Career Goals are Crucial to Success

Most people who say they are unhappy at work may give a list of various reasons but in reality there tends to be one main underlying reason.   Most people after leaving education don’t give much thought to their career short term and long term goals and objectives they wish to achieve for their career.   It is only when a person has a clear thought about their career goals and objectives can they achieve ultimate satisfaction from what they have achieved in their career in a shorter period of time. Statistically, people who create clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people that did not. Career goals are necessary for all productive and career-advancing activities and they fall in to two categories Short Term and Long Term and are quite different when compared. Before you create your career goals you need to fully understand what you are looking to achieve and why.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
Who are you and what do you want to achieve in life?
What career are you interested in?
Why are you interested in this career?
Are your personal values aligned to your career choice?
Why does this career fit you?
What are your achievements, experience and qualifications relating to this career?
What do you expect to achieve from this career in the short term?
What do you expect to achieve from this career in the long term?
What do you intend to do in the longer future?

After clarifying these points, your second mission is to create your career statements of what you have already achieved and what you require to achieve your career aspirations.

CAREER STATEMENT EXAMPLE
Below is an example of a career goals statement (for a person in the Sales Sector).
Please note this layout for a Short Term Career Goals Statement can be structurally replicated for a Long Term Career Goals Statement.

5 years (Short Term) Career Goals Statement
Become a Sales Manager with man management responsibility for a team of sales professionals.

Currently Achieved
2 years as a New Business Sales Professional.
Exceeded new business sales targets by over 115% each year.
2 Years as an Account Manager for two major corporates.
Exceeded sales targets by over 150% each year.
Passed Dale Carnegie Sales Training Course.

Requirements to Achieve
I intend to work in sales for the next 2 years and then move into a sales team leadership role where I can enhance my skills and knowledge.

Required during these 5 years
Take Dale Carnegie Sales Management Training Course.
Take on Sales Team Leadership role and where possible stand in for Sales Manager when he is on holiday.
Gain new perspectives and eventually manage/influence others on high value accounts.
Communicate with Sales Leaders to develop my network.

Make sure you set a side time to measure and review your progress at least once a year as this will ensure you are on track to meet your career goals.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO CONSIDER WHEN SETTING YOUR CAREER GOALS

SHORT TERM CAREER GOALS EXAMPLES
Education and Skills Development
Constant personal development in education or/and work skills that are relevant to where you are and what you soon want to become in your career is key to enhancing your CV profile.   It is worth noting this is not just about learning something new but updating what you already know as skills learnt in the past can soon become obsolete.

Employer Awareness
When you start your new employment make it a primary purpose to know the full range of products/services your employer provides and who their competitors and collaborators are.   Hierarchy is an integral part of the Public and Private sectors.  It is also imperative you know the working structure of the company you work for and that you are comfortable in working in any part of that hierarchy.   To achieve your career goals you should set aside 2-4 years trying to maximise your career potential with this new employer before advancing your career with your next employer.

Interacting and Networking
Interacting and networking with people in and out of work which is related to your profession can only be beneficial to increasing your product knowledge and general knowledge to enhancing your short and long term career goals.   Hierarchy can have valuable information that is not generally shared in board room meetings. Therefore, do not have any apprehensions while talking to anyone, regardless of their post or their place in the hierarchy.

Responsibilities Increased
Increased responsibilities within your job role should be worked towards and welcomed as your duties and responsibilities increase so will your resources to allow you to perform your additional responsibilities and tasks.   Be careful in the corporate world, you will find many instances in which people will try to take credit for what others have done so if you have achieved something, and have been public about it, you will be recognized as the person who did it. It is also worth understanding, that you will be able to get your own credit only if you are ready to give credit where credit is due.

Financial Enhancement
An individual’s personal and professionals financial situation is arguably one of the most important factors in their life and therefore, one short term goal you should be working towards is to be making enough from the job to lead a comfortable life and maintain a good lifestyle.

LONG TERM CAREER GOALS EXAMPLES
Manager of Managers/CEO Long term goal of a professional can be to one day achieve the highest position in the company.

Starting your own Company
Utilising your skills and knowledge you have gained over the years can allow you to be in a better position to launch your own enterprise when the time is right.

Retire Early
Utilise the ever-increasing technologies to allow you to achieve your ambitions in a shorter timeframe and therefore take early retirement.

