Ready for a new challenge? Ten reasons to change your career.

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Since 2019, the world has been rocked by change on a monumental scale.  The trinity of pandemic, environmental issues and technological innovation have made us question everything. Post Covid-19 and pre metaverse, we seem surrounded by fear, anger and ambivalence. Some do nothing – denial is a strategy of sorts.

Others react in a knee-jerk way to regain control, with quick fixes providing a semblance of normality. Yet, by looking at the crisis through a more positive lens, this might just be the opportunity we’ve all been waiting for. There’s never been a better time to change your working life.

1.) Moving forward is exciting…

Covid-19 changed our perspective on the world.  It gave us new insights into how we spend our time, made us re-evaluate priorities and consider alternatives to the comfort zones and routines we treasured for their ease.  We began to see possibilities, dared to dream and wondered why we hadn’t questioned the status quo before.  Now that we’ve all had a chance to try a different way of living, why wouldn’t we want to keep all the best bits and reinvent our working life in your next career?

A recent report by Personia suggests that 38% of employees across the UK and Ireland are doing just that and expect to change careers within the next year or once the economy has strengthened.  That’s four out of every ten employees.

This rises to a staggering 55% in the 18-34 years category, who typically have had less job stability during the pandemic.  It seems there has been a collective realisation – life is short and we need to make the most of it.

This ‘awakening’ is shifting power in our workplaces too.  Good employers always knew that their staff were their biggest assets and treated them accordingly.  Those who didn’t, now face a reckoning as employees begin to hold them accountable for bad practices and poor conditions.  Companies that thrived during the pandemic, did so because their staff felt supported and empowered.  They adapted.  Those who didn’t now face two challenges – to win back customers and employees.  Exciting times lie ahead.

2.) Jobs are changing…

In the Victorian era, workers were cogs for predominately factory-based jobs.  Schools trained children in the skills demanded by employers – a model still visible today in various forms – think hierarchies, fixed hours and lack of autonomy.  Change was seen as difficult and unnecessary.

The recent worldwide experiment with flexible and remote work has proved that there are multiple ways to do most jobs.  As the future-of-work paradigm shift continues, options that are sustainable, equitable, and humane will be essential if organisations are to thrive.  Employers are making intentional changes to promote inclusion, giving employees an opportunity to reset expectations of what their work involves, as well as how and where they will do it. Hybrid working may be in its infancy but there’s no doubt it’s here to stay.

Those employers who have been unable or unwilling to consider reframing work, have triggered a new movement – the great resignation.  According to the UK government website, between August and October ’21 there were over a million job vacancies across the UK.

These are not just Millennials and Generation Z’s choosing to leave jobs that no longer meet their expectations, but senior level employees and CEOs recognising that climbing the career ladder in its current form, is no longer aspirational.

Some employees are taking it a step further through the rapidly growing anti-work movement, a rebellion against employee exploitation and the widening inequalities the pandemic has caused.  Tens of thousands now visit the r/antiwork group daily on Reddit.  Half of the million plus followers, joined since October 2021.  How this will reshape the working environment is yet to be seen, but companies are definitely taking note.  You, the employee, have power and choice.

3.) Your skills are assets no matter where you work or what you do…

Diversity isn’t constrained to areas like gender and religion, it also applies to life experiences and personality. Google X has been one of the first to recognise and benefit from bringing multi-disciplinary teams together.  Recruiting across industries sparks innovation and is good for both business and the workforce as a whole but it’s still a relatively new concept.

Employment taboos are disappearing.  Where once a gap on your CV or a few years of job hopping would have set alarm bells ringing, employers are now waking up to the fact that serious organisational changes need employees with different mindsets.  Shopping for skills rather than past industry experience widens the potential candidate pool.

Business challenges can be addressed more easily by those who are new to a company and not constrained by knowledge of what’s gone before or how things are expected to be done. Thinking about skills rather than employment history creates opportunities.  Going forward we should expect job descriptions to place more emphasis on areas like problem solving, creativity, curiosity and flexibility.  What do you bring to the table?

4.) You can always go back…

Finding a new job was traditionally the fastest way to secure a pay rise or gain a promotion, yet often employees followed this path due to necessity rather than desire.  Many later returned to their previous companies having discovered that the grass isn’t always greener.

