CAT | Advice



Things to Consider Before you Accept a Job Offer

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It’s really difficult to get a job offer, so if you’re currently reading this pondering over an opportunity, then congratulations! It’s no mean feat to get through all the application stages to land that offer. In most cases, accepting the offer is not something you should do lightly, it’s usually perfectly acceptable to ask your prospective employer for a couple of days to mull it over, to make sure you’ve considered it fully.

You might be wondering what you should be thinking about, you know the role and have met the team? Well, there are a whole host of things to consider to ensure you’ll be truly happy in your new role.

Go back over the role

Reassess the job description, and your potential roles and responsibilities. Make sure it’s exactly what you anticipated, and that your day to day expectations of the role aligns with the offer letter.

Do the expected office hours work with your schedule? How will your performance be appraised? Ensure you consider these different aspects of the role itself, and you feel that you’ll produce your best work under these conditions.

Work Out Your Commute

Commuting is one of the most important aspects to consider. Would you be able to walk, or use public transport? If you do need to drive, what is the best route to get there? Your day can be extended by an hour or more if traffic is much worse than you are used to, so make sure it’s a commitment you’re happy to make. It could be useful to do something of a test run if you don’t know the area, so that you know how long it will take. Nobody wants to be late on the first day after all!


Clearly, a big factor when considering a job offer is the salary and benefits package. Do some research to make sure that similar positions in the area are paid at the same rate. One main thing to check is if you’ll need a season ticket or to pay for car parking if you weren’t previously. This could leave you spending more, even with a pay rise.

Working Environment

Something to consider when selecting your new workplace is the layout of the office, and where you will spend most of your time. Will you have a designated desk, or will people tend to meet in other parts of the office. Make sure the culture fits and aligns with you. Have a look at the social media pages to get an idea of what working there might be like, before you the plunge.

Ask Yourself

It’s exciting to get a job offer, but make sure the role excites you as well. Think about the role from a long term perspective, try to take a job that you can see yourself staying in for a few years. Making sure you have the intention to commit to it for that long will help you to think positively, and settle in quicker.

Asking yourself these questions will give you a much better idea of whether the job is right for you. It’s important to consider as much as you can, and make a note of the pros and cons, ensuring you only take a role you’re sure is right for you.

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A Guide to Living and Working in Colchester

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Colchester is a historic market town, with close proximity to the capital and the coast. Colchester has existed in the same site since the Bronze Age, and has laid claim to being Britain’s oldest town. For a time it was the Roman capital of Britain, with the sites of amphitheatres and chariot racing tracks being found in the town.

A major landmark that still stands is Colchester Castle, a largely complete Norman castle from 1100 AD. The Castle Park hosts festivals and events throughout the year, and provides a green space to walk around in the centre of town. Staying with the town’s history, the Hollytrees museum exhibits local artefacts, and is free to enter.

The Red Lion Yard Shopping Centre is in the middle of the town, and hosts all the established high street brands. The surrounding streets are home to a variety of independent stores, so there is something for everyone. There are loads of independent and chain restaurants in the centre, so you will never be short of choice.

There is a Cinema, indoor rollerblading centre and family swimming centre conveniently located in the town, if you fancy something outside of the history. In terms of sport, the local football team, Colchester United, are an established football league club.

Our Branch

We’re located right in the town centre, within the Red Lion Yard Shopping Centre, just a 5-minute walk from the Colchester Town train station.

Ambitions Personnel
6 Red Lion Yard
Lion Walk Shopping Centre

Tel: 01206 560523

Ambitions Personnel Jobs in Colchester

Job opportunities in Colchester and the surrounding area are very varied. From temporary roles in Factory, Warehousing and Driving amongst others, to permanent opportunities in a whole range of industries including Engineering, Sales and Production.

The average starting salary for an admin role in the area is well above the national average, sitting between £18-£22k per year.

Getting Around

Colchester is only 45 minutes away from London by train, and with two stations in the town it’s easy to get anywhere. The A12 runs on the outskirts of the town, and can take you to London by car. Buses and Coaches run to Clacton, Ipswich, Chelmsford and Cambridge. The coast is only 15 miles away, so a day beside the seaside is always an option.

House Prices / Rent

2 Bedroom properties are available from around £130,000, and the average rent is around £700 per month for a 2 bed house/flat. The rental price is mainly due to the proximity to London, but with salaries above the national average as well, the cost of living is in line with much of the UK.

