Career Advice

Do you have the essential skills for a career in the Manufacturing Industry?

Manufacturing is a diverse industry that offers opportunities to people with a wide range of backgrounds. Whether you’re interested in production, installation, logistics or engineering, it’s important to understand that businesses seek a specific set of skills from potential employees.

We have put together a list of the essential skills that we believe manufacturers are looking for


1.Attention to Detail

With speed and precision being a high priority in manufacturing, it’s essential for workers to be focused and detail-oriented. When operating heavy machinery, a lack of attention can spell danger for you or your co-workers.

Attention to detail is also critical when it comes to completing work to a high standard, small details can make the difference in measurement and fittings and if these are completed incorrectly it can cause faults and flaws in the end product or service.

2.Critical Thinking

To succeed in the manufacturing industry the individual has to be able to think on their feet and troubleshoot and resolve problems as they arrive.

Workers must be able to use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions or approaches to difficult situations.

3.Interest and Aptitude for Technology

Technology is constantly evolving and changing the way manufacturing workplaces operate and coordinate. Advances in technology have altered the way manufacturing is operated.

By demonstrating an interest in technology and a strong desire to learn it, you’re sending a message of your long-term potential to employers.


Many manufacturing positions now require knowledge of a wide variety of processes and procedures, so an employee who has been, or has the ability to be cross-trained is hugely valuable to a company.

Today, companies look for candidates that have the ability to be cross-trained in numerous functions, as they will be greater assets to the business.

5.STEM Skills

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills play huge roles in Manufacturing; being able to apply the right principles and techniques to the design and production of many goods is essential.

Many people are not fully aware of their math skills. All they know is that they think it’s not always fun. And admittedly, math and science can be acquired tastes. A career in manufacturing can lead you to discover the true value and potential of these skills.

6.Working effectively on a diverse team

Manufacturers need their colleagues to work together towards a common goal.

Being a good teammate is a good step towards becoming a good leader. The type that can disagree without being disagreeable is the people who can succeed in a team environment.

You should also offer problem-solving skills and ideas and be conscious of others ideas.


During a time of political and economic change, the ability to adapt to changing work conditions is essential.

Being able to work efficiently during times of increased workloads and pressure, or the ability switch to a different role when required is fundamental as unexpected situations may arise.


For a confidential discussion about how we can help your business source top manufacturing talent, or if you are eager to develop your career in manufacturing, please get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants who will be happy to help.

Written by Tom Greaves, edited by Jenny Headington

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Risky Business. Don’t Go Back.

Your stomach? Been there, done that. It didn’t work, don’t do it again.

Conscience: “You really shouldn’t be doing this. It didn’t work before, why would it work the second time?”

You: “Well, let’s give it another go. Maybe things will be different this time. We have to make sure that they are. It will all work out fine.”

Cartoon of a man running, a sign resign job

Some of us have experienced this in our personal lives, others may have experienced it in our professional lives – there are even a few poor souls out there who experience this loop over and over again. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Just as returning to an ex-partner is often ill-advised, accepting a counter offer from your company after you have resigned is equally bad judgement. It is universally recognised that once you have decided to leave a company, there is no going back. No amount of persuasion, financial incentive or extra management responsibility should be able to persuade you otherwise.

However, it is ever so easy to be lured into the emotional trap. After the last few months of hell in your company, culminating in your resignation, suddenly they are being nice to you again, telling you how essential you are and how they can’t do without you. This is designed to make you think twice, and it plants a seed of doubt in all but the strongest of minds.

exit sign with a cartoon man leaving the place


You never knew that they cared about you so much? Well, I’ll let you into a secret - they don’t. Just as a shocked partner might insist that they “really love you” at the point of no return, so might a company do anything to persuade you to stay, at least until they have found a suitable replacement.

89% of people that accept a counter-offer leave within the next year. You have broken the bond of trust and, like a jilted partner, the company will very seldom forgive. Once a trust is broken, it will never be fully restored. Nagging doubts will always linger.

