Working as a Vario, Zoe Harris is able to pursue her passion for acting as well as a career as a lawyer.
Originally from New Zealand, where she studied Law, Zoe graduated and originally qualified as a Property Lawyer. After gaining general commercial experience through the work of her supervisor in her first job, it was this area she would specialise in.
After a short trip to the UK in 2012, Zoe fell in love with the place and decided it would be a great place to further her career as a budding lawyer. She migrated to the UK in 2015 and worked for a firm as an Associate in a general commercial role within the rail sector.
It also was during this time, she rekindled her yearning for the theatre, “Working as a full time lawyer in the UK, I initially found it quite lonely and so I happened to re-discover my love of acting which I did a lot of in my teenage years. I went to acting classes and training. 18 months ago, I decided to pursue acting seriously and have since been to lots acting classes and training since.” Zoe notes.
“Freelancing in Vario is so flexible; it allows me to work and keep up with my career development and yet still pursue my passions.”
After deciding to pursue her dreams for dramatics, Zoe needed to dedicate more time than her current full-time lawyer position could accommodate. While working for a UK firm, a paralegal colleague mentioned Vario to her and how it could allow her to make more time for her acting ambitions. Zoe explains “I didn’t realise freelancing for junior roles was common, especially in New Zealand where I’m originally from, so I was quite surprised it was an option. So I applied and was successful!”
After joining Vario, Zoe was in regular contact with the Account Management team to discuss her requirements, goals and circumstances. “The Vario team is a super friendly team who are also very supportive of your legal career and your aspirations outside of law. The team are always available to talk to in order to talk about your next move and they always make sure to check in when you are on assignment to make sure everything is going well. They also recognise how important it is to find a role that suits you – the whole process is designed to ensure that the right Vario is assigned to the right role.”
Based on her personality and competences, she was then matched to an internal assignment within Pinsent Masons. Zoe notes, “The work was great; junior commercial contracts, drawing up contracts; it was right up my street. I worked with a great team and they were all very supportive of me and my acting career, allowing me to work round my acting commitments. In fact the team are coming to see me when I play Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar! I also learnt a lot during my internal assignment with Pinsent Masons too; I’m a GDPR expert now! I didn’t know much about it before but this assignment gave me the opportunity to learn.”
Working as a Vario has been a perfect fit for Zoe, to equally balance her legal livelihood with her acting aspirations; Zoe proclaims: “Freelancing in Vario is so flexible; it allows me to work and keep up with my career development and yet still pursue my passions. Short term, freelancing is great for me; acting is an unpredictable business and I may go for long periods without any work, so I can still have a successful legal career. Working on a part-time basis balanced with training and acting, I can have the best of both worlds.”
In her own words, Zoe explains her experience of freelancing as; “I have found that through freelancing, I re-experienced enjoyment for law. Working full-time as a lawyer, the hours can be long. As a Vario, I can dictate my hours and my work-life balance is fantastic.” She also adds, “The scariest thing with freelancing is you are required to go into a business for only a few months at a time, especially when you don’t know how the business works. Vario only put you up for assignments which they know that you’ll fit in, and you have no obligation to accept any roles that you don’t want. It makes it a lot less daunting. I felt a lot more comfortable through Vario as I could meet all the people I would be working with before starting, allaying any fears so could hit the ground running.”
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