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5 Top Tips to Calm Pre-Interview Nerves

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The first face-to-face interview is the most nerve-wracking process of any job hunt. You’ve prepared and are confident that you’re right for the role, but suddenly, as the minutes tick down you’re getting more and more anxious. There are things you can do to help though, even if it’s just a few minutes before, to ease the pressure and give yourself the best possible chance.

The S-T-O-P Method

A mental trick to help with a variety of situations, not just interviews.

  • Stop what you’re doing and focus on your thoughts.
  • Take a few deep breaths.
  • Observe what’s going on in your body, emotions, and mind, and why you’re feeling them.
  • Proceed with an intention to incorporate what you observed in your actions.

This is simply promoting the idea of taking a step back. Instead of letting your nerves be the only thing you can focus on, try to think what aspect of the interview is causing them; and what you can do to reduce your nerves.

It’s not a Test

Interviews are not an exam, you are not expected to remember everything about your career and recall it when asked. Take everything you need with you on a ‘cheat sheet’. Have a list of your biggest accomplishments, the names of the interview panel, the questions you’d like to ask at the end. The fear of forgetting something will be removed, allowing you to focus on what you want to say.

Make a Plan for After

Give yourself something to look forward to after it’s all done, so you can focus on this instead of the nerves. Go for a meal, some retail therapy, see a movie, anything to reward yourself for putting in the effort and plucking up the courage to go.

Open Up

Body language is really important in interviews. Studies have even shown that having your hands in sight, rather than below the desk, makes you seem more honest and approachable. Make eye contact with the interviewer, and sit up in your chair. These are a couple of easy things to practice that naturally give you a more confident posture.

Believe in yourself!

There is a reason your application has made it this far, the employers like your CV and if you’ve had a phone interview before, you impressed them at that stage as well! Think positive and tell yourself that you’re good enough for the role.

If you have an interview coming up, we wish you the best of luck. If you found that one of these or another trick worked for you, let us know in the comments!

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A Guide to Living and Working in Mansfield


Mansfield is Nottinghamshire’s biggest market town, with over 100,000 people in the local area it is a bustling and busy environment with plenty to see and do.

Within the town there is the Four Seasons Shopping Centre, with 54 stores including some of the country’s major retailers. If you’re still in need of some retail therapy, then the East Midlands Designer Outlet is a short drive away.

Outside of shopping, Mansfield is home to myth and legend. The Major Oak, home of Robin Hood, is within Sherwood Forest just a 10 minute drive from the town centre in Edwinstowe. Within the same area, Sherwood Pines houses 3300 acres of forest for the public to discover. The Go Ape Tree Top Adventure is also in the forest, for those who want a thrill in their forest exploration. The centre point of the forest is marked by a giant metallic feather on Westgate within the town itself.

The town has all the main attractions you’d expect from somewhere of its size. There is a cinema and a theatre which stages a variety of different events incorporating dance, drama and music. The local football team, Mansfield Town are battling for promotion in League 2. The town has teams in Rugby and Basketball and is nationally famous for swimming; thanks to the double gold medal success of town resident Rebecca Adlington in the 2008 Olympics.

Our Address

Ambitions Personnel
30 Leeming Street
NG18 1NE

Ambitions Personnel Jobs in Mansfield

We have a wide variety of roles both Temp and Perm within the town. So whatever you’re looking for there is something to match your requirements. There are regularly roles available in Engineering, Production, Warehousing, Sales and Customer Service to name just a few. Temporary vacancies are plentiful, and mainly within manufacturing and warehouse environments.

In terms of average pay rates, for an office based Admin role in the town salaries are around £18k per annum. Temporary work in industrial environments is often paid at the minimum wage but can attract a premium for overtime.

Getting Around

Mansfield has recently undergone a regeneration of its transport centres. The new bus station cost £11m and has links to all the surrounding towns and villages, you can even go as far as Derby and Nottingham. The railway station is also linked with an enclosed footbridge, meaning that all the towns transport links are in one area.

House Prices / Rent

The average house price in Mansfield is £152,241, with 2 bed properties averaging around £100,000. Rents in Mansfield for a 2 bed house are around £460 per month.


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Take Your Weekend Back

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According to a recent survey, an estimated 76% of workers suffer from the ‘Sunday evening blues’ at the end of the weekend. It seems that most people are wrapped up in work mode, checking emails, and generally putting themselves back in the mental state that they occupy for most of the week.