It is only when a person has a clear thought about their career goals and objectives that they can achieve the ultimate satisfaction from their job and therefore progress’s faster.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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Posted in Considering Leaving Job, Creating Career Goals, Leaving Current Job, Redundancy, Starting New Job

How to Succeed in Your New Job

When you secure your new job or take the next step in your career you will face many challenges. At ATR Solutions we feel as a recruitment consultancy that our role is not just to help you find a new role, but to help ensure that you succeed in your new position, below are some helpful suggestions:-

Create a good First Impression
As you first start your new role it is imperative that your new work colleagues and managers initially have a very positive impression of you.   Your attitude will define how others see you and as such you need to be approachable, helpful and enthusiastic.  Show commitment to your new employer by working hard and putting in the hours that are required for you to be successful in your new role.

Build good working relationships
You should be looking to build good working relationships not just with those you have direct contact with but others throughout your new employer.   Get to know the key people throughout the company and introduce yourself especially to the top performers at your level so you can learn from them.

Research goes a long way
It is always important to do your research on your potential new employer when you are going for an interview but it is equally important to do further research on your new employer after you have been successful in in receiving a job offer.  Get to know the company’s culture, their core values and working practices so that you can successfully adapt to their working environment and adopt the principles of your new employer. When you are starting out in your new role it is important to acknowledge and realise the potential challenges that may need to be overcome for you to be successful in your new position.

Using your initiative
Often when someone new comes into a business they can have a unique perspective on the company’s current business processes, and often can see ways in which processes can in fact be improved. It shows initiative to put forward recommendations for potential improvements.
However your recommendations should be reasonable and justified and you should avoid trying to change things simply to make an impact. As advised earlier it is important that you have taken the time to understand your new employers working environment and culture before putting forward your ideas as this could result in resentment towards you if you are not careful.

Dress for Success
Many companies have different dress codes so it’s important to ensure that you fit in to the environment and culture within your company – so if Friday is dress down day you don’t want to be the only one coming into work on a Friday in full business dress. However in general you should always appear smart and where possible wear the type of clothes you would need for the next grade  up – if you look the part, it has been proven you are more likely to gain promotion.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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10 Good Reasons to Reject a Counter Offer!

You have taken the decision to leave your job and move into an exciting new role, however when you resign your current post, this can be seen by your current employer as a tactic to gain an increase in salary. It’s flattering to receive a “Counter Offer” however below are 10 good reasons showing why you should say No!

  • Your current employer was not paying you what you were worth; it’s not a good idea to stay with a company who only gives you an increase under threat of resignation.
  • Companies have fixed budgets, so where is your pay rise coming from? Were you due a bonus you now won’t receive or will next year’s pay rise be capped?
  • Your boss will not want you to leave, not because you are “wonderful” but because it is “inconvenient to the business” – especially if you are involved in key projects or sales negotiations.
  • It’s possible that your employer will start looking for your replacement immediately, and at a lower cost than your new salary, which can place your position at risk.
  • Now that your employer knows you were happy to leave the company, your loyalty will always be in question.
  • You will have built a relationship with your Manager and now trust with that manager will be badly affected because he/she knows you would have left if more money had not been offered.
  • When key promotions come around your employer will remember who was loyal – and more importantly who was not – those who threatened to leave are likely to be passed over for promotion.
  • When times are tough and your employer needs to reduce staff, the cutbacks are more likely to begin with you because of a perceived lack of commitment to the company, and the fact that you now have a higher salary.
  • Normally the same issues that caused you to want to leave in the first place will not be resolved, and often promises made are not kept.
  • Statistics show that if you accept a counter offer, the probability of you leaving within 6 months or being let go within one year are extremely high, and by that time your wonderful new job has been given to someone else.

At ATR as a Recruitment Agency we see the negative results of people accepting a counter offers, our advice is to remember that if they truly valued you they would have ensured you were happy and properly rewarded for your efforts. A counter offer is only a belated recognition of the contribution you have made to your company had the pay rise been unprompted; wouldn’t that be a lot more flattering? We think you should move ahead with the goal of making yourself as valuable to your new employer as you now know you were to your old.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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Tips That Will Help You Get Hired Fast

Be prepared or prepare to fail
Research the company you are going to interview for and rehearse how you will discuss the experiences on your CV and answers to questions you may be asked.

Create a specific cover letter
Your cover letter should be tailored to the company and job you are applying for and should  tell your potential employer within the first two paragraphs what you can do for their company. (See our blog on creating cover letters)

Edit your CV to the job
You should tailor your CV to match the job you are applying for as much as possible but don’t fabricate any of the truth.

