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How to be a round peg in a round hole

It is crucial when considering a career move in today’s economic climate (either because the omens look bad at your company or simply due to unforeseen circumstances) that you find the right job.

You must also decide whether to draw up a list of ideal potential employers or whether to leave all your hopes in the hands of a headhunter.

With daily casualties across the retail sector it is easy to consider taking any job, when in your heart you know the culture and the fit is wrong.
So how do you avoid becoming a square peg in a round hole? This year is the most dynamic in terms of recruitment that I have experienced.

Despite an abundance of candidates, the trend is to search for individuals who are the best in class. Tenacity, initiative and complete focus are key attributes. Self-awareness is paramount when identifying what “good” looks like from either the candidate or employer’s point of view. Speed to market and agility are vital to the success of any retailer and are no less key when finding the right appointment or appointee.

Understanding what makes a retailer tick is vital. You need to know – and trust – the DNA of your future employer at least as much as they will be judging you. With many businesses hanging on by a thread, all are looking for the “right person” to help them achieve success.

When intensive interviewing supports gut instinct and a match is found, savvy employers mould the role to suit the individual. This market demands absolute confidence in your decision.

My advice is partner with a headhunter who knows their subject and has the credibility to carve the future, and never compromise.

Lucy Harris is a partner at recruitment firm The Ashton Partnership

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