Karren Brady's career advice from pursuing your passion to dealing with difficult bosses


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

Today she shares her top tips on changing career path to pursue your dream job and how to handle difficult bosses.

Q: I’ve worked in the same field for a while, and although I don’t hate my job, I dream of a career in fashion.

For this I’d need to go back into education, and as I can’t afford to leave full-time work, I’d have to do a course in the evening, and it would be quite tough to juggle everything.

To get all the qualifications I’d need, it would take me six years, which feels like a very long time – especially as there’s no guarantee of a job at the end.

Should I pursue my passion or set aside my dreams and put my energy into my current career?

Lauren, via email

A: Many people study part-time while in a full-time job, and while it’s not easy it is achievable, but it has to be something you really want to do, as you will need a lot of self-motivation to work and study.

But if this course leads you to landing your dream job and the career you have always wanted, I say go for it. Before you start the course you might want to speak to prospective employers in the role you ultimately want to work in to check it’s the right course and what the opportunities might be once you have completed it.

Plus it’s a great way to make contacts, so that when you do qualify you have people to connect with about roles. Reach out via Linkedin and social media and ask people how they got into their role, the courses they took and about their career path, the industry and their workplace.

You’d be surprised how many people are willing to help and advise. Best of luck!

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: Recently, my manager has been making lots of decisions that I feel are a mistake, and I’m not sure what to do.

For example, he’s just promoted one of my junior colleagues into a position she just isn’t ready for, he’s agreed that the team will take on extra work that we don’t have capacity for, plus he has decided to go ahead with an idea he loves even though I explained my misgivings about it to him.

I’m worried I come across as negative all the time, but it’s hard to say nothing when I can see all the problems his decisions will bring. Do you have any advice?

Alice, via email

A: Alice, if you have genuine concerns then you’re right, you have a responsibility to raise them, otherwise you are complicit in the mistakes.

While I understand this is difficult, handled correctly you will be able to share your concerns and remain on speaking terms with your boss. First, pick the right time to speak to him – difficult conversations are better when you have both set aside time to discuss things properly.

Make sure you keep the details you want to discuss with him between the two of you only – no boss wants to be embarrassed or to hear you’ve been speaking negatively behind his back. Then present your thoughts, observations and misgivings about some of his decisions in an unemotional, professional, mature way.

Do not be confrontational, but do explain you have the company and the team’s best interests at heart.

You will have to accept that, as your boss, his decision is final, and he may press ahead despite your reservations. If he does and you’re still not happy, you could raise your concerns with HR.

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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