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By Ben Graney, Senior Consultant


Did you make a New Year’s resolution for 2016? Each year one of the most popular promises we make to ourselves is to take the next step on the career ladder. Whether you are looking for a new position or are aiming to gain a promotion, a renewed focus could help you land that much sought after role.

Set a realistic goal. You need something to aim for. Once you decide this you can make a clear plan of the steps that you have to take in order to achieve it.

Network. If you are looking for a promotion, networking is a great business development tool to help improve your company’s presence within its sector and lead to new opportunities in your role. For those hoping to make a move, now is the time to start re-engaging with contacts and seeking out industry events to establish relationships with potential employers.

Be prepared to take a risk. Fear of the unknown can prevent you from seize a new opportunity – whether that is changing jobs or accepting additional responsibility in your current role. Say yes; it not only can you learn new skills and gain valuable experience but the confidence boost that you receive through your achievements will be huge!

Look at developing your skills. See what training opportunities you can access through work or look into further professional accreditations that you could undertake. Also consider courses which could help you brush up on your IT skills or improve your use social media – even taking up a new hobby such as learning a new language or photography adds a new string to your bow (and is something to include in the ‘interests’ section on your CV!).

Create a work life balance. It might sound strange to think about ‘spending less time at work’ but in order to get ahead it’s not necessarily about putting more hours in – more a case of making best use of your time at work. Having personal time away from work is essential; it will help you re-energise and allow you to be more focused and achieve more.

Listen to feedback. Not all feedback should be taken as a criticism that you are not doing a good job. Whether it’s your manager suggesting areas for improvement or you haven’t been successful in a job interview, use any feedback in a positive way and look at ways in which you can learn from the experience.


Sharp Consultancy specialises in the recruitment of finance and accountancy professionals.  With offices in Leeds, Sheffield, Doncaster and Manchester our highly experienced team of consultants recruit for temporary, interim and permanent roles across the full spectrum of positions throughout Yorkshire and the North West.