Karren Brady gives career advice — from a mid-career crisis to getting work experience

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

Today she helps Angela, who feels like she is having a mid-career crisis, and Steph, who's keen to get some work experience.

Q) I feel like I’m having a mid-career crisis!

I’m 44, and although I’m where I always imagined I’d want to be in terms of my career, I can’t help thinking: “What’s next?” I don’t feel challenged in my marketing role, like I’m just floating along, and I worry that I’ve somehow peaked.

Should I look at changing career completely if I’ve exhausted this one?

Angela, via email

A) Rather than a mid-life crisis, it sounds like you are a driven and motivated woman wanting more out of her career – and there is nothing wrong with that!

At 44, if you have reached where you imagined the peak of your career would be, then it’s time to readjust that bar and make it even higher.

Before you think about changing career completely, have you explored everything that marketing has to offer?

It is such a vast and ever-changing field, perhaps there are areas you haven’t yet explored that you could apply your experience to, while increasing your knowledge.

Alternatively, you could become your own boss and start a consultancy business, helping companies who will benefit from your expertise. The mix of different clients could provide a renewed interest in the industry and push you in new ways.

However, if you are truly done with marketing, then it is never too late to change your career.

If this is what you decide, then have a think about what your passions are, what you love doing, and look for a new area that would be a perfect blend of your interests and your experience.

This is an exciting period in your career so take some time to make the decision that is right for you.

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) I’ve just finished university and I’m keen to get some work experience while looking for a full-time job in journalism.

But I’m really worried that with so many people working from home, at least some of the time, trying to get work experience is even more difficult.

My laptop is super-old and I don’t have much personal space back at home with my family, plus I worry I won’t get a sense of what the job is really like WFH. How should I move forward?

Steph, via email

A) Work experience is a must when starting out in your career, so you need to make this a priority while you look for a full-time job.

Many businesses are now returning to the office in some form, so don’t let the thought of working from home put you off.

Some companies will be grateful that you are able to work full-time in an office and this also means you can use the office equipment.

Research which organisations you would like to work for and what kind of role you would like to work towards.

As you are just starting out in your career, you won’t have lots of experience to add to your CV, but make sure you share details of your extracurricular activities, such as clubs you were part of at university and what transferable skills these have taught you.

Create a LinkedIn profile and connect with companies and individuals you admire.

Email HR and talent managers with your CV, LinkedIn profile and a strong cover letter demonstrating what you have to offer.

You may get 100 rejections, but you’ll only get a foot in the door if you persevere. 

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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