So, when you resign, be resolute in your intentions. Do it in writing. Don’t enter into discussions about a potential rethink. Be consistent in what you tell management and your colleagues. You are moving on; it happens all the time, such is life. Don’t let it get personal, remain professional and make a smooth transition to your next role. You’ll be respected as someone that knows their own mind, and you won’t be burning any bridges.

The decision to leave part of your life behind is never an easy one. Embarking into an unknown future is a far more difficult path than keeping the status quo.

Yes, making a change is risky. However, how much riskier are the consequences of deciding to stay?

Written by Lee Narraway

If you would like to discuss this then please get in touch with me and leave your comments:

Phone: 01925 747 712 Email: LinkedIn: Website:

When Was Your Forrest Gump Moment?

Whenever I come to a moment in my life when I realize that something has to change, I remember the scene from the film Forrest Gump where he finally stops his trans-America mega-marathon run.

Forrest Gump running movie

In the film, he was running to forget the past hurts in his life, but the metaphor could equally be extended to anyone’s treadmill. We set ourselves on a certain course and often it takes a jolt to the system to make us realize that we need to stop and change direction. Keeping running is the easy option – deciding to stop and change something takes real courage.

When Forrest Gump stopped and decided to get on with his life, he did exactly that. There was no way that he could know how his life was going to work out after he stopped running, he probably worked through every possible scenario in his head multiple times, but until he stopped, he couldn’t be sure which path his life would take. When he was running, he was running. When he stopped, he had to do something different instead.

At these times of change in my life, I have found that there is always a short moment of pause when you stop doing something before you start doing something else. When you quit your job, there is always a small pause before you start a new one. When your wife becomes pregnant, there are the months of pregnancy before the baby arrives. You might decide to go an a diet, but there is always that pause before your first “proper” day on the new regime.

Forrest Gump movie Tom Hanks sit bench

It is that moment of pause that dictates your new direction. If you have thought enough about your situation, about what you want to change in your life and why you want to change it, then the way ahead should be clear. If you haven’t dedicated the time to think before you stop, it will often be the case that you could run off into blind alleys, run around in circles or just stand transfixed by the complexity of the decision before you.

No, when you stop running, it is useful to have an idea of your new direction. You don’t have to have the exact co-ordinates and you can sill alter your path on the way, but a rough heading is helpful.

Forrest did a few laps of the US to work out his problems. Before you think about making a change in life, it is always worth thinking through the possibilities and ramifications first. When you do stop running, it is vital that you have an idea of what you want to do next, otherwise it will be very hard to start running again, let alone in the right direction.

Written by Lee Narraway and edited by Paul Drury

If you would like to discuss this then please get in touch with me and leave your comments:

Phone: 01925 747 712 Email: LinkedIn: Website:

Engineering Remuneration

I'd like to share an interesting article I read written by Stephen Harris at the Engineer. Engineers’ salaries took a battering in the recession. Then something exciting happened. Engineering graphic

Official data shows some encouraging news for engineers - especially those with Chartered status.

It’s well known that salaries aren't what they used to be. The recession put a major halt on pay rises and some people were even forced to accept wage cuts. All the while the cost of living kept on rising, meaning everyone was left feeling a little poorer.

Given the much talked-about skills shortage, you’d expect engineers to have not done too badly when it came to maintaining their pay packets. But when The Engineer took a look at the data, we found some surprising results.

From the start of the recession in 2008, engineers’ median salary increases were less than the national average. And in 2010, the median engineering wage actually fell, meaning the so-called cost of living crisis had a particular impact on many engineers.

Graphic UK median salaries

What has happened since, however, tells a much more encouraging story. While in 2011, the national median salary was flat, engineers got an average boost of over two per cent. And last year, this increased to around four per cent – double the rate of inflation. So engineers should finally start to be feeling richer.

The big question that remains is how are engineers doing now compared to the 2007-2008 peak. Since that time, the cost of living has gone up by around 16.2 per cent, according to the RPI measure of inflation that includes housing costs.

