APPRENTICE star and vice-chairperson of West Ham FC Karren Brady answers all your careers questions.
Today she helps an employee who feels demotivated due to an imbalance with her colleagues and gives advice to a teenager who wants to gain skills in the workplace despite the pandemic.
Q. I work for a charity and, while I’m passionate about our aims, I’m losing all love for my actual job.
In my yearly appraisal I was told I was excelling at my role, but when I asked for a promotion and pay rise to reflect all the extra responsibilities I’ve taken on, I was told there’s no budget.
A couple of my colleagues are the same level of seniority and pay scale as me, but I seem to be doing far more work than them and leading on projects when they never do.
How can I get my manager to address this imbalance so I don’t feel so demotivated?
Tia, via email
A. Asking for a pay rise is up there with visiting the dentist – but if you don’t do it, no one will do it for you! Knowing your worth and getting your worth go hand in hand, and by the sounds of it you are a star performer, so why shouldn’t you be rewarded? Your employer saying “there’s no budget” is not your problem, it is theirs, so don’t be fobbed off with that line.
If they want to keep you, I can assure you they will find the budget! Make a detailed list of all the things you have achieved for the company, the projects you have worked on and the successful ones you have led. They need reminding that you are valuable and they don’t want to lose you. Ask your boss to put aside time to discuss it, so you have their full attention and focus.
Set out your case for why you deserve the raise and what you are expecting. A quick survey of jobs on the market in your area with your expertise will tell you what you should be being paid, or if you are doing 10% more work than anyone else, ask for a 10% raise!
If they still say no, ask them a direct question: “What would it take for me to earn a pay rise in the future, and when will it be reconsidered?” If you are still not satisfied, you should start to look for an employer who will value you and pay you what you’re worth.
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Q. I’m 17 and, once shops are open again, I really want to get a Saturday job.
I feel at my age I should be starting to earn my own money and gaining some independence. But my parents are against the idea because of the pandemic plus they’re worried about the effect it will have on my studies.
Is there anything I can do to gain some skills or start earning, so I don’t have to depend on my parents all the time?
Izzy, via email
A. Nothing gives you more independence than having your own money. The hardest transition we all make in our lives is leaving education and getting into work, so any experience you have now will prepare you much better for the future.
It will also give you a chance to see what you enjoy doing, who you like working with and what potential you have. I had my first Saturday job at 16, sweeping hair in a local hairdresser’s, and by the end of the day I was running the till, booking appointments and speaking to customers.
It really made me realise that work is about personality, enthusiasm, getting stuck in and pushing yourself.
I understand your parents’ concern, but look for a job with a responsible employer who has all the Covid safety measures in place and then you both get what you want!
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