Why Be Content When You Could Be Happy?

Why Be Content When You Could Be Happy?

Are you making the most of your career potential, or have you taken the easy route and settled for ‘good enough’? Here’s why little steps now could mean big progress soon…

Happiness is an individual thing. One of the beautiful, chaotic things about being human is that different things make different people happy. But doesn’t everybody just want to be rich and give up work entirely? Not necessarily….

In the middle of last century, pioneering work by American psychologist Abraham Maslow studied the top one per cent of the population to work out what drives them to succeed. The result is his now-famous ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ that comprises – in order of impact – survival, safety, belonging, esteem, and self-actualisation. This concept is usually portrayed by a pyramid, with the basics of survival and safety at the base, building up to the more important, but less essential layers of esteem and self-actualisation at the pinnacle.

•	Why Be Content When You Could Be Happy


Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, source: Wikipedia
Self-What Now?

This may sound like a soundbite from a self-help book, but it’s actually pretty simple; it just means doing what makes you happy. Maslow puts this at the top of his pyramid of needs for a very good reason: it’s what you were meant to do, given solid foundations to build upon. This is all about realising your potential, which led Maslow to observe, “What a man can be, he must be.”


Well Done! What’s Next?

If you’re content in your work, then well done – you’re already doing better than anyone who’s still struggling to survive. You’ve met your daily needs and could reasonably carry on as normal with no negative impact on your day-to-day life – and that’s not to be taken lightly! But…

Is that enough? Are you willing to stall your ascent of the pyramid halfway up? Or do you want to see what you can really do and take it to the top? Will there come a day a year from now – or five years, or ten – when you look back and think, ‘I wish I’d pushed harder to do the things I know I can do’?


We Walk It Like We Talk It

You don’t have far to look for inspiration; our very own MD, James Kingston explains, “I left my role at Thatcher Associates as I didn’t want to settle for ‘content’ any more. I wanted the opportunity to really build something and get out of bed in the morning every day with a smile.” And how did that baller move work out for James? “Four years on and we’re now a £2.5m award-winning business, with a really exciting vision that takes us to 2020 and we’re ahead on our targets, year on year.”

You don’t have to start up your own business to make the move from being content to happy, but that’s what gave James the motivation. What would make you happy?


It’s All About YOU!

That’s why Kingston Barnes takes the time to get to know you as a candidate before we even think about putting you forward for a role. We’re not here to tick boxes and hit quotas. We’re here because we’re passionate about putting the right people forward for the right role and that’s why we do our best by both our clients and our candidates. We want to help you make the most out of your potential as you climb your personal pyramid of needs.

We know that if you’re ticking along and doing OK in your current role, then you might not be looking for your next career move right now. But what if your dream role came up and you missed it because you settled for good enough?

We’ve already helped hundreds of people to realise their potential and make the move from content to happy. Could you be next? Even if you aren’t looking to move on today, wouldn’t it be a good idea to have a friendly face out there looking for your dream job?

Call us today on 0117 325 2233 or send an email to office@kingstonbarnes.com and tell us what would make you happy in your work. You never know – maybe we can help…




How References Can Make Or Break Your Career

How References Can Make Or Break Your Career

What’s the most important aspect of any job application? A striking CV? That’s a given. A winning cover letter? That’s how you get your foot in the door. A strong interview? You’re almost there…

You might be surprised to learn that your references could make the difference between a job offer and the job centre. Here’s why.


Of course you’ll say you can do the job, but there’s nobody better placed to confirm that than a previous employer who’s seen your skills in action. Potential employers aren’t just looking for confirmation that you held the title you claim for the time stated on your CV – although that’s part of it – but they also want to find out more about what you’ve done previously; how your actual duties and responsibilities compare to the ones you’ve detailed – and how well you met their expectations.

Most hirers only take up references when they’ve already decided to appoint you, but some ask before interview. If that’s the case, make sure you don’t burn your bridges where you’re working now when they find out you’re looking elsewhere. If you think it could negatively impact your current position if you’re unsuccessful, it’s perfectly acceptable to offer one set of referees pre-interview and another when you get the offer, as long as you make that clear up front.


Set The Scene

Don’t bother with open letters of reference; nobody believes them. You need to put your hirer in touch with your referees directly, because that will carry more weight. But check they’re happy to provide a reference before you name them; there’s nothing more off-putting than a referee who says, ‘I’d rather not do this’ for whatever reason, because it sets alarm bells ringing. They might think you’re the best thing ever and just be unsure of the company policy on references, but it will make your prospective employer doubt your application.

If you have a good relationship with your referee, then it’s worth taking the time to describe what you’ve shared in the application process and what you have to offer in this role. You don’t need to coach them or provide a script, but a heartfelt explanation of why you think you’re right for the job could help to put them in the right headspace before they even speak to HR on your behalf.


Who To Choose?

If you’re a graduate, then a tutor or course leader is fine, but a supervisor from a work placement is better. If you’ve been in the industry for a few years, then you need to offer professional references. The best ones can offer real insight into what you have to offer your prospective employer – and that doesn’t have to be your line manager, although that’s best. You could also consider colleagues, supply chain contacts and clients as potential alternatives.


How Many References Do You Need?

Two at a minimum, up to five if you can; three is the magic number. Regardless of how many references you offer, it pays to be aware of the fact that the process might not be restricted to the names you put forward; a company might make an informal enquiry if they know your previous employer, or someone you worked with, so it pays to play nice out there as a bad reference will halt any inroads you have made with a prospective employer.


The Kingston Barnes Difference

Employers contact Kingston Barnes so that the Bristol based recruitment agency can find them the best candidates – and part of that process is taking up references. That puts you a step ahead of other candidates because your application has already been pre-approved.  Kingston Barnes places a high priority on referencing all candidates so we know them inside and out.


End Game

When the dust has settled, take two minutes to thank your referees; that’s only polite. And if that isn’t motivation enough, just remember that it might not help you get the job this time, but what about next time around?


Contact Kingston Barnes today to find out about career advice and opportunities. You can call us on 0117 325 2233 or send an email to office@kingstonbarnes.com