The national median salary has only gone up by 12.4 per cent – less than the cost of living increase – meaning most people are now poorer. The median for engineers is only a little better at 13.4 per cent.

Graphic UK median salaries for engineers

But what about those engineers who have completed accreditation schemes, which purportedly offer a significant salary boost. According to figures from the Engineering Council (which regulates accreditation), Incorporated Engineers haven’t kept up with inflation either, with a median salary increase of just 12.5 per cent.

Chartered Engineers, however, are on to a winner. They've seen their median salary rise by an inflation-busting 25 per cent since 2007, from £48,000 to £60,000. So while most people, including most engineers, have become poorer, those with Chartered status are much better off.

Great article Stephen and thanks for the information.

Written by Lee Narraway

If you would like to discuss this then please get in touch with me and leave your comments:

Phone: 01925 747 712 Email: LinkedIn: Website:

The Difference Between Worrying and Caring

Pressure is an ever-present factor in our working life. It would be easier to handle if everything were under our control, but there are so many times when we are at the mercy of events. The future in such a situation is rarely clear and you have two basic choices: Worrying about the outcome, or caring about the outcome. There is a big difference between the two. woman with a box loose job

Of course, you can choose to do nothing, but for the sake of this article, let’s say that this situation is something of huge importance to you. Let’s say you have heard that 100 people are going to be made redundant in your company. Your department have been told those scary words: “you are at risk.”

There will be those who will immediately worry about the potential consequences. They become terrified about losing their jobs, they go into their shells and start to take the “safe” business decisions rather than the right ones.

They spread fear and negative energy wherever they go, gossiping, speculating, feeding on any opportunity to make themselves feel a little better. A colleague didn’t hit their sales target? “Good, maybe they will be fired instead of me.”

Worrying is a stealthy emotion – you think that you are being productive by thinking about the potential situation, but it rarely leads to action…. In these circumstances, the worries merely get deeper and deeper.

Then, there are those whose first thoughts are caring. They wonder who might be worst affected and what they can do to help their colleagues in the situation. For them, action is going to be the solution to their problems. They think positively and consider what they can do to influence the situation.

frustrated young business man loose job

They don’t lose sight of the opportunities in the situation and continue to hope for the best. They will be supportive of their colleagues and in return be supported by them. In a difficult situation, they will stand out as being the glue that binds their team together. Nine times out of ten, they will not be the ones to lose their jobs.

Worry is fear-based. It is a projection of negative energy. Caring, on the other hand, is a projection of positive energy. When you care about situations or people, you're hopeful that things will get better. When you worry about them, you're afraid they won't.

Clinical psychologist Chad LeJeune, Ph.D, talks about the idea of worrying versus caring in his book, ‘The Worry Trap’ “Worrying is an attempt to exert control over the future by thinking about it,” whereas caring is taking action.

“When we are caring for someone or something, we do the things that support or advance the best interests of the person or thing that we care about.”

In another example, worrying about your finances does nothing but give you sleepless nights. Caring about your finances means being proactively about creating budgets, paying bills and saving for future issues.

May we should all care a little more and worry a little less!

If you would like to discuss this then please get in touch with me and leave your comments:

Lee Narraway

Phone: 01925 747 712 Email: LinkedIn: Website:

When Was Your Moment of Fury?

One of the most poignant scenes in recent cinematic history is when the camera pans up from the tank in the film Fury, and you see the hundreds of scattered German bodies around a single Allied tank.

Brad Pitt movie Fury

To give some background, the American tank crew (led by Brad Pitt, who else?) were ordered to hold a crossroads to stop a huge German SS battalion from getting to a supply chain of Allied medical and support personnel. Their tank “Fury” was disabled by a landmine, so they had the decision to leave the civilians to certain death or do their best to stop the Germans in their tracks.

