STAR OPINION: Tales of success to inspire hard graft

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Work hard, take your opportunities and you’ll have every possibility to progress in your career.

That’s what we’re always told: that some elbow grease and a bit of good fortune will allows us to get to a good place in life, as long as we’re willing to put the hours in.

So at a time when job cuts seem to be coming left, right and centre, it’s especially pleasing to be able to report on a couple of such success stories from right here in Sheffield.

Melissa Smith, aged 24, is now an assistant supervisor at a Meadowhall retail store and working towards a Level 3 Apprenticeship – you can read her full, inspiring tale in today’s free Business Weekly pullout.

Another is Natalie Smith, aged 29, who transformed herself from a Saturday girl in a clothes shop to managing a team of 16.

They are both involved with The Source, a Sheffield training centre which helps people move up through the gears in their careers.

Jayne Marsden, aged 51, works at the centre helping people who used to be in her position, after leaving school aged 16 with no qualifications.

She is one of many in the city who have taken on management qualifications in a bid to climb the ladder, and is now passing on the benefit of her considerable experience to others who are in the same position she once was – in entry-level jobs, looking up and daring to dream.

All three are proof that success can come if you work hard enough and make the right choices.

They are also, surely, proof that Sheffield is a city of ambition in every field.

It is simply imperative that we continue to encourage it.

Looking through Business Weekly today, it’s clear that such ambition is rife throughout Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

A digital start-up firm based in Sheffield is set for the big time after striking a deal with one of the world’s largest family history websites.

Then there’s the sports management firm which is using a crowd-funding platform to grow – to name just a couple of examples in today’s Star alone.

It’s tempting to feel glum when news of jobs cuts and funding shortfalls might seem never-ending, which is why it’s so vital to shine a light on the people who have made themselves a success.

It’s a lesson for us all: whatever situation we find ourselves in, if we’re willing to dig our heels in and roll our sleeves up, we CAN make it better.