Whereas around a quarter of workers are out there enjoying their weekends to the max, so what are they doing differently? Read on to find out.

It starts on Friday

Give yourself more chance to enjoy the weekend, make sure you leave the office on Friday where you are completely organised. Try to finish as much as possible, rather than leaving it for Monday. As you prepare to leave the office on Friday, create a to-do list for the following Monday. Leave the office with nothing on your mind, ensuring that there’s nothing to make you anxious about returning.

Think Positive

One of the crucial things to avoid is thinking about the amount of work you have to do on Monday. People who still have the freedom in their weekends are able to stop these thoughts. They remind themselves how well they’ve managed this workload in the past. So rather than focussing on what could go wrong, they remembered what went right.


There can often be this weight of expectation that your day of relaxing is Sunday. So if Sunday is busier than planned, and you’re running errands all day, it can leave you even more exhausted when the working week arrives. The solution is to ensure you have at least a couple of hours to wind down every night, reducing the burden of relaxing for just one day a week.

Work out the issues

If you are experiencing a feeling of unease on Sunday then it’s important to work out why you might be feeling this way. Is your commute always stressful? Have you got an intense workload every Monday? What’s the environment like at work? If you can identify the issues and what’s causing them, you’ll have more opportunity to reduce them.

If you’ve tried everything on this list and nothing seems to be helping, it may be a sign that you need to look for a new role. We’ve got loads of advice on CV’s, job searching and interviews. Once you’re all set, you can have a look at all our roles here


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Common Job Search Mistakes

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New Year, new you, new job? – For many people, this is the time of year where their targets and aims are re-evaluated, and it can lead to a change in career. So, if you are looking for a new opportunity, you’ll be looking at resources like our website to find a new role. To give you the best chance of finding your dream role, we’ve compiled some of the most common mistakes that job hunters make when searching, so you can avoid them.

Consider what’s really important

If you’re looking for a new role, then there will be a variety of reasons why you have decided to start searching. It’s often helpful to write down the 5 most important things that you need from a new role. This can be anything from core responsibilities to flexible working or even on-site parking, anything that you cannot do without in your new role. This will help narrow your search, giving you a better chance of success with your application, and making the role more aligned to your aims.

You need to stand out

Tailor your CV and Cover Letters to each application. Taking the time with each application will save you time in the long run. Most people take a scattergun approach to applications, sending so many that it’s impossible for them to have a good understanding of the role if they are shortlisted for an interview. By taking the time to write tailored applications for roles you really want, you’ll have a good chance of standing out straight away.

Being too vague

Not only is it essential that you tailor your CV to the position/company, but you also need to ensure that your message is clear. Try and get across the value that you will add to the business, what your primary skills are and how they match the role.


If you’ve sent an online application and not heard anything for a few days, then there’s no harm in contacting the employer to find out more. Ideally ring the employer, or at least an email, to show that you are proactive and genuinely interested in the position.


Everyone will experience being rejected in their search for a role. It’s important to remain positive and ask if they provide specific feedback. Try and learn from it and alter your applications in the future.

By following these simple tips, you’ll be in a much better position to apply for the right roles to suit your requirements. All of our opportunities can be found here. Did they help? Let us know in the comments below!

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A Guide to Living and Working in Derby

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Derby is a thriving city in the East Midlands with some of the country’s finest rural environments neighbouring it. The city itself is home to 250,000 people, with over 1,500,000 living in the surrounding area.
In terms of shopping, the Intu centre attracts over 25 million people each year and has all the major retail names for you to browse. The city also has a diverse array of cuisine across the streets, meaning that there is a great restaurant for whatever you want to try.
Derby also has a prominent cultural status. There are festivals in film, folk music, beer and the international FORMAT photography festival. The cultural impact of the city also extends to sport. The principal sporting club is in football, where Derby County are currently in the mix for promotion to the Premier League. The city also has a professional cricket club, who play in Division 2. For participation, the surrounding Peak District offers a wide variety of climbing, adventure sports and some of the best walking routes in the country, such as the High Peak Trail.
The exploration of the area doesn’t have to stop there, with loads of attractions such as Abraham Heights, Matlock Bath, Chatsworth House, Alton Towers and the Derbyshire Dales. The city is also home to a range of theatres, music venues and art galleries; so there really is something for everyone.

