Karren Brady's career advice to a salesperson who wants her role back

APPRENTICE star and West Ham United vice-chair Karren Brady answers your careers questions and meets an inspirational CEO.

She gives advice to career advice to a saleswoman who wants her role back

Q) After being on furlough for almost all of the pandemic, I returned to my sales role in October – but it’s been awful. My boss, who wasn’t furloughed, took me aside and asked me not to encroach on his work, even though the tasks I was doing were things I always did pre-pandemic.

It feels like my job has completely changed and I don’t have a role any more. However, when I asked HR for an updated job description, they told me it was the same as before.

I don’t have enough work to fill my day and I’m worried I’ll be made redundant. Where do I go from here?

Name and address withheld

A) It’s good that you have had a conversation with HR, but now you need to speak to your boss to help define your responsibilities, as he is the one working with you day to day.

You are there to support your boss, who is no doubt also anxious about his future, but he needs to utilise your skills and expertise. Ask for clarity on your objectives as, being in a sales role, you understand the importance of hitting your targets.

Think about whether there are any other responsibilities you could take on that perhaps you were not doing before the pandemic, in order to expand your existing role. It may be that now the economy is starting to pick up, your role will get busier and become more demanding again.

Don’t be afraid to have the conversation – it’s better to know the company’s future plans than to worry in silence. The best thing is to be prepared, so consider working on your CV and LinkedIn profile now, find companies that you admire and make a list of who you could reach out to should you need to.

Got a careers question for Karren? Email [email protected]

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A Day In The Life…

A day in the life of… celebrity tanning expert Amanda Harrington, 42, is the CEO of at-home beauty company In Parlour and Amanda Harrington London. She lives in the Cotswolds with her 14-month-old daughter Minnie.

I get up at… 6.30am. I meditate for 12 minutes using the Calm app – I’m very spiritual. After reading stories in bed with my daughter for half an hour, I’ll have a smoothie with protein powder, spinach, pear, lettuce water and a blend of high-potency supplements, which I break out of the gelatine for better digestion.

My typical day involves… After Minnie’s nanny arrives, my work day starts at 9am. I mostly work from my office, which looks out over beautiful fields. First I’ll answer emails, then I have Zoom meetings with my management team. As well as online consultations, such as one-to-one tanning tutorials, most days involve some social media promotion, either an Instagram Live or interviewing figures from the fashion and beauty world for my Amanda Meets YouTube series. I regard food as fuel, so after a salad, I might head to London to tan the likes of Sienna Miller, Dua Lipa or – when she’s in town – Jennifer Aniston. Sitting at a desk in front of a computer is prison for me – I’m at my best working with clients’ bodies.

The best part of my job is…Inspiring people to stay out of the sun. Before launching my businesses, I trained as a make-up artist and worked on films, then toured the world with rock bands. But 20 years ago, a close family member died of skin cancer, and I began to focus on sunless tanning. I want to make sure no one blasts themselves with sunbeds. 

And the worst…I didn’t have maternity leave (I took just two weeks off after Minnie was born), I rarely have a holiday and my out-of-office message has never been on in 18 years! 

I wind down by…After the gym, I have a bath, apply body oil, have a mug of hot water, and then read – I never watch TV. My daughter wakes often in the night, so most evenings I’m in bed by 9pm.

 For more info, visit Amandaharrington.com or follow @Amandaharringtonlondon and @Inparlour on Instagram.


Content is intended as general guidance only and does not constitute legal advice

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