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Karren Brady gives career advice — from redundancy to running a business


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

Today she helps out someone who is has been made redundant and a woman who finds running a business exhausting.

Fabulous’ Bossing It columnist Karren Brady answers your career questions


Fabulous’ Bossing It columnist Karren Brady answers your career questionsCredit: Lancton – Fabulous

Q) Last year, I was made redundant from my fairly senior, well-paid role in an industry I’ve worked in for a decade.

Now that I’m looking for a new job, I’ve had feedback from employers who seem to assume I’m overqualified or that my salary expectations are too high.

How do I make it clear that I’m prepared to take a step down if it means getting back into work?

Elena, via email

A) Being told you’re overqualified for a job is incredibly frustrating. You’ve worked hard and built up skills and now you’re being penalised for it! In my experience, being told you are overqualified is really a signal that the company wants someone less experienced so they can pay them less than the role deserves.

There may also be a concern that you will become bored in the role and leave as soon as something better comes along, or maybe the hiring manager thinks you are more qualified than they are and that you’ll want their job!

You need to deal with all these misconceptions head on – it’s easier to do this at interview, but you could also do it in your covering letter.

Explain that you may appear overqualified, but focus on why you want to work at the company (better work-life balance, less travelling, new challenge, new opportunity etc), and that you are flexible about salary.

Point out that you worked in your previous role for 10 years, so you are in any role for the long-term.

You need to show the positives of being experienced and being able to assume greater responsibilities quickly.

And don’t forget to tap into your professional network. Reach out to everyone you know and ask if they have, or know of, any roles that might suit you. 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) Two years ago, I started my own business, and while it hasn’t been easy (especially in lockdown), I’ve managed to make a small profit.

I’m single and don’t have kids, and I’ve been happy to channel my free time into the business, working nights and weekends, because it’s my passion project. However, recently I realised how exhausted I am – both physically and mentally.

I can’t afford to take on any staff and it would break my heart to step away from the business, but I can’t carry on like this. How do I move forward?

Clare, via email

A) I really feel for you. We have all worked ourselves into the ground at some point, and no more so than small business owners, who are everything to their company, from marketing to finance, sales to logistics, dealing with every kind of stress on your own.

No matter how much you love your business, when burnout hits you need to do something about it. First, define your goals for the company.

Figure out what is working, what isn’t, what you can change and do better. Your most valuable asset is your time, so make a schedule that ensures you work when you are most productive.

Allow yourself breaks to recharge and give yourself a day off – this is incredibly important for you to stay mentally and physically strong. You may not be able to hire staff, but look at things you can outsource, such as marketing and sales tools.

If you want your business to succeed, you have to be fit and healthy. Take a break, re-prioritise and find the passion you had for your business when you started it.

The Apprentice’s Karren Brady gives career advice in game of Have You Ever?

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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