Going back, can signal victory rather than defeat and is undoubtedly a measure of company loyalty.  Knowing how you’ll fit with the culture and having realistic expectations about the demands of the job, can go a long way to balancing work and life goals.  Returning to a prior employer is a viable way to make progress, especially as you’re more likely to have negotiated your position and salary second time around.

Companies who welcome staff back, know that their new hires will get up to speed quickly and make a positive impact because their skills, though now augmented, are already trusted.  Everybody wins.

5.) It’s easier than ever to have a dual career, or a side hustle…

Those who were furloughed or found themselves working from home for the first time, seem to have had an epiphone moment as leisure and work collided. Driven online, they began to notice and use apps and sites that not only increased work productivity but encouraged rating and measuring down time too (e.g. Goodreads and Letterboxd).  In a world seemingly out of control, taking charge of activities that bring satisfaction has led many to monetise their hobbies, discover new passions and create opportunities that otherwise would never have arisen.

A study by Beauhurst shows the average age of UK start up founders by region.  Across the board it’s the 30-39 age group leading the way, which could mean there are a lot of ‘middle managers’ jumping out of the workforce, but ‘olderpreneurs’ (40+) are not far behind.

Retirement for many has lost its appeal.  Work matters and positively impacts all other areas of life, so whether it’s testing ideas by starting an Etsy business, trying some freelance or enrolling in an online course, the time is ripe for reassessing how your ‘day job’ can better support your future hopes.

6.) Age no longer matters…

Skilled workers come in many forms.  In the film The Intern, Robert De Niro plays a 70 year old intern working with a much younger boss (Anne Hathaway).  No spoilers here, but let’s just say it’s good for all.  While the word ‘internship’ might make you think of a recent graduate, it’s now more likely to be used to cover any kind of short-term, non-binding work arrangement and it’s gaining popularity as a way to get people back to work when they’ve taken time out to raise a family or deal with a personal issue.

For many roles, age doesn’t matter but experience, work ethic and years of ‘know-how’, always do.  Those re-entering the workforce tend to be team players and are highly motivated to make a positive impact.  For them, the opportunity to learn new skills and regain confidence in their existing abilities is a big motivator.  Employers gain a boost to diversity and the added bonus of potential mentoring and guidance that comes from hiring someone who has ‘been there, done that.’

At the other end of the scale, bringing young talent into companies offers fresh perspective and new ways to think about business, as well as insights for reaching potentially untouched audiences. Younger generations add diversity now and can be shaped as future leaders. It all comes back to organisations looking beyond traditional recruitment norms, to prioritise cultural fit and skills.

7.) Aim for job satisfaction…

Study after study has shown that the most productive people in a company are those who find the work most enjoyable. HR departments call it job satisfaction and it’s seen when employers provide their teams with engaging work, respect, praise and recognition, fair compensation and motivation.  If pandemic life has taught us anything, it’s that we all need a sense of purpose.  Finding that has benefits not just for the job but for mental health and overall well-being too.

Happy employees are productive employees.  A recent study by Deloitte suggests that cultivating workforce passions is the best way for companies to sustain their performance and develop resilience for the years ahead, so it’s great news for both employer and employee.

8.) Find a job you love and you’ll never work again…

Being happy is the first step to doing anything successfully.  Those who are most fulfilled are often working in or creating businesses that play to their strengths and the rise in kitchen table entrepreneurs over the last two years, has shown an appetite for making, rather than taking jobs.

Many of todays household names started as hobbies.  Companies like eBay, Harley Davidson and Spanx all started because their founders felt passionate about a cause and even Amazon has come a long way from the online bookseller it once was.

Those with ideas to share with the world should look for ways to test their thinking through freelance work, volunteering or running it as a side project before giving up their day jobs.  Where you’ve been (i.e. your career so far), doesn’t have to dictate where you’re going.

9.) What do you want others to know about you?

Gone are the days when CV’s were the only way to communicate your worth.  According to Kinsta 87% of recruiters now use LinkedIn during the hiring process and many are also influenced by what they can find on social media. Potential recruiters get more of an idea of a candidate in a 60-second video than from a lengthy resume.

Companies like Unilever are adding body language to the mix, by tapping into the power of AI to match graduates to roles within their businesses. Applicants are asked to film their answers to questions that pop up on their computer screen. The videos are then scanned by algorithms, which analyse the words used, how confidently the sentiment is expressed and how concisely the argument is presented.  Such holistic recruiting makes it easier than ever to show your best self.