Our Address

Ambitions Personnel
First Floor Offices
56a Babington Lane

Ambitions Personnel Jobs in Derby

Manufacturing is a huge sector in Derby, with 20% of people employed into it. This encompasses rail, aerospace and automotive industries, and we regularly have opportunities available in these areas.

Outside of these specialist manufacturing roles, the food processing industry is a major employer due to Derby’s central location and transport links. Well-known brands such as Moy Park are based in the area and offer a wide variety of opportunities. The transport links extend to nearby East Midlands Airport, with the UK’s second largest freight hub there are thousands of roles in export and postal services.

Office based roles are also prevalent, often in the city centre. Administration roles generally carry a salary of £16k-£18k and can be more, dependent on experience.

Getting Around

As previously mentioned, Derby has notable rail links to the rest of the UK. The network provides direct services to London, Birmingham, Manchester and many others cities. The station is just 15 minutes from our office, so there are loads of opportunities commutable from Derby.

If you’re looking for something closer to the city, then the bus station is only 10 minutes from our branch. There is a comprehensive service around the city and to neighbouring towns.

Derby is also only 15 miles from East Midlands Airport, so trips abroad are easy and accessible.

House Prices

2-bed properties in the city are available from around £80,000 to £120,000. Rent stands at around £420 per month.

Thinking about relocating? Click through to our jobs in Derby here.

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Deskercise: Get More Active at Work

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How dangerous is your job? If you think you’re safe in your comfortable office then it might be time to think again! Recent research has suggested that prolonged periods of sitting can have serious negative impacts on your health, even if you exercise outside of working hours.
Don’t worry, help is at hand, we’ve come up with a list of exercises which you can easily do in and around your office (disclaimer: if it’s painful or feels wrong – don’t do it!) Why not set an alarm to go off every hour as a reminder to move, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes!
Tension building? Try these gentle stretches:

1. Neck Stretches

Sit up tall and drop your right ear down towards your right shoulder. Hold for a few seconds, and repeat on the other side.

2. Shoulder Shrugs

Raise both shoulders towards ears, hold for a few seconds and release.

3. Chest Opener

Press your palms together behind your back and squeeze your shoulder blades together, hold for a few seconds and release.

4. Back Twist

Sit in your chair and place your right hand behind your right hip. Twist to the right side and hold for up to 10 seconds, then gently release and repeat on the other side.

5. Side Stretch

Raise one arm up and over to the opposite side, hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat on the other side.

Feeling a little more energetic? Try these:

6. Star Jumps

Start with your feet together with arms by your sides. Jump and extend both feet out to sides whilst bringing your hands above your head.

7. Leg Lifts

Sitting in your chair with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Raise one leg at a time so it’s straight and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

8. Wall Push-Ups

Place your hands on the wall and push in and out by bending your elbows, using your arms to move your body weight.

9. Wall Sits

With your back to the wall, slide down until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle, hold, and slide up again.

10. Magic Carpet

Sitting on your chair with your legs crossed and feet on your seat, place your hands either side of the chair and use your arms and core to raise yourself up (so your feet and legs are lifted a few inches off your seat), hold, release and repeat.

Every little helps…

11. Take the stairs!

Give the lift a break, and take the stairs (2 at a time!)

12. Walking meetings

Get your colleagues to walk and talk where possible, plus you’ll also reap the benefits of getting some fresh air!

13. Put the phone down!

Instead of emailing or calling, get up and go and see the person you need!

Let us know how you get on!

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Why You Should Be Making Sure You’re Drinking Enough Water

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Our bodies are 60% water and advice from the NHS is that we should be drinking around 6 to 8 glasses of fluid per day, which is around 1.4 to 1.6 litres. Other sources, such as the European Food Safety Authority suggest 2 litres + is the optimum amount. Other factors such as exercise, heat and body size have an impact too. What most people can agree on though, is that water is a cheaper, healthier and easier option than reaching for a soft drink, which can often be laden with sugar and nasties. Are you getting enough? You could be missing out on these potential benefits.

  1. Fewer headaches

Dehydration can cause headaches or even migraines in some people.

  1. Increased energy and less fatigue

Water fuels your muscles, and your performance during your workout could be affected if you aren’t hydrated enough. In addition, it helps prevent injuries as your joints are better lubricated.

