Karren Brady’s career advice from starting over to managers who keep changing their mind

APPRENTICE star and vice-chairperson of West Ham FC Karren Brady answers all your career questions.

Today she gives tips to a woman with few qualifications wanting to start over after a year on sickness benefits and practical advice on how to deal with a manager who keeps changing her mind.

Q: I’ve been on sickness benefits for more than a year, but my health has improved and I’m keen to get back to work.

Before being signed off, I worked in a pub, but now I want a more stable career that has better prospects.

However, bartending is all I know, and I don’t have many qualifications, so starting over is daunting.

Do you have any advice on what I could do, and whether there is financial help for courses to help me move forward?

Ellie, via email

A: Firstly Ellie, I’m pleased you are feeling well and ready to get back to work. A great place to start is to look at joining an apprenticeship scheme, where you can earn and learn at the same time.

You can do an apprenticeship in almost anything, from creative and media to construction and engineering, IT and telecommunications to health and social care – and so much more!

When you have finished your apprenticeship you’ll have a recognised qualification in that field.

You will also have gained real work experience that will teach you how to do the job and take responsibility, which in turn will boost your confidence.

Search for apprenticeship opportunities in your area at Findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk. Alternatively, enrol for free online courses in a variety of subjects at Nationalcareers.service.gov.uk.

You may have to accept that for the first few years, while you get qualified, you may not be earning as much as you would like.

Try to see this period as investing in yourself, because once you are qualified in your chosen field, your earning potential and career prospects are endless. 


Bossing It

BOSSING It is Fabulous’ series about ordinary women who have launched incredible businesses.

It aims to inspire other women and show that if these ladies can do it, so can you!

Read more at Thesun.co.uk/topic/bossing-it.

Q: I’m finding the way my line manager works difficult – but I don’t know how to broach this with her.

She has a scatter-gun approach to everything, whereas I look at things methodically and practically.

She asks me to do things and then later that day will change her mind, meaning I’ve wasted hours of my time. What can I do about this?

Amanda, via email

A: I can sense your frustration, Amanda! You may not be able to choose your boss, but you can work out how to deal with a bad one.

Your manager may not understand how her way of working affects you, so first reach out in a positive way.

Set up a socially distanced meeting or Zoom call, or put things in an email.

Recognise her pressure and workload and say you are reaching out to assist her and get things done in the way she wants and expects.

She has a right to change her mind about what she wants, but suggest you talk through everything before starting the work.

When she sets you a task, send a quick email to clarify you’ve understood and explain how you’ll prioritise things. When she sees in writing that it’s her who keeps changing tasks, she may rethink how she works. 

This also gives you an opportunity to point to specifics of why things aren’t working as smoothly as they should. What you need is clarity on what she wants you to achieve and by when.

Write down how best to plan tasks, starting with a few over the next few weeks so you get into a pattern of planning that becomes second nature to you and, more importantly, to her! 

Compiled by: Claire Frost 

  • Karren cannot answer emails personally. Content is intended as general guidance only and does not constitute legal advice

Source: Read Full Article