You don’t need to include all your experiences
Your CV doesn’t need to have a list of all your experiences under each of your earlier job roles as employers don’t like assessing CVs more than 2-3 pages long.

You can include more than full-time employment
If you have had periods of time that you have been unemployed, you can briefly include other things you may have done during those periods in to your CV to fill in the gaps including continuing education, coaching and tutoring, freelance, part time, temp work, volunteer work, etc.

Your appearance always matters
Dress like someone who looks professional and successful, the first few minutes of your interview are when you get to make that critical first impression.

Your answers should be to the point with a short explanation
When you’re answering questions during your job interview, you should give the interviewer an example of relevant specific experiences and the skills you have in relation to the question.  The more concrete information you can provide during your interview, the more the hiring manager will know how qualified you are for the job but don’t waffle.

Never say anything bad about your previous employers or co-workers
If you ever say anything bad about your previous employers or co-workers, the first thing your interviewer is going to think about is what you will say about their company when you’re moving on.

References can make a big difference in getting hired
Take your references with you to the interview and when appropriate, you can give your interviewer your written references to substantiate your answer.  You can get your references of recommendation from bosses, co-workers, clients, subordinates, and suppliers.  References are important, and employers do check them so select your referees wisely.

Send your interviewer a thank you note after your interview
It’s important for you to follow-up after your job interview. Sending your interviewer a letter or email is not just a good way to show your appreciation for being considered for the job but also a way to reiterate your interest and share anything you neglected during your interview.

Applying for every job you find isn’t always a good idea
Before you start your job hunting, take the time to decide what type of job/s you should be searching for.  You should focus your searches on jobs that you’re qualified for as you will have a better chance of getting selected for an interview and getting the job.  You could also create a target list of companies you would like to work for and decide on a plan that is going to get them to notice you.  Sending out random resumes and cover letters is just going to be costly a waste of your time and can actively work against you, especially if the company receives your CV more than once.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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Is it Time to Make a Fresh Start?

When someone asks you about your job, how do you reply to them? Do you speak to them with a sense of pride and passion or does their question make you feel so deflated you just want to avoid their question altogether? Below are 6 signs that it may be time for you to start looking for a new job.

You hate Mondays
When the alarm goes off in the Monday morning, most people wish it was still the weekend at that given moment.  But if you are finding the thought of Monday mornings are ruining your weekends then  it sounds like there is more of a deep rooted issue regarding your current employment.  Are you calling your employer to say you are ill because you can’t face going to work? If this is a yes, then you are more than likely going to build up resentment for your job that is going to get worse over further time.

Jealous of other people’s careers?
When you are out socialising, do you constantly find yourself feeling envious of other people (better job, better career prospects, better employer, better travel, etc.) even if your job role is more suited to you.  Although logically a job role may be well suited to you, quite often people can feel they are emotionally stuck in a rut and that change is there only answer.

Struggle to Motivate yourself at Work?
When you go to work each morning and look at each of your tasks that have to be achieved for that day, are you finding it a struggle to motivate yourself to accomplishing the tasks assigned to you?   Are your productivity levels not the same as they used to be? Low moral regarding your job can be hard to shake off and can be down to a number of issues.   If this issue or issues of your job cannot be resolved or unlikely to be, it’s more than likely your lack of passion and drive can only get worse.

Do you find your role is too easy or too hard?
When you have been in your current position for a while and haven’t received extra responsibility in the form of promotion and you have raised this issue at your appraisals but there still doesn’t seem to be a career path available to you, it may now be time for you to search for a new challenge.   Similarly, are you struggling with the workload you have now got because of changes that have been imposed due to cut backs or staff leaving and their position not being replaced?  Is there a lack of the necessary support and training that is required to do the job properly?  If this is your situation your answer may be with another company as this is a situation that may be out of your control.

You know you are seriously underpaid?
Most of us understand salaries range by sector, location, experience and qualifications etc. Have you made the adequate research and you still find you are well underpaid?   Have you raised this issue at your appraisals but your requests have been rejected or promises that are constantly being delayed?  If your answers are yes on both accounts, then you have to decisions to make, either stay and hope your situation gets resolved or you may want to start looking for a company that is willing to pay you that fair salary but beware of the counter offer.

