How To Stop Putting The Brakes On Your Career

How To Stop Putting The Brakes On Your Career. We look at why some candidates don’t make the most of their careers – and how they can boost their earning potential and job satisfaction.

Taking the next step on your career ladder can be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster ride, if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphor. From the despair of finding the right role and self-doubt on application to the agonising wait to hear if you’ve been deemed acceptable, it’s easy to imagine that you’ll only get your hopes up, only to have them dashed.

Far from setting yourself to fail, if you go about your job hunt the right way, you’re actually setting yourself up to succeed. Talk to a professional recruiter, who can help you identify your strengths and where you can successfully apply them, from industry sector down to specific roles – and even individual companies who are looking for… well, you.

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 Would You Rather Be Comfortable, Or Fulfilled?

If you’ve been in your current role for some time, then you know how it works. You know what the company wants from its employees; you know what to expect of your boss; and you know how and when you get paid. Even if you’re not happy with any or all of these things – and a hundred more – you know what to expect. And that familiarity can be comforting.

Which is exactly why it’s called the comfort zone. Nobody does their best work from inside their comfort zone, as evidenced by research in 1908 by two psychologists that has become known as the Yerkes-Dodson Law. Their data shows that performance increases – up to a point – with interest. If your work is not sufficiently challenging, or stimulating, then you are quite simply not working to your potential.

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Fear Of Rejection

Nobody likes being told they’re not good enough, so why put yourself in a position to be hurt if you don’t succeed? Because the alternative is to never find out what you’re truly capable of – and isn’t that the larger failure?

The key to overcoming this fear of rejection is to measure yourself against the industry standard so you can accurately assess your status and potential. Again, a good recruiter can help you to realistically measure your chance of success and crucially, how you can improve it.

If you don’t ask, the answer will always be ‘no’. If you do ask, sometimes, it might just be ‘yes’…

 

Lack Of Qualifications

This is possibly the easiest objection to overcome. If you’ve identified your ideal job, but lack the paperwork, invest your time and money to achieve it. And it will be an investment – in your future – and as such, you can work out the time or money put in and the projected return on investment.

Whether that’s through on–the-job learning, night school or distance learning, you can do it if you really want to. It may take longer than you’d like, but that will only heighten the sense of achievement when you make it.

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Lack Of Experience

This one’s not so easy. It’s the old Catch 22 that you need experience to get the job, but you need the job to get experience. It’s time to think laterally and identify the skills that are key to the role, then work out how you could acquire them in other areas.

You might be able to find a job that requires relevant skills, or you could look at hobbies and volunteer work that demonstrate an interest and a willingness to learn in those areas.

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Big Fish, Little Pond?

The transition from apex predator to dither fish is a daunting proposition, but once you’ve reached the top of the food chain in your current environment, where else is there to go? Enter the big pond as a little fish and you’ll have room to grow.

 

What’s The Worst That Could Happen?

The human brain is very good at tricking its owner into sleepless nights over unfounded fears. This is called catastrophic thinking. Don’t listen to those nagging doubts in the darkest hours of the night; or rather listen, understand and file them. Then apply your rational brain in the cold light of day to identify unfounded fears or potential problems. Fear can’t hurt you and problems only need the right solution.

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Today IS The Day

If you’ve ever postponed progressing your career because the time isn’t right, today’s headline news is – it’s never going to be the right time. If you’re waiting to get your ducks in a row or the right celestial alignment, then you’re going to get very good at one skill… waiting.

Not being ready is just an excuse. If you have an ambition to make more of your career, then today is the day to sit down, identify any challenges – and, most importantly, how you can overcome them one by one.

 

Don’t let today get away; this is your time to act. Take the initiative for the rest of your professional life by talking to us today about how we can help you to make the most of your career potential. Call us on 0117 325 2233 or email us at office@kingstonbarnes.com

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Can Job-hopping Leapfrog Your Career?

Can Job-hopping Leapfrog Your Career? 

It’s hard to strike the right balance between loyalty and ambition, but job-hopping can boost your career – if you do it right! Here’s how…

There’s no such thing as a job for life in the 21st Century. Nobody expects a pocket watch or a monogrammed fountain pen in return for a life of service these days. On the face of it, that might not sound like progress, but it’s your career that will progress as a result of taking full advantage of every opportunity that presents itself in the modern marketplace.

WHY PLUG AWAY AT THE DAY TO DAY?

Why do so many of us stay on the treadmill, when there are plenty of pavements out there to pound? Laziness, familiarity and a sense of safety are the most common reasons for ‘making do’.

So what are the most common reasons why people choose change? The most frequent reasons we hear are pay, working conditions, or career progression. Change means personal growth, whether you change industries, location or responsibilities – and what professional doesn’t want to grow?

According to a PayScale report in 2012, most millennial employees stayed in a position for just two years. But even in today’s fluid market, a history of job-hopping can make you look like a risk to a potential employer. So how do you make the most of your opportunities without coming across as fast-and-loose?

 CHANGE FOR CHANGE’S SAKE ISN’T GOOD

Make sure that you move for the right reasons. Who could argue if a new position exposes you to new challenges, ensures your development as a professional, or advances your career?

One of the biggest benefits to working for a range of different companies, from start-ups to mega-corps, is that you’ll get to experience different ways of working. Not everybody does things the same way and the lessons you learn with one company could be valuable to the next. Employers love ambitious individuals who want to make the most of themselves.

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MONEY FOR NOTHING

Sorry, but it doesn’t happen outside of MTV. Your career shouldn’t be all about ‘more money now’. If that’s your only motivation for changing roles, then think again.

You should look at what you want to get out of your work life and how you see your career developing. A side-step today can lead to a step forward tomorrow. Think about prospects for progression, company growth, shares and performance related pay that adds financial value to your professional worth.

AIM TWICE, FIRE ONCE

When you consider that your career could span 40+ years, it makes no sense to rush into a short-term fix. It’s only after doing a job for some time that you can truly understand the value of your skills and how an employer can align with your values and interests.

If you’re staying in the same field, then find out who does what how – and where you can make a contribution. Or if you want to change tack entirely and move into another sector, read industry publications, attend conferences and speak with a recruiter. Get feedback on your performance from employers, colleagues and peers for inspiration, so you can understand where they see the value in your contribution. They don’t have to know why you’re asking!

 BE ON TREND

Yesterday’s movement might hold an appeal, but you need to target tomorrow’s cutting edge to ensure career progression. For maximum impact on your career, identify a growth sector that builds on your experience and abilities, and appeals to you – then go all-in!

DON’T BURN YOUR BRIDGES

However tempting it might be, never part company with your present employer on bad terms. Not only do you need their reference now, but you never know what tomorrow holds. However unlikely it seems, there may come a time when you want to return to the fold.

The ideal would be not to leave for a competitor, but if you do, fulfil your standing obligations and behave in a professional manner throughout your contract. While some employers may see your departure as a betrayal, the professional ones will respect your drive for personal and professional growth. Take the time to emphasise your appreciation for the opportunities your existing employer has given you and what you’ve learnt in your time with them. That way, you’ll be free to return if the new role doesn’t work out, or your present employer presents a better option in the future – it could happen!

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TALK TO US

If you want to explore your potential for career progression, call Kingston Barnes today on 0117 325 2233 or email us on office@kingstonbarnes.com