APPRENTICE star and vice-chairperson of West Ham FC Karren Brady answers all your careers questions.
Today she helps out someone who says she is happy at her mid-level job and doesn't want a promotion. Also, Karren gives advice to someone who isn't sure about joining her partner's family business.
Q)I work in finance and it feels like everyone around me is hugely ambitious and constantly looking for the next opportunity to further their careers.
I like my job, but I also enjoy my life outside of work, and am pretty happy at the mid-level I’m at.
But my manager is always trying to get me to do presentations and attend more meetings, as he says I need to be “visible” in order to get promoted and recognised.
How do I tell him this isn’t what I want, without sounding like I don’t care about my job?
Casey, via email
Q) You’re right, there seems to be an unspoken assumption that if you care about your career, you’ll be looking for a promotion.
It makes it hard to explain to your manager how you feel, without it coming across negatively and making them believe you are ungrateful, unambitious or do not want to be challenged.
The most important thing to do is to thank your boss for believing in you.
Explain why the job you currently have is perfect for you and why it fits with your strengths and skills.
I think it is also important to explain that you are still interested in developing in your role, that you love what you do, and that a new position is something you know you won’t be as happy in at the moment.
The truth is, there is not one career path that suits everyone, and being honest about that to your boss will take the pressure off you – and off him, too.
Be a boss
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) My partner’s family run their own successful plumbing business, which he also works for.
His mum now wants to retire and his dad has asked me if I’d like to take on her role running the admin and logistics side of things.
I’m torn, as I’m really flattered, plus I think I’d like the job and I could fit it around school pick-up and drop-off, but I’m hugely worried about working for my partner’s family.
What if they don’t think I’m up to scratch or I make a huge mistake? And what if my partner and I ever break up?
Ellie, via email
A) If it’s an opportunity you think would suit you and that you think you could do, the only way to ensure that there are no resentments or issues further down the line is, before you take on the role, be 100% clear what the expectations are and what happens if anything goes wrong.
You need to lay out issues like how much time you will be given to get to grips with the role, what you will be in charge of and how much authority you will have to make decisions or changes.
That way, everyone is clear on the ground rules before you start, and this should prevent resentment and issues down the line.
It would also be wise to say that you may well find your own ways of doing things that are different to the way your partner’s mum would have done them, and you’d like for your ideas to be considered and taken on board.
Make sure everyone knows you are excited by the prospect, and that you care enough to have these discussions to avoid potential future problems.
There is something very fulfilling about working in a family business, and if you get the ground rules laid out before you start, it should be a rewarding and happy experience for you all.
- 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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