10.) Stay in your old job but make sure it works for you…

Not everyone wants to a new career.  In uncertain times, the security of a known employer can provide stability, yet even in this scenario there’s scope to improve working life.  Renegotiating responsibilities and pay to ensure the resignation of colleagues doesn’t create excess workloads might be a first step.  There could also be opportunities to mentor new hires, gain additional skills and find other opportunities as inevitable restructuring takes place.

The rules of work are being redrawn as employees realise they have more power now than they had before.  Nike and LinkedIn recently gave all employees a week’s paid leave to help alleviate some of the strains of working through Covid-19 and more examples of companies showing empathy are sure to follow, as they seek to attract and retain the best talent.

As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus is credited with saying, “change is the only constant in life” – but it’s often the response to change which separates success from failure.

Denholm Associates have been advising and placing future-fit talent for more than two decades and our reputation depends on our hires. We can help you find the work-life balance you need. Get in touch on 03303 359 818 today.

ZOE LUMSDEN

Recruitment AdministratoR

Zoe joined Denholm in 2022 as Recruitment Administrator, after working in administration roles for nearly a decade. Most recently within the recruitment industry, she joins us with experience of supporting consultants, clients and candidates at all levels. Zoe has a passion for helping people and applies her positive attitude and approachable manner to support our team and deliver the best possible service to our clients and candidates at all times.

Our Purpose

Our aim is to combat illicit online trade by identifying and removing counterfeits for sale. Counterfeits not only damage brands, their reputations, and revenues, but can cause significant harm to the end customer – whether as a fake toy or a fake medicine – and the consequences can be life threatening.

Counterfeiting is a significant economic and social issue.

The OECD reports that counterfeit and fake goods make up more than 3.3% of the world’s global trade. Those involved in the trade of counterfeits have been linked to people trafficking, prostitution, and drug dealing.

As such, reducing illicit trade is about much more than brand protection but also about human rights, safety, and social equity.

And this is what we do, every day.

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Communication Lead

We’re a passionate and professional team who thrive in issue-rich environment and we’re looking to add a Communication Lead to our fast-growing team. You’ll be a trusted advisor to clients across several sectors in all aspects of communication, external affairs, marketing and issues management. Coming from an agency or consultancy environment, at Account Director level or above, you’ll report directly to the Managing Director and be responsible for a small and busy multi-disciplinary team. You’ll have first-class project management skills, be solutions-driven and excellent commercial acumen too. Alongside the senior team, you’ll work to drive the strategic growth of Aspect.

Your core duties will include:

  • Working with the MD to develop and deliver growth strategies 
  • Attracting and retaining profitable clients across a range of sectors 
  • Leading the creation and execution of strategic communication programmes
  • Inspiring, leading and developing multi-disciplinary teams
  • Developing strong relationships with clients, colleagues and associates
  • Producing high quality pitches and proposals to secure new business 
  • Curating, nurturing and managing a team of talented associates.

You’ll be a skilled communicator, interested and knowledgeable about the key issues shaping the external environment. In addition, to be considered for this role, you must be able to demonstrate:

  • 7+ years of senior leadership experience within an agency or consultancy
  • Experience in Energy, Renewables, Financial Services or Life Sciences would be very desirable
  • Outstanding writing skills and the ability to engage and excite an audience
  • An impressive track record of client attraction, retention and growth 
  • The ability to thrive fast-paced environment managing multiple projects simultaneously
  • Strong influencing and leadership skills to motivate and inspire those around you
  • Excellent planning, evaluation and project management skills
  • To develop new processes, systems and ways of working to drive performance

Communication Advisors

We’re a passionate and professional team who thrive in issue-rich environment and we’re looking for Senior Communication Advisors, Communications Advisors and Communications Executives to join their fast-growing team. 

You’ll have previous agency experience at Senior Account Manager or Account Manager level and be passionate about delivering excellent results for clients. You might be a specialist in PR and media relations who produces compelling editorial content across a range of topics and sectors or you might be a public affairs expert who understands the policy landscape and helps clients build influential relationships. Whatever your specialism, you’ll be an excellent writer, full of creative ideas, with proven client management experience and the ability to provide expert advice our clients.

