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Karren Brady gives career advice on working from home and landing that promotion

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

Today she helps a woman who lost her confidence after being passed up for a promotion and a woman who wants to keep working from home, but isn't sure how to say so.

Q) I have been at the same PR firm for three years, and while I love my job, I feel I’m ready to progress in my career.

Recently, a more senior role has opened up, so I’d like to put myself forward for it.

The problem is, I have been passed over for a promotion in the past, which dented my confidence.

Is there anything I can do to increase my chances of being successful and what should I do if I’m let down again?

Kay, via email

A) First, ambition is powerful, and believing in yourself is vital to achieving your goals.

Almost everyone has been overlooked for a promotion they felt they deserved at some point in their career, so don’t let this worry you – just because you missed out on promotion before doesn’t mean you will again  this time.

So how to increase your chances? A good place to start would  be to understand why you were overlooked in the past, so you can ensure you  nail it this time round. Feedback is vital to self-improvement.

When you go for this next promotion, be really clear what direct impact you have had on the company to date – the projects you’ve overseen, clients you’ve managed, reports you’ve produced, presentations you’ve made and problems you’ve solved.

You need to be able to demonstrate what you are capable of and  how you will add even more value to the business if you get the promotion. Good 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!


Q) I’m working from home because of the coronavirus crisis and I’ve realised how much I enjoy doing my job remotely, rather than having to attend face-to-face meetings all around the country, plus I feel I’m working much more efficiently.

My employer is now making arrangements for our return to the office in the next few months, but I think there are so many benefits to my whole team WFH.

How should I go about suggesting more long-term changes to how we work? 

Beth, via email

A) The good news is that lots of companies are realising the benefits of people working from home – so don’t be afraid to speak up!

Many jobs can be done remotely, as long as you have good internet connection and a great work ethic. Plus, less commute time means people are often more productive.

It’s best to approach this in a formal and constructive way, as this will prove  to your boss that you are organised and have given careful thought to the process.

Work out a list of all your responsibilities and be clear which ones can be achieved from home and which cannot.

You may, for example, have to attend some face-to-face meetings, so detail how and when you will do these and produce  a schedule of how your working day/week will operate, as well as how and when you will be contactable.

Identify any concerns you think your boss might have before you present your plan and show solutions to resolve them.

It’s also a good idea to suggest a period to test the arrangement to prove that it works for you and for your company.

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