Disagreements with your work colleagues?
There is no rule that says you should get on with all your colleagues all the time, but if you are finding that you are having disagreements on a daily basis, this can take its toll on you on so many different levels.  It may be that your values may not be the same as your colleagues so you may want to start looking for a company with likeminded people.  Experience also often tells us it’s easier to change your employment than it is to constantly change other people’s minds.

Please note, there are many cases when people are just wanting a change, so you don’t have to relate to one of the 6 signs above to start looking for a new challenge!

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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Time Management – Creating a To Do List

One of the main challenges to achieving success in your career is underestimating the importance of time management.   Organising a To Do List of the days tasks before you start the day – ideally the night before, means you are more likely to have a productive day at work and get through the jobs that really matter.  Below are 6 steps to help you improve your time management:-

1. Create a To Do List clearly defining a list of goals/objectives
Create a To Do List of all your goals/objectives that you have been assigned or need to achieve in that day, week or month and update it as soon as possible when you have completed the goal/objective and add in new tasks to be completed based on priority.

2. Prioritise each goal/objective in order of importance
Prioritise your day so that your most important tasks are completed first. That way, if something unexpected comes up and you’ve run out of time in the day, at least you will have completed the most important tasks of the day. You may also want to consider planning the most difficult or tedious tasks during your high energy hours as there is no sense in plodding through a task you detest during your sleepiest hours of the day as you are more likely to make mistakes.

3. Plan how you are going to achieve each goal/objective
Strategize by breaking down the key elements of each of the new goals/objectives to achieve the best possible results.

4. Create deadlines for each of these individual goals/objectives
Calculate and allocate a set amount of time for each of these goals/objectives as this will focus your mind and should stop you from getting bogged down in unnecessary effort and losing the time you will be requiring for other goals/objectives you need to achieve for that day.

5. Schedule breaks in your day to keep your energy levels up
Schedule breaks throughout your day to keep your energy levels up. If you plod on through the day without breaks, you’ll crash and burn and won’t be able to make the most of your time and your more likely to make mistakes.

6. Pay attention to distractions
Once you have set your goals/objectives, prioritised each goal, broken down each of the elements of the tasks, created the deadlines and scheduled your breaks for that day, you now need to pay particular attention to any distractions that keep you from achieving your goals/objectives for that day.

Tick off the completed actions on your To Do List as you complete it, the sense of achievement will keep you motivated to continue and will give you a mental boost as you see yourself completing your tasks.  At the end of the working day, take some time out to create your To Do List for the next day, moving any tasks from today that still need to be completed to tomorrow’s list in order of priority. That way when you start work the following day you will be organised and ready to complete all your tasks.

This simple process can help you transform your working life and ensure you meet all your key business objectives and be successful in your career.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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How to Deal with Redundancy

In our recruitment agency we regularly speak to candidates whose roles have been made redundant. Redundancies are unfortunately a fact of life particularly in the current environment, however redundancies aren’t always a bad thing, and we find that a person’s “attitude” towards their redundancy can have a profound effect on how they will fare after this event.

We believe that instead of seeing redundancy as a negative in your life and having that feeling that things are going ‘downhill’ why not see it as a new challenge. Being optimistic about redundancy is the key to getting back into employment.

Redundancies give you the opportunity to tackle something new.
If the job you were doing wasn’t what you wanted for your life plan, now is the perfect opportunity to change that!
Why not change your career path?
Start your own business as you now have the freedom to do that.

Step One: The first step you need to take is assessing your financial situation. Although you should receive a redundancy payment, you need to assess how long you can realistically afford to be out of work. Put together a 3 month plan which will allow you to evaluate what cut backs you need to make, if any!

Step Two: Networking. Begin networking. You’ve probably gained lots of contacts from doing your previous role, now is the time to take advantage of that and use them! Attend events and begin building your professional network. You’re now in an advantageous position because you’re now available, immediately!

Step Three: Keep busy. This unexpected leave of absence means you have the time to get some things done! You could upgrade your skill set and take a college course. Or finally decorate that second bedroom or even learn a new language! Take advantage of this free time and use it wisely.

Step Four: Job hunt. Start the job hunt. You don’t want to have a huge gap on your CV so you need to start the job hunting process as soon as possible. Embrace social media for alternative ways to find and connect with people and jobs. Utilise all the job boards available to you and register with a recruitment agency. We can help you find the right role for you, even if you are changing your career path!

Note: Redundancy doesn’t have to be a negative. Be optimistic about your situation and you’ll be back in work in no time!

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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