For the five-man tank crew, the decision to stay and fight was in the best Hollywood  tradition, but it captures the heroism of war and what people are prepared to do to when they believe in a cause (or hate a cause – in this case the Wafffen SS). Much of the action in Fury was based around real-life accounts of events in the Second World War, and I would like to briefly remember those who perished. May they rest in peace.

With the utmost respect to those who laid down our lives to defend us, I would like to focus on the one quality of any solider that continues to leave me in awe whenever I think about our guys defending our freedom all over the world. From the elimination of Osama bin Laden to the current fight with Islamic State, they are determined to “get it done.” They won’t stop until it is done.

Fury movie ad with actors

I sometimes wish that, in my own little way, I could have a little more of this determination in my life. I profusely apologise for the glib comparison with someone who is putting their life on the line, but at the end of the day, it comes down to the same thing – how much do you believe in your cause?

How many of us are truly passionate about what we do? Who keeps going through the bad days and the good? How many of us are glad of an excuse to give up or to take an easier path? The answer I would guess is most of us, as unlike the amazing heroes who fight our battles for us, we are “only human” after all.

Am I saying that to be human is to be fallible, well, yes, I probably am? We all make mistakes, we all let people down, and we all fail – with varying regularity. The key for me about determination is the will power to keep going until the very last moment, to keep believing that you can do it until that fallibility overtakes you at the very last minute. However, there is always the chance that it might not overtake you.

There was one American survivor of the Fury tank battle. Everyone has the chance to be superhuman if they are determined enough. The odds may be stacked against you, but if you have courage in the face of adversity, anything is possible.

Written by Lee Narraway and edited by Paul Drury

If you would like to discuss this then please get in touch with me and leave your comments:

Lee Narraway

Phone: 01925 747 712 Email: LinkedIn: Website:

Come On……Give Your Brain a Break

Our brains are pretty special things. They hold a lifetime of memories, process thousands of subconscious commands every minute and help us navigate the optimal path through our days. From the moment we are born, to the moment we leave this world, they offer us a capacity for learning that sets us apart from every other species on this planet.

Human Brain blue lights

They will attempt to absorb everything that our busy lives throw at them, but, for them to remain in top-notch decision-making form, we need to give them regular periods of “chill-out” time to refresh their energies. That is rather unscientific language, but you can be assured that there is a huge amount of science behind the thought that regular “rest periods” allow the brain to catch up and get ready for renewed action.

If you use your brain’s refresh button on a regular basis, you will feel so much more in charge of your day and more able to meet the challenges that come your way.

Research has shown that our brains have two “modes” of operation, a “focused” mode when we are learning something new, thinking about a problem or working, and then a “daydream” mode where random thoughts flit in and out of our head with no real urgency. You might think that the first mode is the only one to impact our productivity, but you would be wrong.

Studies have shown that brain activity actually increases when our brains wander – we make connections that may not have previously been contemplated, and breakthroughs seemingly come out of nowhere. You know that great idea you had in the shower this morning? Yes, you’ve guessed it – “daydream mode.”

Worker drinking coffee

The “refresh” button doesn’t have to be pressed for long. You can go and make a cup of tea, have a stroll outside for 15 minutes or maybe even listen to some music with your eyes closed for a while. It needs to be enough for your brain to forget about your previous task (as it is not very good for concentrating on something for much longer than 45 minutes anyway), and after the break it will be ready to get back on track and at the same time ensuring that you are heading in the right direction.

I personally find that the 80/20 rule works particularly well for me. 80% of my working day is spent in hardcore work mode, the rest (split up through the day) is spent at an entirely more leisurely pace.

Giving yourself permission to do this is the first hurdle – you shouldn’t feel that your day should be a madcap race to the finish. You’ll be exhausted before mid-afternoon if you don’t add refresh breaks into your routine.

It may seem strange to say that to get any work done, you should choose not to work for part of the time, but it is firmly my experience that this is a the case.

Give your brain a break – it will repay you for it.

