10 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO GET AHEAD IN YOUR CAREER – From the first rung on the ladder to the big chair at the director’s table, these 10 tips will help you make the most of your career potential.

1) Set SMART Goals

Sounds basic but the amount of people I’ve interviewed over the year that don’t have any goals they want to achieve are the ones that often don’t go anywhere in their jobs.  Decide what you want to achieve in your career in the next 12 months to 5 years, then work backwards to today, working out what you need to achieve in order to succeed in your goal and when you need to take each step. This could be additional training, key activity or experience achieved or expanding your networking and knowledge in an area.

An effective way of setting goals is to make sure they’re SMART:

It’s not enough to just say ‘I want…’ you have to work out how to make it happen – and when! Taking the time to break the next phase of your career journey into smaller steps makes it feel less daunting and more achievable. This will help keep you motivated and on track.

And if the steps you identify push your goal back? That’s just fine. The single most important thing is to work out a realistic roadmap of how you’re going to make it happen – and stick to it!

2) Be Realistic

Nothing will set you up to fail more than over-reaching. Everybody loves an optimist and ambition is key – but keep it real people! With the best will in the world, it’s unlikely that even the most promising Assistant Quantity Surveyor will make the transition to Commercial Director in a single year. Instead of trying to conquer the whole world in 12 months, it’s far more productive to break that journey down into stages that you know you can pick off.

 3) Set A Date

The only way to hit a target is when you can see it. Between SMART Goals and being realistic, you’ve worked out what you want to achieve and when – that’s a huge part of your journey completed already! So, create a career timeline and have it somewhere visible.

Now it’s down to you to keep an eye on that countdown and tick off every milestone along the way. Imposing deadlines on yourself may seem like introducing additional stress, but it’s a great way to keep you focused on your progress.

4) Research

Talk to friends, colleagues, or managers and go online to find out more about your potential career path and what is needed to steep-up to the next level. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone in a leadership position in your field and ask for five minutes of their time! You may be surprised how one single bit of information can trigger an avalanche of inspiration.

People that have succeeded down the path you want to follow can not only be great inspiration but also a fantastic source of information. They know what you need to do to get from A to B and more importantly how to get there! So, start making more friends and those extra cups of tea, a drink after work or whatever you do to get them on board will save your time dangling on the career ladder.

5) Feedback

Arguably the most valuable information about your prospects comes from the person that you already report to. Your boss can tell you your strengths and weaknesses as only a manager will see them, as well as areas for improvement.

This can be distracting but take any negative comments on the chin and address any issues with an eye on the future. Constructive criticism is essential to everyone’s self-development so always use it to your advantage!

6) There’s No Substitute For Hard Work!

Nothing that was ever truly worthwhile is easy – and that’s never been truer than with the future of your career. There are no shortcuts when it comes to success — and proving that you’re willing to put in the work is of most importance.

Whether you’re being seen to excel in your current role or researching the company that’s just invited you in for an interview, the more effort you put in, the better your chances of success.

People always notice hard work and that’s one the key ingredients to success. Effort, attitude and results!

7) Be Positive

It’s easy to become dispirited when all the pieces don’t fall into place first time. But sometimes, it really isn’t you – it’s them after all. The key is to stay motivated and inspired. You have a vision for your career, so just keep working away to make it happen.

Believe in yourself and what you’re capable of. Criticism can knock you off course, but sometimes it can inspire. Like many things in life, it’s all about how you choose to look at it.

Keeping the right company is an important lesson to learn; not only does it affect the way that others perceive you, but it also affects the way you see yourself. Choose your company wisely and mix with winners for their success to rub off on you.

You are the average of the 5 people you most associate with remember!

8) Tell People

There’s no greater motivation for success than making your goals public. Whether that’s shared over a social drink, meeting, review or social media, the very fact that other people are now watching your results will sharpen your performance. You might be surprised by the level of encouragement and support you receive. And some of those people might even be in a position to help…


9) Track Progress

You could have the most effective strategy for career progress in the world, but it won’t do you any good if you don’t measure your progress against your roadmap. Keep an eye on your milestone markers; don’t beat yourself up if you miss them but regroup and come back stronger to catch up.

10) Talk To The Experts

Sometimes, talking to someone in the know is the only way to achieve your career goals; you don’t always have to go it alone to make the most of your potential.   Kingston Barnes has helped hundreds of people to get where they want to be in their career – and we bring our expertise to bear for every single one of our candidates.

Whether you need advice about your next steps, insight into the marketplace or an introduction to your ideal employer, Kingston Barnes can help. Talk to us today on 0117 325 2233 or email us at office@kingstonbarnes.com

Kingston barnes, recruitment, bristol




Some of the industry professionals we place are looking for temporary work to pay the bills, while others prioritise career progression over time. And we put every bit of our professionalism and extensive network of contacts to work for all of our candidates, whatever you’re looking for.