Your key duties will include:

  • Supporting the key account lead with day-to-day client liaison, providing strategic counsel on day-to-day account matters when required
  • Active involvement in planning and delivering global PR, marketing and digital campaigns
  • Managing content programmes, including mapping out content themes, spotting industry trends and story angles, writing copy when required which may include opinion articles, web and social
  • Building strong media relationships, creating pitches based on your story ideas and delivering content in-to suit the client’s target media and securing opportunities
  • Planning and running client’s social media programmes, and management of their channels
  • Continuously identifying opportunities to grow brand awareness and profile our client’s businesses within their target sector through events, webinars, thought leadership
  • Producing comprehensive and timely reports on client activity 
  • Supporting in the development of client proposals to help grow or win parts of the business


In addition, to be considered for this role, you must be able to demonstrate:

  • Proven background in account handling and direct client liaison – 4 years’ minimum
  • Experience in an agency setting focusing on B2B communication or PR
  • Strong communications skills, verbal and written
  • A background in delivering creative, digitally led B2B communications such as LinkedIn campaigns
  • An innate understanding of earned media, with the ability to create stories and generate coverage across traditional media, digital and social
  • Experience working on content management programmes, with an awareness of the changing way business audiences consume information and an appreciation of search, paid and wider customer marketing activity, and how it all fits together
  • A history of working with clients in a variety of sectors is welcomed but experience in the tech and energy industries is advantageous.

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DATA ENGINEER

Our People

Our people are our most important asset, and their mental well-being and happiness are core to our success. We love our diverse workforce, actively embrace flexible working (even pre-pandemic!) and encourage a healthy work-life balance. We have been recognised as one of the most diverse SME workplaces in the UK and are holders of the Scottish Business Pledge which exists to promote a fairer Scotland. We have also just been included in the 2021 Culture Leaders Top 25 – an accolade of which we are very proud!

We are a fully inclusive and nurturing employer and, despite being in tech, the majority of our team are women, leading to accolades in the Computing Magazine Women in IT Awards and the Amazon Growing Business Awards. We currently represent 15 nationalities and speak 20 languages. Age is no barrier, and we recruit for attitude, providing and encouraging appropriate learning and training for each and every role.

We are also proud members of IP Inclusive, a network of professionals working to make the intellectual property industry more diverse.

DREW GILLIES

SENIOR CONSULTANT - AGENCY

Drew arrived at Denholm as an award-winning creative, having headed content strategy teams for marketing/advertising agencies in the UK/USA before a successful career in HR, people and culture. He has years of marketing experience and building teams on both sides of the Atlantic, priding himself on going the extra mile for clients and candidates alike. Drew always works with passion as our specialist in account management, planning and strategy, digital marketing, full-spectrum creative and traffic/studio management.

Our Environment

We deliver purpose-driven work from an extremely welcoming environment near the City Centre. We actively encourage the responsible use of resources, from using public transport to reuse, recycling, and, of course, a minimal impact office environment. We have benefited from the advice of the Energy Saving Trust and Resource Efficient Scotland. Our waste contractor also provides us with a monthly report on volumes and types of material and the carbon emissions avoided through recycling.

Over 80% of our employees can walk or cycle to The Lair and, pre-pandemic, 10% were using public transport as their normal daily commuting mode. Without doubt, online meetings will replace considerable miles, going forward, saving resources, time and energy. Where possible, when possible, the train remains our preferred option. 

Our Community

As well as working in close collaboration with our clients, and the online marketplaces, we are active members of groups that have been established to combat illicit trade. These include the Scottish Anti-Illicit Trade Group, the European Intellectual Property Office, The Scottish Business Resilience Centre, the Anti-Counterfeiting Group, and the China Britain Business Council. Members of our senior management sit on the boards of ACID (Anti-Copying in Design), the Scottish Ministerial Trade Board, and the European Union Intellectual Property Office’s Observatory Panel for SMEs, amongst others.

Each team member nominates good causes or charities that are supported on both an individual and corporate basis. Wherever possible, we support the employee’s involvement whether through time or fundraising events.

ANGELA MCCANN

DIRECTOR OF GROWTH

Having worked in the recruitment industry since 2000, Angela brings a wealth of experience as a Recruitment Professional and a proven track record of delivering a high-quality search and selection service to both public and private companies in the UK and internationally. Angela believes in a partnership approach to recruitment, ensuring a detailed understanding of employer/jobseeker requirements and delivering a bespoke service underpinned by professionalism, pragmatism and strong market knowledge.