Written by Lee Narraway and Edited by Paul Drury

If you would like to discuss this then please get in touch with me and leave your comments:

Lee Narraway Phone: 01925747712 Email: LinkedIn: Website:

You Don’t Climb Straight Up The Mountain

If you want to reach heights that few others have reached, you have to realize that the path will not be a linear one. There is no well-worn track to reassure you, and the ghosts of those who have failed dance in your footsteps. You have to be content to take two steps forward, a few steps sideways and one step back to ensure that you have a chance of success.

Man climbing mountain

When momentum stalls, your willpower is the only thing you have left.

Life is not meant to be spent at 100 miles-an-hour, careering from one amazing achievement to the next. It is an adventure, and, to my mind, it is very similar to scaling a mountain (or a series of mountains).

Unless you have a Yoda-like mentor, very few of us can be certain what is around the next corner. If it is a deep crevasse, the choice is to risk the jump over or walk to where it gets thinner? If bad weather is forecast, do you abandon the climb until it has blown itself out? Do you stop at the third camp for the night, even though the summit is tantalisingly in reach?

On a climbing expedition, you have to balance the risks and the rewards. Sometimes, the going will be easy, and the decisions will be clear. At other times, you will be tearing your hair out with frustration.

After a successful career in Engineering, many of my friends were surprised when I went into recruitment. I have always enjoyed the “people” aspects in my roles, and deep down, it felt right if not a little scary. When you start a new transition, it is almost like coming around that mountain pass, only to see a yet higher peak ahead of you. Daunting, but exhilarating.

Heading up the engineering division of Procore Solutions is the best thing that I have done in my career. It took a leap of faith, and yes, that faith is still tested daily, but I am still climbing. I am not sure that I will ever get to the “summit” – it would be boring to imagine that this is even possible. For me, the climb is the enjoyment.

man mountain

So many people are now making transitions to new careers, using their transferable skills to scale new heights. 20 years ago, this would have been unthinkable, but in the dynamic new world of work, it seems to me that breadth of experience is more valuable than depth of experience. No one trudges along the same boring career path for 30 years anymore. There are mountains to explore, and sometimes it makes sense to go backwards if you want to go forwards.

If you view every step of your journey as a step closer to your destination, then every step is valuable. Every mistake, every wrong turn, they are all part of your way to the top.

You don’t climb straight up the mountain. Simply make sure that you keep climbing, and you will get there!

Written by Lee Narraway edited by Paul Drury 

If you would like to discuss this then please get in touch with me and leave your comments:

Lee Narraway

Phone: 01925747712 Email: LinkedIn: Website:

How to successfully ask for a raise

Asking your boss for more money isn’t always an easy conversation. And unless there is a well-structured review system in place, it’s likely that you’ll need to proactively broach this topic. It can be a tricky topic to discuss so to help you successfully ask for a pay rise; here are our top tips for preparing yourself for the conversation. man throwing money


Research the market

While it’s not advisable to openly discuss salaries with your colleagues, arming yourself with as much information about what others in your position earn is the best place to start.

Instead of prying into your co-worker’s earnings, look on comparison websites and job boards to get an idea of the market salary for your industry and experience level. This will help you decide on a number before speaking with your manager – you need to be specific about what you want.

Build your case

Think about why you’re asking for a raise. Have you recently had some big successes in your current job? Do you believe you’ve taken on some new responsibilities? Perhaps you’ve consistently delivered exceptional work since accepting the job.

Whatever your reasons, it’s important that you build your case by providing clear evidence as to why you deserve a raise.

Prepare specific examples and provide solid reasoning to prove that you deserve more of the business’ profits. Wherever possible, tie your successes to business results – increase in sales, solutions that save money, etc. Adding a monetary value to your success can provide irrefutable evidence.

Find the right time

Be strategic about when you speak with your manager – avoid catching them when they are busy, against a tight deadline or about to pack up for the day. Try and find a time when they will be able to give their full attention and really focus on the conversation.

If you can, set up a meeting in advance to ensure you manager will be available. This also gives you time to prepare your case!

