"Push yourself to do things that are out of your comfort zone." Deepika Chaudhry, Executive Director Legal- APAC, Xerox
In this fireside chat with BW Legal World, Deepika briefly talks about her illustrious journey, one thing that worked for her and shares her advise for legal professionals.
On her illustrious Journey
These are indeed very strange times, we are having to learn and unlearn new things. Learn things like this where we are having this wonderful event online and also, unlearn things which are very basic like shaking hands. I think in terms of Journey mine has been also pretty unique like everybody else's journey. Everybody's journey has its own hopes, its own triumphs, its own struggles, and mine, of course, has had its own share of all of these, but on the whole, I would say that it's been an extremely rewarding journey with lots to learn. Also, I got to meet and sort of connect with the brightest minds in the industry and the fraternity.
In terms of my professional career I've handled and I've handled APAC and global General Counsel roles so supporting legal departments compliance has been a big portfolio in all of them, and secretarial and government affairs and public policy. So, it's just been everything, IP and managing teams across countries, of course they bring their own uniqueness in terms of coming from different cultures and of course different country laws pose their own sort of unique challenges for me. So, I have no complaints. I've had a wonderful, long stint, where I learned so much and I delivered so much and it's been a wonderful journey so far.
People generally ask me if I've had a mentor, so I say that I've not had one but many, not just from the legal fraternity, but from the industry because I spend maximum time in the industry, as well as young minds and I think that's where, one learns the most relevant and upcoming stuff. So, I've had the big fortune to learn from all of them.
One thing that has worked for you
I would say. one thing that has worked for me is that even after being in the industry for so long, I've always been open to learning and accepting new challenges, and I take each day as a brand new day, and I tried to reinvent myself, and I also strive for excellence, be it my professional life or personal life or even spiritual life, and yoga practices have obviously kept me afloat always and sort of given me that push in every direction and made sure that I reinvent and growing all the time.
Your advice to young lawyers
In terms of what I would like to sort of tell the youngsters, so, I've categorized in three broad categories if I may. One is that people who are just starting out now, and they're the fresh lawyers, I think they have many options to choose from and millennials, anyways, are smarter lot than the previous ones. So, I think you have a lot of options to drive your career in whichever direction you want and you have far more options than we had in our times. So, one advice for them is to build and invest in relationships so early on, and as you go along in your career.
For those who want the mid- level, and who spend some time in the profession already but still have a long way to go, I would say just be open and reinvent yourself and be open to new challenges, new projects, new habits, new skills if you have to learn a new skill, don't be don't shy away from that, do that. And for people who have spent considerable time in the profession like me, I would say that you mentor the young ones, and seek out deserving young talent and invest time in them, and nurture the talent, and that's how you will obviously enrich the legal fraternity also give it back and add value to the legal fraternity.
Push yourselves to do things that are out of your comfort zone always because that's definitely worked for me always. You miss every shot you don't take (Wayne Gretzky), so go out and take that shot. With that, thank you so much for this opportunity. Thanks, and all the best to all of you.
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