APPRENTICE star and West Ham United vice-chair Karren Brady answers your careers questions and meets an inspirational CEO.
She gives advice to career advice to a saleswoman who wants her role back
Q) I’m 42, have a part-time job working in the back office at a bank that I generally enjoy, plus two fab kids and a supportive husband. But I can’t help feeling like something is missing. Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher, but instead I started working at the bank straight after school.
Before the pandemic, I mentioned to my mum that I’d still love to be a teacher and she laughed at the idea of me retraining at this point. I’m too scared to talk to my husband in case he also takes the mickey and my dreams are shattered. Do you have any advice?
Name and address withheld.
A) Imagine the next 25 years stuck in a job you don’t enjoy. Now imagine spending the next 25 years doing something you love and are passionate about. Surely it’s a no-brainer! Teaching is a great career – not only will it give you job security, it is the most direct way to make a positive impact on a child (or adult’s) life.
Register with Getintoteaching.education.gov.uk, which is full of information to guide you through every step, such as what age group you’d like to teach, the qualifications you need, how to get funding and how to apply. Then have a conversation with your husband. Explain that you’ve looked into the details of training to be a teacher to see if it is feasible for your finances and lifestyle, and now that you have all the information, you want to talk it through with him.
Once he sees how committed you are, he should take you seriously and be supportive. A complete change of career will no doubt have an impact on your family and your finances, but with all their support, I’m confident it will be a positive change. good luck
Got a careers question for Karren? Email [email protected]
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A Day In The Life…
Alice Will, 37, is the co-founder of Lux, an Edinburgh-based creative agency for food and drink brands. She lives in Juniper Green, near Edinburgh, with her designer/artist partner Jonathan, 39.
I wake up at…
6 am. I like a slow-paced morning. I do half an hour of yoga then return to bed for half an hour with a coffee before getting ready. After that I take my two dogs out for a walk.
A normal day involves…
I’m at my computer for 9.30am. The nine-to-five doesn’t exist in a creative agency, but we don’t sacrifice our personal lives and wellbeing to go above and beyond. In January 2020, we introduced a four-day week and have seen productivity increase by 24%, plus a 30% increase in profitability. When our staff feel valued, nurtured, energized and well-rested, they are far more productive. I take every Monday off, work two days at home and two at our purpose-built studio kitchen in Edinburgh. Often I’m out and about meeting clients.
This week I was at a gin distillery immersing myself in a gin brand – learning about botanicals, the production process and getting a guided tasting. Mornings are dedicated to client projects, while afternoons are focused on the business, discussing strategy with my business partner Mhairi MacLeod. I used to be glued to my desk and would forget to take a break. But now I have an hour off at midday, and if I’m at home then I’m back out with my dogs.
The best thing about my job is…
The variety. Food and drink touches many lifestyle factors, from initiatives that fuel the nation to live better through what they eat, to campaigns with the government to reduce food waste, or with wine and whiskey brands to add enjoyment and leisure.
And the worst…
The buck always stops with Mhairi and me, and we’re constantly spinning a lot of plates, so I definitely feel the pressure. It’s about getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.
I wind down by…
Walking the dogs. I used to frantically batch cook on a Sunday, but now I enjoy the process of cooking and, if it’s a Friday, I’ll do it with a glass of red wine in hand. Midweek I hunkered down in bed before 10pm. I really feel the benefit of sleep.
For more information on Lux, visit Getlux.co.uk.
Content is intended as general guidance only and does not constitute legal advice