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Be honest, you want that new job

Take a risk, be positive and honest but never leave a job badly – these are just some of the ways to secure a new position, says LSCA Business Board member Nick Gowlland.

Nick Gowlland

February 2018

Shed all those excess pounds? Pumped all that iron? How long did some of those New Year resolutions really last? My “dry January” cratered spectacularly after a fortnight…

Some resolutions are more important than others, though.

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For many of us, a large portion of our day is spent at work. In fact, the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime. Your job makes a huge impact on your quality of life. So, a New Year’s resolution to search for a better role is one worth keeping.

Yet it’s not that easy. Competition is fierce. A lot of success is down to right place, right time. But you can make a big difference to your chances of landing that dream role by your attitude. My belief has always been the harder you try, the luckier you get.

Here are five career development tips that have worked well for me:

  1. Be honest with yourself
    Understand what interests you, and what doesn’t. Earlier on in your career, this comes more from intuition than experience. You’ll make some mistakes. But you’ll be most successful at what you really enjoy.
  2. Be open and curious
    Never be afraid to explore. Take a few risks. Embrace chance encounters in a positive spirit and seize the day!
  3. Build your network at every stage of your career 
    Well-connected people tend to succeed in business. It’s human nature to trust personal referrals. Concentrate especially on your future-facing network – those who might be helpful to you later on.
  4. Never leave the wrong job badly
    Institutional memories are long. Your reputation is precious – cherish and protect it. Sometimes a role won’t be right for you. Make sure you come out smelling of roses. Employers are risk averse.
  5. Believe in yourself
    Maintain a positive spirit. Be resilient. People are drawn to energy and optimism – maintain a sunny outlook. Always believe that the right next role is just around the corner.

All of this is really common sense. But it works.

Nick Gowlland is Managing Director of Zetetic Capital Ltd and a member of the LSCA Business Board.

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