Karren Brady’s career advice from working two jobs to what makes a ‘proper’ role

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

Today she helps someone looking for advice on working freelance alongside a full-time job and gets to grips with the idea of what makes a ‘proper’ job.

Fabulous’ Bossing It columnist Karren Brady answers your career questions
Fabulous’ Bossing It columnist Karren Brady answers your career questions

Q) I work in the financial services sector, but recently helped out a friend by doing some consultancy work for her.

I really enjoyed it and it’s spurred me on to do some more freelance work, as my mate has recommended me to a few people.

Now I’m worried I should tell my employer in case it gets back to them via someone else – but I don’t want them to tell me I have to stop the extra work, as the money will really come in handy! What should I do?

Rachael, via email

A) Employer rules on multiple jobs can vary widely. Some employers won’t mind, as long as it doesn’t interfere with your full-time job and you aren’t working with a competitor or creating confidentiality concerns – though in my experience, many discourage working multiple jobs to avoid burnout.

Other employers forbid it, and you could be fired if they were to discover you have broken your code of conduct.

So before you do anything else, read through your contract and any other employee documents you agreed to when signing this. If there is no clause forbidding it, it’s up to you if you want to inform your company.

If there is such a clause, I’d suggest speaking to HR.

Explain that it will not impact your job, you will not be using company time or equipment and you’d be happy to discuss it further if your manager has any concerns.

Either way, I think it’s always best to be honest with your employer – it says a lot about not only your work ethic but about your integrity, too.  

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’m a single mum and started doing cleaning jobs in September last year after being made redundant from my job in retail, and have now registered myself as a company and have a small but steady income.

I try to work mostly during school hours, but my mum helps look after my son if needed, which is really good of her. However, she is always telling me how demeaning cleaning is and keeps pushing me to get a “proper” job.

I hate arguing with her and I’ve thought about trying to get a job in hospitality now things have opened up again to help keep the peace, but that would mean more time away from my son. Do you have any advice?

Emma, via email

A) Don’t listen to your mother! You are a single mum and successful business owner, which suggests to me you are strong, resilient, motivated, responsible and financially independent – all brilliant qualities your son will be learning from you.

Cleaning may not be the most glamorous job, but it gives you the flexibility to choose your own hours and you are dependant only on yourself.

If you have managed to build up your business during this difficult time, it seems as though you could grow it as much as you wish.

The last 18 months have taught us that we can’t predict the future, and no industry – particularly hospitality – is free from risk.

You need to explain that while you appreciate your mum and the support she gives you, she should see past the cleaning and appreciate what you are achieving.

Her priority will be your happiness, so make sure she understands how much happier you are working for yourself and how much you want to succeed in your business.

Good luck!

The Apprentice’s Karren Brady gives career advice in game of Have You Ever?

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

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