Karren Brady gives career advice — from going back to work at 64 to switching roles

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

Today she helps out someone struggling to come to terms with going back to work and a woman who finds dealing with the public at work uncomfortable.

Q) I’m 64 and during my career I have been a manicurist, PA, office manager and massage therapist, all of which I enjoyed.

I took early retirement from my office manager job at a school in 2018 and set up a massage business. But Covid and other family issues have meant I can no longer do this.

Financially, I need to work, plus I feel I have more to give to the world, but I don’t know what to do.

I loved being a PA/office manager, but who wants an old lady working for them? Do you have any suggestions?

Jan, via email 

A) You are not old, you are experienced! And trust me, everyone is looking for enthusiastic, talented and accomplished people to work in their organisation.

The first thing to do is to decide what industry you want to work in, then organise your CV and check your skills are up to date.

Have you considered looking for work that combines your PA/office manager skills with your love for beauty and massage?

Contact some local spas and beauty salons to see if they have any vacancies.

You have the ability to be a salon manager, as well as being able to offer massage and manicure services, which could make you stand out from other candidates.

If you’re looking for more of a change, contact a specialist recruitment agency to get help and guidance in a particular field.

They can advise you on any changes you can make to your CV, and help you develop and hone skills in your chosen industry.

Above all else, don’t limit yourself. If you are passionate about your career, there’s absolutely no reason why your age should stand in the way.

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) Being on furlough from my job in the hospitality industry made me realise how little I enjoy my work.

I’m quite introverted and find dealing with the public uncomfortable.

However, I don’t have loads of qualifications or experience in other jobs, so the idea of starting over again feels daunting – plus, I have no idea what job I could even do.

Should I just stay and hope it gets better with time?

Laura, via email

A) I cannot imagine anything worse than having a job that makes you miserable, so it’s time to find a new one!

The first thing to do is to make a list of what parts of your current role make you unhappy and what parts you enjoy.

Think about the kind of environment you want to work in, the hours you want to do and the kind of people you want to surround yourself with.

This will help you understand where you want to work and where you don’t!

When a picture begins to emerge, start researching, speak to people in that industry, and even get some work experience if you can.

If you need qualifications, find out what courses are available.

It can be helpful to talk through your options with someone you trust and who knows you well, as support is vital when you are making a big change.

Finding a new job can often be a long process – so be prepared for that. But a great thing about having experience in hospitality is that you can continue to work in it (even part-time) while you explore your future career.

Embrace the challenge and don’t settle for anything less than happiness.

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