  1. It boosts your metabolism

It’s been said that drinking water before a meal can boost how quickly your body burns calories by up to 30%. Another theory is that your body can confuse feeling hungry with being hungry, so by drinking water before a meal might mean you don’t overeat.

  1. It boosts productivity

Our brains are made up of mostly water, so by staying hydrated we can ensure our concentration and memory capacity is optimised.

  1. Improved digestion

Water is important for the removal of toxins and waste from the body, essential for a healthy gut and regular bowel movements.

  1. It boosts your immune system

In addition to flushing out toxins from the body, you’re more likely to get ill if you’re dehydrated.

  1. Gives you good skin

Obviously, water adds moisture to your skin, which can improve skin conditions and can even be a wrinkle-buster!

  1. Puts you in a good mood

If you’re functioning well, you’re going to be feeling good! If your body is in the best condition, you’ll likely look and feel better too.

So how can you make sure you’re getting enough each day? If it’s the taste that’s putting you off, try adding fresh fruit – such as slices of lemon, berries or even cucumber, for flavour. If you’re on the go, buy a reusable bottle to carry around with you and fill up as needed. You can even buy bottles which tell you how much water you should have drank by a certain time to stay on target, or simply set an hourly reminder on your mobile phone.

Have you got a top tip for staying hydrated? Let us know in the comments below.

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A Guide to Living and Working in Newark

Newark Nottinghamshire

Newark-on-Trent is a thriving market town in the East Midlands with a population of circa 35,000, and is located around 20 miles from Nottingham. It stands on the River Trent and on the ancient Great North Road (now the A1), and is a town steeped in history.

One of the most prominent landmarks in Newark is undoubtedly Newark Castle. Partially ruined, its remains and gardens on the banks of the river are a great place to learn more about the town’s history and take in the picturesque views. Another key landmark is the Town Hall, which is also home to the Newark Museum; one of two museums in the town, along with the Civil War Museum.

Newark’s pretty, cobbled Georgian market square is said to be one of the finest in the country, so why not pay a visit on a market day to see it in action? Stalls range from fruit and veg to collectables and antiques. There are some great opportunities for shopping in the rest of the town, with a mixture of high street retail stores and independent retailers.

Newark also offers some great choices for eating out, plenty of cafes and restaurants with a range of cuisine to suit all tastes and budgets.

For evening entertainment, check out what’s on at Newark Palace Theatre. Built in the 1920’s, today it plays host to a range of shows from comedy, dance and live music, including a very popular pantomime in the run-up to Christmas.

Newark Showground is host to the largest antiques fair in Europe and attracts visitors from all over the country and further afield. Held every other month, browsing the 84 acres of stalls is enough to keep anyone busy.

Our Address

Our Newark branch is conveniently located close to all the amenities of the town centre, opposite the main St Mark’s Place multi-storey car park:

21 Lombard Street
NG24 1XG

Tel: 01636 611320

Ambitions Personnel Jobs in Newark

Newark’s excellent transport links make it a first choice for many of the country’s big-name employers, meaning there are plenty of work opportunities available. We recruit for permanent and temporary roles across a wide variety of industries, from warehousing, factory and driving, to office-based roles at all levels, including HR, marketing and accounts.

Entry level roles in industrial sectors such as factory and warehousing are usually paid at the National Minimum Wage / National Living Wage rates, but can sometimes attract a premium for overtime or shifts. Large employers will often use a recruitment agency to help with peaks in demand, and often offer permanent contracts to agency workers.

The average starting salary for an Administrator is between £16,000 and £18,000 per annum.

Getting around

Whilst most of Newark and neighbouring suburbs are accessible on foot, there are buses connecting to the surrounding area and villages, operating out of the town’s new bus station.

Newark is located on two main train routes, the East Coast Main Line which connects London to Scotland, and the busy Leicester – Nottingham to Lincoln line. Newark’s two train stations, Newark Northgate and Newark Castle, are both an easy walk from the town centre. The average journey time to London Kings Cross is just 1hr25mins.

Newark’s close proximity to the A1 makes for easy links to the North and South, with Peterborough and Sheffield both less than an hour’s drive away. The recently improved A46 has reduced journey times to Nottingham in one direction, and to Lincoln in the other.

House Prices / Rent

The average house price in Newark is around £186,347, with a range of period and new build property on the market. Average rental costs currently stand at around £576 per month.


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