APPRENTICE star and vice-chairperson of West Ham United FC Karren Brady answers all your careers questions.
Today, she helps out a woman who’s son is struggling to stand out from the crowd.
Q) My son studied sports journalism at uni and graduated with a great degree, including a first for his dissertation about racism in English football.
However, he quickly started feeling lost as to how to start his career – his passion was in overdrive, but opportunities were zero!
I suggested he do some volunteering, and he’s been working on our local team’s social media.
But even after three months of applying for jobs, he hasn’t been able to catch a break, and I fear the resilience he has shown so far will only last so long.
What can he do to stand out from the crowd?
Kerrie, via email
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A) The sports industry has been through a very challenging time during Covid. Clubs have lost huge sums of money and things are still pretty tough.
It sounds as though your son is doing the right thing volunteering, as employers love to see someone who has used their initiative to gain experience.
It can be very disheartening to apply for roles and to be repeatedly turned down (or worse, not to even hear back from the company) but he needs to persevere.
Tell him to focus on applying for roles that he genuinely thinks he is right for.
He should have a strong LinkedIn profile and use it to connect with companies, talent managers and individuals he admires and respects, politely messaging them to introduce himself, show off his strengths and ask them to keep him in mind for any entry-level positions.
Half the battle is getting your foot in the door, so even asking companies for a couple of weeks’ unpaid work experience will allow him to showcase his skills to the right people.
A Day In The Life of Sarah Brass
SARAH Brass, 51, is CEO and co-owner of Taylor Taylor London boutique salons and LØRE Originals, a unisex and vegan range of hair and body products.
She lives in Suffolk with her wellness business owner husband Handley, 49, and their daughter Frankie, nine.
I wake up at…5.45am. I do 45 minutes of light weights and Pilates in my home gym, then feed Frankie. After school drop-off, I hop on the train to London with a coffee. On the three days I work from home, I first walk my dogs Cocoa and Charlie. While walking, I make LØRE phone calls, to the warehouse, my business partner Cameron and our retailers.
A normal day involves…I reply to client emails and reviews in the mornings and assess sales and performance summaries at the end of each day. I flit between the two businesses. If I’m in London, I split my time across our three salons, meeting customers, liaising with managers or revising business plans. Back in Suffolk I’m often writing stylist bios for our websites, or making social media plans. I get a lot of emails, a couple of hundred are currently unread, but I choose not to have a PA. I always take off Monday mornings and Friday afternoons. The pandemic made me realise that life’s too short to be a slave to work.
The best thing about my job is… Seeing our stylists’ careers blossom. Many of our former juniors are now internationally recognised stylists with salons of their own.
And the worst… Brexit has made us much more reliant on home-grown talent and getting the right quality of stylists and technicians is hard. One of our biggest LØRE customers was based in Spain, where it’s no longer logistically possible to send products.
I wind down by… I write a to-do list for the following morning. Handley tends to work in London Monday to Thursday, so we only eat together as a family at weekends. After I’ve cooked Frankie dinner and she’s in bed, I might fall into the trap of social media scrolling, but I occasionally watch TV.
Compiled by: Claire Frost & Gemma Calvert
- Karren cannot answer emails personally. Content is intended as general guidance only and does not constitute legal advice.