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The three best things you can do for your career

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

There are two ways you can progress your career, organically within the company you are currently working for or by being acquired and moving on to a new employer. Both methods have their pros and cons but as you kick start this year, what are the three best things you can do for yours? Many ideas spring to mind but our three favourites are; put yourself forward, overhaul your CV and try something new.

Spot the gap in the market

Put yourself out there. Recent research suggests that as many as 33% of us are unhappy with the career progression prospects in our current roles. From an Employer’s perspective promoting from within is not always their preferred option. Why would a prospective Employer take a Candidate who is skilled and flourishing in their job, only to find themselves with a gap in their team and a training requirement to fulfil? If you are looking to progress to the next level, seek out the opportunities from within, offer to mentor your replacement and quantify the value you can bring to the table. Employers embrace confidence and enthusiasm among Employees.  Any Employer worth their salt should be willing to give you the time and opportunity to discuss your career progression. If you don’t ask you don’t get. Even if the opportunity you desire is not currently available they will probably offer you some significant feedback on how to get there or identify alternative opportunities available.

Give your CV an MOT

Whether you are looking to progress your career internally or externally it’s important to polish the tools of your trade, placing yourself at the top of prospective interview shortlists. Don’t overcomplicate things; our tips for writing the perfect CV can be found here. Beyond the basic CV template, nice to haves include; core skills, a short but punchy personal statement and quantifiable facts relating to your two most recent roles.

Utilise the resources around you. Research CV templates for your sector, seek advice, ask an HR or Recruitment professional. Gauge opinions from friends who already work in similar roles to the one you are aspiring to, ask them to proof your CV and share their tips on improving content and layout.

Try something new for the year ahead

A change is as good as a holiday. Volunteer for a local cause; take up running, start a new hobby or personal project.

New experiences bring new skill-sets and these can be valuable assets to draw on in an interview scenario.  Not only is volunteering hugely valuable to the UK economy, estimated in recent years to be worth as much as £22.6 billion in terms of free hours, it makes us feel good too. Supporting a good cause improves our overall outlook on life, introducing us to a new group of friends, improving brain function and generally making us feel good about ourselves. Fundraising is challenging too, if your Employers see you making a success of it, you can stand out from the crowd.

Similarly taking up a new sport or personal project exposes you to a whole new network of individuals and job opportunities while also encouraging you to prioritise your own health and wellbeing which in turn improves your overall work life balance.

Start the year as you mean to go on, take some time out to prioritise your career and it will take you far in 2019.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 have opened our first London office, to service Clients in the capital.

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