ll end up being allowed to play for your primary school football team and, one day, will play in a women’s FIFA league. You will be amazed to see the progression in this space as time goes on, and will witness England ladies (the Lionesses) winning the Euros! You will continue to fight similar battles in the workplace, working in a male dominated world.

Have confidence in yourself, don’t look for validation of your own happiness or success and continue with that grit and determination because you’re stronger than you think. At the same time don’t sweat the small stuff. Keep your passion and core values, but don’t feel like you must fight every battle! Keep being the effervescent, kind and independent person you are, this will serve you well in later life.

Your career will be an interesting one. Despite studying marine biology, you’ll end up in the world of financial services. You will learn some important life lessons, such as the power of investing and compound interest -starting early will really help provide financial independence and freedom. You’ll start out as a Project Manager and your eagerness to learn and progress will pay off as you climb the corporate ladder and end up running change and process improvement teams.

Your career will lead you to live and work in Canada where your six-month secondment will quickly become a two year stay. You’ll reach a cross-roads in your career and, despite learning more about leading from the front and working globally, you made the right decision to come back to England because you needed to be closer to your family. This leads to an exciting position at Fidelity where you will have a myriad of interesting roles. Never stop learning, it is one of life’s most beautiful things.

You’ll go on to have a son who will teach you some of the greatest lessons of all. He will show you a different kind of love, how to be patient and live in the moment. You will demonstrate that you can have your career and a family, without making too many sacrifices. Spend time with your parents, get to know them as individuals as you don’t know when that will get taken away from you. You have great friends around you so be thankful for the people in your life that love and support you. Let them know how much they mean to you.

Lastly, don’t wait for opportunities to land in your lap, be brave and bold; you must raise your hand. Take risks and have fun and remember: despite the challenges, life really is beautiful.

Love, Em x

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