Our team has more than a century’s experience not only as recruitment specialists, but also in the construction and engineering sector. That highly targeted expertise and proven track record means that we can help our candidates truly make the most of their career potential.

The Inside Track

Not every company advertises every position they need to fill. But they do talk to us about their business needs because they know us – and they trust us. Every member of our team has spent years building relationships with the region’s employers, which is why we’re the first number on speed dial when they need to find the right person for the job.

The team at Kingston Barnes has deep roots in the market, giving us access to key contacts that just wouldn’t be available to you as a candidate otherwise. That means we can open doors that may otherwise remain closed to you.


Safety First

We know that many candidates are concerned that they may put their present employment at risk by starting a job search. But you don’t need to worry with us on the case. We know that it’s a small world out there and we take your privacy seriously, so every conversation you have with us is completely confidential. Kingston Barnes won’t share your information with third parties unless we have your permission to do so. Your present employer will not find out about your job search because of us.

But we can sound out potential places for your unique combination of skills and experience without them having the slightest clue of who we might be lining up for them. If you have a shortlist of perfect placements, we’re free to talk to your ideal employer with zero risk to your present position.


The Complete Package

Kingston Barnes offers our candidates the complete package, from helping you work out what you want from your next role and creating a compelling CV to identifying your dream job, planning for a successful interview and negotiating the best package. We will be by your side every step of the way.


For a confidential, no obligation take on your career prospects and how we can help you make the most of the current job market in construction and engineering in the South West, give us a call today on 0117 325 2233 or email office@kingstonbarnes.com

Kingston barnes, recruitment, bristol

Throw Enough Mud At The Wall And Hope Some Will Stick – Why Job Sites Don’t Work

Throw Enough Mud At The Wall And Hope Some Will Stick – Why Job Sites Don’t Work – British businesses are costing themselves time and money with unfocused online recruitment. Here’s how to make your next recruitment drive smarter, not harder.

There is a common misconception that a job ad has to reach the widest possible audience in order for a recruitment process to be effective. You could look on this as leaving no stone unturned, or as flinging mud at a blanket and seeing what sticks. Either way, busy human resources teams only cause themselves unnecessary work by relying on job sites.

It’s a bit like asking the Facebook hivemind a technical question and hoping that someone knows the answer. They might get it right, but you’ll have to sort through a lot of replies and spend time working out who’s on point when you could have just asked an expert in the first place.


Quality Not Quantity

A lot of job seekers throw their CV at a great salary even though they’re unqualified or inexperienced, thinking they have nothing to lose – and maybe they’re right. But any hiring manager has both time and productivity to lose as they’re distracted from focusing on new talent by having to weed out the timewasters.

Opening up your vacancy to the broadest audience seems like a smart move, but you’re also inviting applications from the lowest common denominator – sometimes even lower!



Imagine All The People

UK vacancies attract 250 applications on average, according to workplace reviews site, Glassdoor. Instead of overloading your inbox, consult an expert recruitment firm that specialises both in your industry and your territory. With proven professionals on our books and a track record in successfully matching the right candidate with the right role, we can not only save you time and effort, but we will also improve the quality of the applications you receive.

The team at Kingston Barnes has a combined track record of more than a century not only in recruitment, but also in the construction and engineering sector. With all that experience behind us, we like to think that our approach to our clients’ recruitment needs is just that little bit better than the competition. Although to be fair, we have been told more than once that it’s a lot better…

With our expert insight and proven techniques, we can identify talent that might otherwise go unnoticed. While job ads may reach those actively seeking a new position at the exact same time your business has identified a need, our pro-active strategies give you access to a far greater pool of talent that matches your recruitment criteria. Whether it’s through exacting competitor analysis, highly targeted headhunting or extensive networking, our discreet services will put you in first place in the race to attract the finest talent when it matters most to the future of your business.



Attention To Retention

Replacing an employee in the UK costs an average of £30,000 according to a report from ACAS, so every HR professional wants to keep churn to a minimum. But businesses are built on targets and HR is no different, often evaluated on the number of positions filled and the time taken, usually with little attention to retention.

If you want to shovel in staff to plug a gap and hit basic targets, then an avalanche of applications from job sites might be what you’re after. But if your business is forward-thinking, with an eye on its future and profitability over time, then you need to ensure that new hires not only possess the desired skills, but are also a good culture fit. That’s why the smartest recruitment professionals are reducing staff turnover by working with a trusted partner that understands your needs and how to meet them.



All Talent, No Timewasters

By the time a CV lands in your inbox from Kingston Barnes, every candidate has already demonstrated their proficiency, talent and experience to us.