Get to the point

When you finally do find the right time and have your manager’s attention it’s critical that you get to the point without going off topic or beating around the bush.

A couple of ways you can kick off the conversation include: ‘I’d like to talk about reviewing my pay’, or ‘In light of my performance at work, I wanted to ask you about a pay raise’.

Give your manager a chance to respond, and then tell them the amount you’re looking for – this is your opportunity to present your case and back up your request.

Focus on business

A raise might help you save up for a house, or buy a new car, but try not to discuss these during the meeting. Your personal reasons for wanting a raise are completely irrelevant.

Keep the conversation focused on your contribution to the business and why that warrants a higher reward than your current salary.

Control your nerves

If your manager isn’t entirely warm to the idea it’s likely that a negotiation will come to life – negotiations around money can often be tense so it’s important to keep your nerves in control.

Don’t back down under pressure, never take back your request, or suggest a lower amount. Stay calm and wait for your manager to respond to your initial request.

Whatever you do, do not leave the meeting without knowing the next step. If your manager says they cannot talk to you at this time, or they’re not the best person for you to be having the conversation with, ask them directly what the next step will be and when you can expect this to happen.

About the guest author: 

Laura Slingo is Digital Copywriter for the UK’s leading independent job board, CV-Library. For more expert advice on job searches, careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.

Please leave your comments.

Want To Get Your CV Noticed? Then Read On

I get asked quite often what the best format for a CV would be, in truth there isn't any one standard I would say is better than another but there are a few things you can do to help. Curriculum Vitae picture with hands

Firstly you have to think what you are trying to achieve, in essence you're trying to get noticed and to do this you have to touch on the things that are important to the reader. The main things in any situation are centred around the four main buying motives:

man with calculator


Make money 

Save money

Save time

Improve reputation



So how can you translate this into your CV, maybe you're in a role that you think doesn't touch on these four statements? Well you would be wrong! If you work for any company you do it for a reason and I promise you it will be related to one of the four above.

Numbers are your friend that you turn to first, if you made money then again how much was it ££££$$$$? How did it compare to your target %%%%? Who were the beneficiaries in this case? Why did you do it?

logo saving money


If you saved money then how much ££££$$$$? What percentage improvement did it give %%%%, who benefited from your work?

If you saved time then how was this reflected? How did this make the process more efficient? How much time did you save ££££$$$$? How did this compare to how it was done before %%%%? Did the time saving save any money? If so how much? and who benefited from this?

With regard to improving the reputation of a company, many candidates get a little confused on how they maybe impact on this. There are many ways in which this could happen, one reason could be an accreditation to a ISO standard or a safety governing body, another could be connecting with the local community in a way which improves local relationships. It could be charity work or social agenda items. You may have saved the environment!!

The real key is to stop and think how and what you do impacts positively on the company you work for as this is where the value is that you could bring to a new employer, it is also the value that they see in you for remuneration negotiations.

numbers picture


Believe me when I say this but numbers will be there for you in some way so go and find them and highlight them in your CV.


If you would like to discuss this short article in more detail then please connect with me and let's chat.

Lee Narraway

Phone: 01925 747 712 Email: LinkedIn: Website:

How Often Have You Lied at Work?

The Perils Of Lying At Work man face lie work

It’s just too easy. I’m sure that we have all done it. The door of “the easy way out” beckons and you tell that little lie. You tell yourself that no one is honest all the time, as you simultaneously hatch a plan to cover it up. There are conflicting views on the value of “white lies”, but for those people whose work lives are ruled by deceit and subterfuge, their lies can only cause harm.

In a piece of research in 2014, Kim Serota, a professor from Oakland, carried out a revealing study on lying. He found that 60% of the subjects reported not telling any lies on any given day and that 5% of the respondents told half the volume of lies. This suggests a tendency towards “prolific lying.” He found that the average number of lies in the UK was four per day, with “prolific liars” telling significantly more than four lies per day.