JAMES BLYTH

HEAD OF MANUFACTURING & ENGINEERING

James has a decade of experience within the FMCG sector where he has partnered with a wide range of businesses placing key appointments at all levels including Director/ Board level. Driving growth across our Manufacturing & Engineering function, James specialises in Production, Operations, Engineering, Quality, HSE, Technical, NPD and Supply Chain. With his passion and expertise in these areas, James supports candidates and clients by working closely to understand their needs and wants providing exceptional service.

ANDY MACEWAN

HEAD OF TECHNOLOGY, CHANGE & TRANSFORMATION

Andy has been recruiting in Technology, Change & Transformation since 2001. Delivering tailored resource solutions as trusted advisor to clients ranging from start-ups through to global blue-chip organisations across contract, permanent, fixed term, and managed service/statement of work solutions. He has experience providing candidates for Helpdesk through to CIO and takes great pride in providing excellent customer service and ensuring each candidate journey is a positive one. An expert in his market he can provide guidance across current market trends.

SCOTT CAITHNESS

CLIENT RELATIONSHIP PARTNER

Scott started his career working for one of the leading Advertising & Comms agencies in Edinburgh where he spent 7 years before moving in to recruitment in 2011. As such, he is well-networked in the Marketing & Comms space across Scotland. With a friendly and consultative approach, Scott is genuinely passionate about providing a positive journey to both candidates and clients alike and believes communication plays a big part in this.  A “thinking-outside-the-box recruiter”, he is known for helping candidates portray the best version of themselves and helping clients find talent for those hard to fill roles.

DAVID RANDALL

SENIOR CONSULTANT - MARKETING & SALES

David started recruitment at the age of 23 and while it isn’t for everyone, it was for David. What he really enjoys is looking beyond the CV and really getting to know the people sitting across the table, learning all about them and building relationships with new people. And that hasn’t changed to this day. David loves solving the puzzle of balancing the needs and wants clients and candidates to reach a point where everyone is happy. Based in Glasgow, he covers the B2B market for sales and marketing roles across Scotland.

LIZ PARSONS

SENIOR CONSULTANT - MARKETING

Liz has over 14 years’ experience in recruitment working across primarily the high-tech, pharmaceutical and FMCG sectors. She joined Denholm on December 1st 2021 following a relocation from Ireland to focus on Marketing recruitment. Liz’s experience ranges from high volume recruitment to executive search and she prides herself in her ability to fully understand a brief and her accurate matching skills. Frequently praised as being a clear communicator with a strong customer service ethic, Liz is well suited to the culture here at Denholm, where the client and the candidates’ needs are paramount.

EUAN ARCHIBALD

SENIOR CONSULTANT - Technology, Change & Transformation

Euan has been working in the world of recruitment since 2012, working to deliver bespoke services to both clients and candidates. Prioritising ‘future-fit’ candidates for clients, he works as an extension of his client’s business ensuring great representation in the market. He consults with each client to ensure excellent candidate journeys. Euan works focuses primarily on business analysis, project management and technical support opportunities.

CALLUM BEVERIDGE

SENIOR CONSULTANT - TECHNOLOGY, CHANGE & TRANSFORMATION

Callum has been working in recruitment since 2018 where he has solely focussed on the Technology, Change and Transformation market across the UK and ROI. He works closely with his clients and candidates to build long-lasting relationships across several industries, including Technology, Financial Services, Professional Services, Healthcare, Education, Public Sector and more. He specialises in engineering roles across Software, Infrastructure, Systems, DevOps and Cloud, along with Software Testing.

OPTIMISE

CVs and interviews will take you to Level 2. Our behavioural profile will take you to Level 3, vital to identifying future potential.

LEVEL 1

Appears to...

  • Appearance
  • Expressiveness
  • Manner
  • Presence

LEVEL 2

Can do...

  • Knowledge
  • Acquired skills
  • Training
  • Experience
  • Education
  • Credentials

LEVEL 3

Will do...

  • Capability to learn
  • Aptitude
  • Attitude
  • Self-motivation
  • Stability
  • Persistence
  • Maturity
  • Temperament
  • Behaviour patterns