Between our team’s decades of experience in the industry and the relationships that we take the time to build with all our clients, we’re confident that we know what – or more importantly, who – you’re looking for. Our clients have told us time and again that we just seem to ‘get’ what they want and deliver first time, every time.


If you want to find out more about how Kingston Barnes can help your company attract and retain the best talent the industry has to offer in the South West, talk to us today on 0117 3252233 or email office@kingstonbarnes.com

Kingston barnes, recruitment, bristol

How To Choose The Best Recruitment Agency

How To Choose The Best Recruitment Agency. A recruitment agency can help you find your dream job, for more money, faster – but not all recruiters are equal. There are lots to choose from and it can be hard to sort the good from the bad. Here’s how to make sure you find a good one…

Before you even start looking for a recruitment agency, take a bit of time to work out what you want – what kind of work you want to do, the size of company you enjoy working for, where you’d like to be based, what sector you’d like to work in, and whether you want temporary or permanent work – oh, and how much you’d like to realistically earn. Stay flexible, but this will help you find the right recruiter – and help them find the right role for you.

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Phase I

Desk Research

Come up with a shortlist of agencies before you waste time sending emails to all and fielding irrelevant replies. Half-an-hour now could save a lot of heartache later on…


Ask For Recommendations

There’s no better assurance than a recommendation from someone who has used a recruitment agency – both as a job seeker and as an employer. Ask former colleagues or trusted contacts for their opinions and recommendations.

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A Credit To The Company

Take a five-minute tour of the agency’s website – they have a website, right? First, look for accreditations and membership of industry bodies. They should be a member of a recruitment body working to the highest standards in British recruitment.

For construction, CHAS (The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme) is a good thing, as is a credit for the Constructionline database. Also check for certification by the International Standards Organisation (ISO).

If you’re targeting one location, then look at the office address and signs of local expertise such as Constructing Excellence South West.


Background Check

A specialist recruitment agency will likely be better informed, with better connections than a generalist, but make sure they really have experience of both your industry and recruitment in general. Blogs, news articles and team profiles are good for this.

Client testimonials are not only a clear indication of the recruiter’s contacts, but also that employers value the agency’s work enough to say so to the world.


Pretty Vacancies

Look through online vacancies on their site to make sure the roles they recruit for broadly match your ambitions, even though the latest positions vacant may not be listed.


Check The Company’s Pulse

If the website was last updated sometime last year, that’s a sure sign they’re not very busy (unless it’s the first week of January). You should see new vacancies in the last seven days and preferably a recent blog about the company itself or the wider industry.


Going Offsite

Search social media to see if the agency’s profiles are up to date or neglected. Any business with something worth shouting about will shout about it. Google them, looking for links from employers, positive user reviews and industry awards.

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Phase II

Make Contact

Your research has ensured the agencies worth talking to, but there are more questions to ask. Take notes to refer back to – if you speak to half a dozen agencies, it might be difficult to remember who said what later.


The Professionals

How does the company come across – professional or sloppy? Chances are, that’s how clients feel about them too; and you’ll be seen in the same light. How does the receptionist answer your call? Are you connected efficiently? If they promise a reply by email, does it come when they promised? How is it formatted?


 Passion Not Profit

If the first question from the agency is how much you want to earn, they’re just working out how much commission they’re looking at. Move along. Similarly, ask how they make a profit. It’s usually from the hiring company, so say goodbye if they charge a fee of candidates.

It’s a great sign if the recruiter is interested in your work history and where you want to take your career. Specialist recruiters should be passionate about the sector and the people that make it happen.


What Services Do They Offer?

Some agencies will use your CV to plug a gap for a client, while others will take the time and effort to match you to the right role. The former will close your file when you sign on the dotted line, while the latter will continue to offer support right up to your first day – and even beyond.


Recent Form

Find out what roles they’ve filled recently – and where. Ask what their candidates gone on to do regarding promotions or length of service. No recruiter will break confidence, but their answer should demonstrate ongoing contact and support.


Don’t Spam

It’s tempting to register with a bunch of places and see who comes up trumps, but it’s more effective to be selective and build a real relationship with the right agency. They’ll be more motivated to work on your behalf if you work as a team.


Phase III

Stay In Touch

Talk to the team that’s working for you after you sign them. Even if your dream job isn’t out there right now, they’ll be the first to hear about it – often before it’s even advertised. And you want to be at the top of their mental rolodex when it does…

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Talk To Us

We’re proud of the work we do at Kingston Barnes, for clients and candidates alike. If you’re looking to step up your career in construction, consulting and engineering, then we’re confident that we pass every test as a market-leading recruitment agency.

Take your time, do your research and if you think we can help, then we’d love to hear from you. Talk to us today on 0117 325 2233 or send us an email at office@kingstonbarnes.com


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