The Master Plan


Last month in my remarks to the Rotman Commerce Women’s Initiative, I told 4 stories.
The first story was about rolling with the punches. Why? Because punches are inevitable.
After law school, my Master Plan was to be a big tax lawyer at a big firm. But I didn’t get an articling job at a big firm.
Instead I got a job at a small firm that had me doing all sorts of things including setting bail hearing dates for the firm’s criminal lawyer.
Not the Master Plan.
So two years later I jumped at the chance to join a big firm when it was hiring junior lawyers for a huge oil and gas deal.
Except that two years after that, the deal ended as all deals do, and the firm started to fire associates with the same speed it had hired us.
For reasons unknown, they didn’t straight up fire me – instead they offered me an alternative: join the wills and estate group
Wills and estates?! I hadn’t even taken that class in law school.
Thanks, but no, I planned to say.
Then my Dad reminded me that paying the rent had to be ahead of my Master Plan.
So I took the job.
This was the first of many times that life taught me – the Master Plan is a work of fiction.
It’s nice to have a vision, but more important to pay the rent.
With time, I saw that the chance to go into wills and estates was a gift.
I loved the field. I became a partner, wrote books on the subject and a monthly column in the Calgary Herald, caught the attention of a bank looking for a wealth services executive.
My Master Plan would have me at this stage still practicing law, no Prairie Girl Bakery, very likely bored to tears.
My point is, often in life you won’t like reality. But here’s the thing – it’s happening. Better to figure out a good way to play the hand we’ve been dealt than spend too long thinking about the one we weren’t.

About the author

Jean Blacklock

Jean opened the popular Prairie Girl Bakery in the financial district of Toronto in 2011. She owned and operated the business until it closed in 2021 as a result of the pandemic’s impact on downtown Toronto. Read more about her background in commerce, law, and entrepreneurship here.

By Jean Blacklock


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