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Karren Brady’s career advice to woman who thinks she’ll never get a promotion


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

Today, she helps out a woman who thinks she’ll never get a promotion.

Fabulous’ Bossing It columnist Karren Brady answers your career questions

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Fabulous’ Bossing It columnist Karren Brady answers your career questionsCredit: Mark Hayman

Q) I absolutely love my job, but everyone above me has been at the company for years and years and I feel like I have no opportunity to get promoted until one of them leaves – which could be in another 10 years!

I work hard and my boss often praises me, but whenever I’ve mentioned wanting to move upwards, she says I’ll need to wait for a vacancy to become available and then apply – although she would support my application strongly. I really don’t want to leave, as I’ve made some great friends, but I’m worried that I’m just treading water. What do you think?

Angie, via email

A) It is so great that you love your job and the company you work for, but it does sound as though you have outgrown your role and are ready for a brand-new challenge.

In the short term, look at what internal roles you would apply for in an ideal world if the position became available, and what skills and experience are required.

Strengthen any areas of development now, and gain experience in areas where you may be lacking, so that if a vacancy does come up, you know you will be the strongest candidate. If there are still no signs of any available roles and you are ready to take the leap, then do start looking externally.

First, research companies on LinkedIn and have discreet conversations with recruiters. You are in a comfortable position, so you have the luxury of taking the time to find the right company that can offer you a promotion and a pay rise, as well as an environment that you can see yourself being a part of. Don’t let the fear of change stop you from moving on when the time is right. 

  •  Got a careers question for Karren? Email bossingit@fabulousmag.co.uk.

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.

A Day In The Life…

Liv Garfield, 46, is the CEO of Severn Trent. She lives with her husband Morgan, 45, founding partner of real estate investment management firm Ellandi, and children Arthur, 14, and Iestyn, 12.

I get up at…My alarm goes off at 5.45am. I have to be up at the crack of dawn to ensure taps are flowing. 

My typical day involves…I’m showered and out of the house in 25 minutes, and in work mode by 6.10am. Two days a week, I work from our Coventry HQ, and for the rest I’m at one of our depots, water treatment works or waste treatment sites across the Midlands and North Wales. I do emails and documents on the train – I don’t like email to control me, so I do it at either end of the day. Once on site, I’ll chat to employees, attend meetings and sort issues.

To be a good CEO, you’ve got to understand every person’s role. Breakfast at 9.30am is usually a bacon or sausage bap – or yoghurt, if I’m feeling virtuous. At HQ, my day involves meetings, one-on-ones and Covid-secure events. I’m a big believer in getting our teams together when we can – we work better when we’re together. Chief executives make sure that every person is safe, well and motivated. That requires a good strategy and great communication.

The best part of my job is…Making a difference. You can’t live without water, and our communities are better off for having us in the region. We donate 1% of our profit to charity and support over 400 local non-profit organisations every year, sometimes awarding hundreds of thousands of pounds.

We also make a difference to unemployment in the region. Over the next year, we’re taking on 500 young people as part of the government’s Kickstart Scheme, which funds new job placements for 16-24 year olds. Watching them change their perception of themselves and work has been hugely inspiring.

And the worst?Not having enough hours in the day. Being a working mum is a constant juggle and I’m lucky to have a brilliant nanny that we can rely on, but family time is also really important to me.

I wind down by…If I’m not working late, I’ll be home by 6.30pm and spend time with my family, whether that’s playing board games, walking the dog or watching Everton (hopefully) win!

 For more info on Severn Water, visit Wonderfulontap.co.uk.

Baroness Karren Brady wants Rishi Sunak to back small business ahead of spending review

Compiled by: Claire Frost & Gemma Calvert

  • Karren cannot answer emails personally. Content is intended as general guidance only and does not constitute legal advice.





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