How strict goal setting helped me accelerate my career


Mary joined ShortList Recruitment 4 years ago and has recently been promoted to UK Recruitment Director. Mary will be responsible for overseeing our UK operations and driving our team to succeed. We chatted with Mary about her career so far and how goal setting has helped her to accelerate in her career.

What has your journey at ShortList been like so far?
Crazy! Full of lot’s of highs and a few lows, as anyone in recruitment will understand. I love my job, the team and it’s been awesome – I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.
Did you always want to be in a management position?
No. The reason I started at ShortList was because I actually got rejected for an internal promotion elsewhere, due to my lack of sales experience. I wanted sales experience and where better to get that, than recruitment? I didn’t start out wanting a management role but naturally I started to move that way and luckily, Giles was very supportive of this and here we are!
What drives/motivates you to keep learning and growing in your career?
I am very goal driven. I haven’t always been that way and I’m not really sure what made me become that way but this is what keeps me on track. Achieving my goals are what motivates me within my career.
What have you learnt to prepare you for the role?
The main thing I have learnt and to be honest, probably still learning, is that I am not always right! I started at ShortList at the age of 22, I was quite confident in areas, but shy in others. One thing I was terrible at was admitting that I was wrong and being told I was wrong. Also, in recruitment you get a lot of rejection. This has majorly toughened me up and has made me the person I am today.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
Helping people to succeed and learn from my mistakes and supporting them when they have their off days. 
Has goal setting been important to you?
Massively! I can’t recommend it enough. I have set goals every year since 2018 and I still have them saved on my phone so I can look back and see how far I have come – it’s a great feeling.
What goals have you set for 2021?
Last year I set a goal to save enough money to buy a house in 2021 but I managed to smash this and I bought my house in October 2020. The house needs a bit of work and I want to put quite a big extension on it. So this year, I am saving for that extension!
What motivates you to set goals?
I think that if you have goals, you have a purpose really. Especially if you don’t have children or anyone financially relying on you. It would be easy for me to sit back and wait for things to come to me, whereas because I have my goal, I can’t afford to coast or else I will fail to achieve it.
Have you changed as an individual?
Definitely, I have become much more resilient and confident too and this has positively impacted my personal life too. I remember when I started, I used to freak out about standing up in front of our small team at the time but nowadays I can run our company meetings with no issues.
What has been the single most rewarding aspect of the last 4 years?
The most rewarding thing for me is smashing my targets each year as this has meant that financially, I have been able to achieve pretty much everything I have wanted to achieve. Also, becoming UK Recruitment Director at 26 years old is pretty cool!