Essential career tips

 

When it comes to your career, it never hurts to have a helping hand from time to time: someone to offer sound advice and structured guidance, and to point you in the right direction when you’re not sure where you’re going.

We’re proud to say that over the years, we’ve been that ‘someone’ for most of our candidates — and that support doesn’t stop when we’ve helped you to find a new job. Whether you’re planning a promotion or dealing with the heartache of redundancy, we’re here to guide you through the most important milestones of your career.

And whilst you might always need to talk to us in person, we’ve jotted down a few nuggets of wisdom to help you on your way.

Katie Tomlinson - Branch Manager Office Angels Edinburgh

First things first, you need to demonstrate that you’re worth it, and that your expectations are realistic. To get an idea of the market average for your role, visit office-angels.com/salary and pop in your job title and location.

If you’re being underpaid, this tool acts as a great negotiator. Once you’ve got an idea of what you should be being paid, you’ll also need to:

  • Get yourself noticed for the right reasons: make sure your work is always finished to a high standard and on time, and you’re fulfilling everything that’s expected of you before asking to be rewarded for a job well done
  • Put yourself in the spotlight by increasing the amount of professional contact you have with senior staff. If you know about a project they’re working on, offer to give them a helping hand
  • Remain professional at all times: be polite and friendly, dress smartly, and avoid turning up late or taking longer lunches than you’re entitled to
  • Increase your responsibility by offering to help with projects from different departments, or by giving your team mates a helping hand if they’re struggling
  • Show your manager that you’re ambitious and want to improve in the role by asking for more training. Research what’s out there and what you’d like to do
  • Approach your job with motivation and vigour. You may need to stay late and come in early to show that you’re serious about the role. Even if you can’t stay for much longer than your official finish time, avoid clock-watching
  • Failing that, have a conversation with your boss about what you need to do to qualify for a pay rise
Kirsty Mccallum - Branch Manager Office Angels Glasgow

If you’re happy with your current employer but think it’s about time you moved up the professional ladder, you’ll need to employ all of the techniques mentioned above to put yourself in the running for a promotion. To make it abundantly clear that you think you’re ready for this next step, you’ll also need to do the following:

  • Talk to your line manager about your achievements in your current role
  • Make it known that you’re keen to progress within the company, as you value them as an employer
  • Ask which duties, tasks and responsibilities you can take on to increase your chances of promotion
  • Don’t bad mouth other people in your team to make yourself look better. You can extol your own virtues without doing other people down, and it will only make you look unprofessional
  • If you don’t get a promotion when you’re hoping for it, accept it with good grace and ask what you can do to improve your performance
Siobhan Reilly - Branch Manager Office Angels Livingston

It’s a sad fact of working life that in most companies, there will be redundancies. However, it’s very rarely a reflection on your performance, and far more often a reflection of how your employer is struggling to make ends meet. We talk to talented people every day who are going through redundancy, so remember that you’re not alone — and you’re not a bad worker.

So how should you approach redundancy?

  • Above all, you need to stay positive. This is really important as it will effect how quickly you find your next job — so try not to get despondent about what lies ahead. It may feel like it, but it’s really not the end of the world
  • Keep your composure and make sure that your current employer is going to provide you with a glowing reference. Remind them of everything that you’ve achieved in the role, and what you think your main strengths are
  • Treat redundancy as an opportunity to try something new. You might want to explore a different role, industry or sector, or even start up your own business. Sometimes, there are loads of things we’d love to try but don’t have the courage. Redundancy can force you to be brave — with amazing results
  • Register with a recruitment agency that deals specifically with the sector you’re keen to work in
  • Keep a good eye on your finances and establish how quickly you need work — if that’s soon, don’t rule out temporary or assignment work
Francesca Stubbs - Branch Manager Office Angels Aberdeen

If you’ve decided to move on to pastures new, the way that you leave your current employer is really important for your professional reputation. In our experience, you never know when you might need a glowing reference: if you’re moving within the same industry, you may have to deal with your previous employer further down the line. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to follow the right process:

  • Write a concise letter that explains your reasons for leaving
  • Call a meeting with your line manager so that you can tell them face to face, and thank them for the opportunities they’ve given you during your time there
  • Give your employer plenty of notice and try not to leave them in the lurch if you’re in the middle of a big piece of work
  • Offer to stay and train the new person, or if that’s not possible with your new role, write a detailed handover
  • Always leave on a positive note, with the opportunity to come back if you think you might have made a mistake

If you’ve reached a milestone in your career that you’d like to speak to us about, why not drop us a line or come and visit? We always love to hear from you

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