According to the data, prolific liars are younger, are more likely to be male and have higher occupational status. Senior managers seem to be more likely to be prolific liars than junior managers and non-management employees. This trend opposes the broader finding that people tell fewer lies as they get older.

The collaborative nature of our working life is such that it is easy to get caught up in someone’s web of deceit. If you accept their lie as a truth and then act on it, you are allowing it to become part of your reality and the responsibility for the consequences now partly lies with you. There is also the feeling that if someone has told a white lie to you, it is almost acceptable to lie to them in return. This is an extremely slippery slope. If you are being told a lie, in many cases, the best course of action is to question the facts and get to the truth of the matter.

People lie for various reasons – not all of them are malicious, so be delicate and forgiving when you uncover the lie. “I’m sure that you were mistaken” or “you may not quite have understood” are much better approaches than aggressively accusing them of being deliberately misleading. The liars will often be relieved that their lie has been “rumbled” in such an understanding manner, and they will be unlikely to do it again with you anytime soon.

The dilemma comes if someone’s lie does not directly affect you. It may be seen as “meddling” if you get involved, but everyone has a different view. The fact is that most lies will come to light in the end. Living the life of a fraud is never a long-term option, and once one lie is discovered, all the others will be sure to unravel.

To give a recruitment example, there have been lots of high profile examples where the simple matter of lying on a CV has been discovered decades later, yet the outcome has been the same. Loss of trust, loss of reputation and often loss of employment. That person may have been promoted instead of you. How do you feel about their lie? Would you still tell “little white lies” like this yourself?

All lies catch up with you in the end.

Written by Lee Narraway and Edited by Paul Drury

If you would like to discuss this then please get in touch with me and leave your comments:

Lee Narraway

Phone: 01925 747 712 Email: LinkedIn: Website:

Can You See the Light? The Danger Of Hope

Hope is a complicated feeling

It can keep you going through tough times, a ray of light behind the clouds to hint at a brighter future. It helps you to overcome obstacles and learn the painful lessons that lie on the path to your goal. Your belief in your hope inspires others to believe in their dreams – it is contagious, and one of the most uplifting feelings that you can experience.

Lights recruitment

However, not wanting to burst the bubble, when hope is irrational, it can also be one of the most limiting feelings that you can experience. It can hold you back at the vital moment when you need to change something, and paralysis can swiftly ensue. Just crossing your fingers and hoping for the best makes you feel good, but sometimes, unless you act to make things happen, your desired outcome is unlikely to come to pass.

Hope is not a strategy when something needs to change

Don’t get me wrong, persistence and hope are still the source of much that is good in the world. However, after a certain number of attempts, when persistence seems to be failing, experimentation has to kick in.

Edison famously invented the light bulb after 10,000 “successful failures.” I might doubt the number involved, but I don’t doubt that he made slight changes to the formula after a few attempts at each iteration. He might have sat in his lab, crossing his fingers for every individual attempt, but it won’t have been his only strategy. It was a scientific certainty that if he tried for long enough, in enough different ways, that he would eventually achieve success. He did.

So, in short, I agree that there is virtue in “try, try and trying again” but the wisest people understand the point when the same action is not going to bring about a different result.

It takes real courage to abandon hope in a certain direction and place your hope in a new one. When you have done this (successfully) a few times, you realise that changing the focus of your hope does not make it any less powerful – with every “new” hope, your resolve becomes stronger.

The danger of hope is when it becomes tired and weak. That is when hope can become destructive. If you have spent years “hoping” for a certain outcome, but never changing anything to make it happen, it can have a knock-on effect on the rest of your life. You stop believing in hope altogether, and the other areas of your life start to suffer. A person with no hopes and dreams lives a life of emptiness.

Candidates jobs

Every now and again, I see a candidate come into the room who is obviously on the verge of giving up. They have often been “hoping” for too long, but not doing enough about it. I try to help them with a different course of action.

In a job search, as in life, you have to invest your hopes wisely.

