APPRENTICE star and vice-chairperson of West Ham FC Karren Brady answers all your careers questions.
Today she helps out a woman who has no qualifications but wants to change career as well as an employee who missed out on a promotion.
Q. For the past 10 years, I’ve had jobs but never an actual career.
Now my kids are a little older I’d like to find my niche in the working world – but I don’t have much experience and I’m not very confident in my skills.
I’ve worked in retail and supermarkets, but I’ve loved bringing up my children so working with kids appeals to me.
I need to keep earning, so I can’t start a uni course and I’m worried I won’t end up retraining as it’s never the right time. Help!
Cara, via email
A. There are many careers that are open to you without a degree, but as you like working with children, why don’t you explore a position as a teaching assistant?
Some schools will employ unqualified people and train them on the job. Or you could get a TA qualification by completing an online diploma course while you are still in employment in your existing job.
Some providers offer free courses backed by government learner loans, or you can apply for a learner loan direct at Gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan, which you do not pay back until you earn over a certain amount. In the meantime, build up your network, both online and in person where possible, so you have contacts you can speak to and who may recommend you for a role if one comes up in an area you are interested in.
Speak to people who are already in jobs you like the look of and put together a great CV. Being a working parent gives you many skills, such as being organised, being a great communicator and having the ability to multitask and supervise. These are valuable attributes and any industry would be pleased to hire you!
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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’ve worked in IT for more than 30 years, 12 of which have been at my current company.
I recently applied for my manager’s job as she is retiring, but it was given to a junior member of staff, who was previously a student with us on a placement and who I line-managed.
I was told I was not future-thinking enough, but despite putting myself forward in the past, all the interesting new projects went to this other person. She will now be my line manager, telling me what to do, and I don’t think I can cope with the situation. What’s your advice?
Barbara, via email
A. I understand this is difficult, Barbara. Not only have you missed out on a promotion, but your junior has become your boss.
If you intend to stay at the company, you have to accept what’s happened and reset your relationship with your colleague.
The good news is you have worked with her in the past, so have a chat to discuss how she’d like to work with you and what she expects from you.
Don’t forget that she might also feel uncomfortable, so clearing the air will be good for you both and she’ll no doubt appreciate the support. She may also give you the interesting projects you want, so the situation could have a positive outcome.
It’s easy to be angry and think of walking away.
Instead, think about what skill gaps you have and set about filling them.
Keep a record of everything you do so you know the contribution you are making to the company, and if you feel that whatever you do you won’t get a promotion, start to look for opportunities elsewhere.
- Got a careers question you want Karren to answer? Email [email protected]
Compiled by: Claire Frost
Karren can not answer emails personally. Content is intended as general guidance only and does not constitute legal advice.
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