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Is modesty getting in the way of our careers?
STRONG business networks and collaborative working are some of the attributes credited to Brighton and Hove’s success.
But could modesty and shyness be getting in the way of individual ambition?
According to a LinkedIn survey, nearly one in five Brighton professionals (19%) shy away from talking about their own achievements in interviews and job interviews.
Meanwhile a third (33%) admit to feeling uncomfortable when networking with people they do not know.
One in five professionals (20%) also admitted feeling uncomfortable connecting with senior people on LinkedIn.
The study, which surveyed 2,000 people, concluded nearly half (49%) of those asked in Brighton believe they have missed out on promotions because of their modesty.
Despite this Brighton was named the top city in the country for job satisfaction, with 85% of respondents in Brighton feeling fulfilled – well above the national average of 76%.
Nearly half (49%) admitted to not having a career plan, despite nearly two thirds (61%) feeling they are in the wrong industry.
Brian Warren, of Quick HR, said: “I’ve noticed in interviews people tend to say ‘we’ rather than talking about themselves, which is often down to modesty.
“You’ve got to sell yourselves, people. Don’t downplay your skills and experience if you want a job.
“I’m happy to see the high rates of job satisfaction and I hope this is because Brighton has such a diverse range of employers, especially all the digital media firms.
“I don’t think it’s unusual that half the people surveyed didn’t have a career plan. Often people are waiting to see what happens.
“It’s best to think about where you’re going though, even if it’s identifying concepts such as a certain income level or role within five years.
“It can also be about lifestyle – let’s face it, there’s so much going on in Brighton that many people don’t want to just work, work, work.”
Caroline Brown, director of Midnight Communications, said: “Are Brighton professionals among the most satisfied in the country? The most self-satisfied I would say.
“And always proud to shout about our achievements while sipping a skinny mocha latte and discussing our excellent work-life balance – until it slips over into the Brighton disease – ‘I only work a four day week but I expect to be paid London wages’.
“At the end of the day I think we all feel fairly satisfied we don’t have to stand on that wretched train all the way to work.”
Nicky Binning, MD of BrightonandHoveJobs.com, said: “Having recently moved from working in the City to working in Brighton, I can say from a personal perspective I’m much happier.
“Not only is there a high degree of professionalism, integrity, ambition and skill but a genuine passion and enjoyment for what they do as well as a sense of pride, achievement and fun.
“I think as a nation we are probably too modest, but to get on in a professional career people have to be able to communicate and sell.
“It doesn’t have to be over the top but just engaging, tell-ing a story and putting in all the best bits. People won’t buy what they don’t know.”
Dan Hawes, co-founder and marketing director of Graduate Recruitment Bureau, said: “I do think some people are too modest on LinkedIn but we are British after all and LinkedIn is an American thing.
“Whilst LinkedIn is a great way to broadcast your professional history and connect with people, it cannot replace personal networks and relationships built through old-fashioned face-to-face contact.
“For graduates with a limited network of school or university contacts this can be challenging.
“So it is crucial to have a strategy that builds on this foundation of contacts whether online or offline.
“We live in a far more connected world where it is no longer a case of six degrees of separation but more likely three.
“We encourage graduates to use this network, think laterally, use a variety of approaches to potential employers and above all, target their applications.”
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