Are you up for the challenge?

career LadderAre you ready for the next stage of your career, to move on and up the career ladder?

Thinking of taking the next step in your career can be a daunting one. Sure you’d like the extra money and kudos a promotion can bring but stepping up can be daunting – bringing even the most confident amongst us out into a cold sweat.

Here are some simple steps you can follow to help you assess if you are ready for the next move, what to do to make sure you are and how to turn that aspiration into a reality.

Starter for 10!

Update your CV

Your CV is going to be your tool where you can demonstrate what you have learned along the way that could be of benefit to a recruiter, set out your long-term ambitions and, above all show why you are ready for that next important step.

Remember to back up what you say with hard evidence - it is not enough to just claim you have certain qualities; the person reading your CV will want to see the evidence gained from previous roles, in order for them to feel confident to invite you in for an interview.

But please keep it short and sweet, we don’t want to bore the person short listing, it needs to be punchy and to the’s about selling yourself!

Window shopping!

See what’s out there

Go job hunting – take a look at the market place. What are recruiters looking for? What do you need to do to improve your skill set?

Social networks and corporate websites are your friends. Take a look at the roles you are interested in and the job specification.

Determine how you match the criteria and gather evidence proving you are capable of meeting the needs of the roles you are interested in.

If you understand what recruiters are looking for you will be in a strong position to be able to ensure you can tailor your experience to what they need and this will also able you to identify any gaps in your CV.

But also read the news, keep an eye on what is happening around you and in the political world, and not to mention which authority is doing what as they may just have what you are looking for! Pick up the MJ, it’s a great source of knowledge for anyone looking to progress in Local Government (there are many more too!)

Mentor me

Find yourself a career mentor

An experienced mentor can help you identify roadblocks on your way to your next job/ promotion. They can also push you out of your comfort zone so you make the most of your skill set and can give you objective advice on how you can develop.

Be a challenge seeker

Take on new challenges

The thing that separates those that get ahead from others is their willingness to take up challenging assignments. It’s human nature to want to avoid something that is difficult or unfamiliar. The go getter thinks differently. They will relish new challenges and rise to them. Try to take every career developing opportunity that comes your way – you never know where it might lead.

Build a Network

Mingle, mingle, mingle!

You need to develop a good network within and outside your organisation. Industry connections, no matter the context, can make a considerable difference when it comes to developing your career. The people you meet along your career path can help you to learn new things and keep abreast of industry trends.

You never know when one of them might help you to find a career defining role.

Plus having a good network raises your profile - a sure fire way to be headhunted!

Don’t underestimate the power of social media, if you’re not already on LinkedIn and Twitter then you should be, people want to know more about you and this is definitely the first place they will look.

Risky business

Take Necessary Risks

It’s easy to fall into the trap of standing still of getting a little too comfortable in your role - it’s not called the comfort zone for no reason but by staying too long in a role you could become complacent and selling yourself short.

Entering into unchartered territory is a risk but it is essential to be able to develop and grow your career. If you exercise caution all the time you are closing the door to career development.


Sometime you just have to take the plunge. Be brave, apply for a job on WMJobs, the best way to get interview perfect is to have a few interviews in the first place!

Go for it, remember Blair, Cameron, Obama et al had never been PM/President until they were in post. If they did it, you can!

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