Written by Lee Narraway and Edited by Paul Drury

If you would like to discuss this then please get in touch with me and leave your comments:

Lee Narraway

Phone: 01925 747 712 Email: LinkedIn: Website:

Is Your Boss Holding You Back?

No matter what we do in life or at work, there is nearly always an amount of headroom for further growth. It is human nature to want to become better versions of ourselves – the question is whether our bosses are happy to facilitate this. Maybe they feel that their position may be threatened? Maybe they are just so comfortable with you in your role that they don’t want to let you spread your wings?

Boss with employee

The responsibility to do the “right thing” by an employee is a great one, but for a certain type of employee, the irreplaceable type, for some bosses it is tempting to keep them in the fold for as long as possible. Of course, these are among the worst types of bosses, but I hear more than my fair shares of stories like this.

Sometimes the boss gets too comfortable. They know that you do a good job and wish to maintain the status quo. The hassle of replacing you and training the new starter would be significant, so they use a number of tactics to stall proceedings.

I am writing this article to shine a light on a few of these measures, and if you feel that you are in a similar situation, you need to give your future with this boss some serious thought.

They belittle you

They will only praise you up to the point that they fear that you might leave. Then little by little they will start to plant seeds of doubt in your mind.

Any opportunity is taken to magnify your weaknesses and tell you how lucky you are that they are so forgiving. Classic bullying tactics.

They limit participation

Where before they may have maximized your impact on their department and ensured that you got involved in as many projects as possible, now they attempt to take you out of the limelight. If you are less visible to the business, then you are less likely to be promotion material.

If you don’t work with anyone outside of your core team, you won’t be building any relationships that could provide leverage for an upwards move.

Reduced responsibility

They will ensure that your job responsibilities are limited to what suits them best. You will stop developing, and your career will come to a standstill. It will be enough for your boss, but it won’t be enough for you.

It is not that they don’t trust you; they are scared to trust you.

Your reviews get worse

Suddenly, on paper you don’t seem like the ideal employee. Your boss uses every opportunity for constructive criticism, and there is seemingly little to celebrate. You know that this doesn’t reflect reality, but his view still carries a lot of weight.

If one of more of these things start to happen and you feel that your boss is unjustly maneuvering to keep you “in your place”, you have two choices. Mention the situation to HR or a higher power, or think about leaving the company altogether.

The one thing that you definitely shouldn’t do is nothing.

If you would like to discuss this then please get in touch with me and leave your comments:

Lee Narraway

Phone: 01925 747 712 Email: LinkedIn: Website:

Should I Quit my Job?

picture quote about quit your job

NO well not yet anyway.

Obviously in my role within recruitment this is a common question that many of my friends and associates ask me.

I always answer with the same response.

Take some time to think about how you feel and write a list.

Look at the black and white elements of your thoughts but more importantly list the 'grey' elements that are maybe not so obvious, the things that make the days and hours pass happily or the reasons for the gloom you may feel.

Following this have a think about what the common causes are, is it you! by leaving and joining another company are you just moving the problem?

And I guess the most important part, think about how you feel on a good day AND a bad day as you may just have the Monday blues.

Changing jobs is not something to take lightly, you spend a whole lot of time at work and it has to be something you enjoy as much as possible after all the secret to not working is finding a job you love.

If you're speaking to a recruiter then make sure they earn their money by talking in detail about how the potential job will benefit you and your family, what's in it for you and the employer?

What is the potential culture like and how will I fit in to it as there is nothing worse than starting a job and having huge regret.

I left one of my jobs after 18 years, it hurt....a lot. This was to be expected really as having been in one place for 18 years I was never going to have the same relationship with a new company so make sure you think in context about the future and the role you may be looking at.

When I look back it was absolutely the right thing for me to do but I shouldn't have been surprised that I had regrets at the time, its natural to an extent but can be mitigated by taking the time to think.

Good luck and if you need help making that decision then give me a call and leave your comments:

Lee Narraway

Phone: 01925 747 712