APPRENTICE star and West Ham United vice-chair Karren Brady answers your careers questions and meets an inspirational CEO.
Here she gives a reader advice who’s worried they are being pitted against a colleague for a new position.
Q) The company I work for has announced they are creating a new position in my department – whereas currently I manage two people and my colleague manages three people, they are creating one role to line-manage all six people in the department.
Both my colleague and I have been encouraged to apply for the new position.
We don’t really socialise outside of work, but we get on and are friendly in the office, however now I worry that we’re being pitted against each other.
Plus, whoever does get the role will have to manage the other person, which I know we’ll both find uncomfortable.
Do you have any advice on how I should approach the situation?
Anna, via email
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A) The first thing to consider, which you haven’t mentioned, is whether you actually want the job managing the team of six people.
Assuming you do, then you need to trust the recruitment process.
Your company should follow a structured interview procedure, where you will both be fairly considered and the company will decide who they think is best for this job.
If you feel comfortable doing so, talk to your colleague about the changes and the impact it will have on your teams.
Accept that whoever gets the role will be the most suitable, so agree to be respectful and professional.
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If you get the job and you worry about managing your colleague, ask your HR department for support in the form of coaching to help in developing your management style.
If you aren’t successful, ask for feedback so you can understand what to focus on ahead of a future promotion.
- Got a careers question for Karren? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Day In The Life Of…
Nidhi Verma, 41, is the co-founder of world food platform and recipe box brand The Cookaway. She lives in south-west London with her CEO and co-founder husband Sahil, 43, and children Naina, 14, and Riaan, 10.
I wake up at…
6.10am. I throw on comfy clothes and prepare breakfast for the kids. After the school run, I shower, dress, then walk 10 minutes to the office with Milo, our dog. I’m at my desk by 8.30am.
A normal day involves…
After a coffee, I scan my emails or jump into team meetings. We launched in December 2019 and have a team of 12.
While my husband Sahil takes care of investment, strategy and marketing, my focus is social media, PR, generating partnership ideas and managing product.
Maintaining relationships with our pool of nine chefs – including 2019 MasterChef winner Irini Tzortzoglou – is a priority. I’m often on the phone discussing ideas and feeding back business updates.
They’re part of the brand, so ensuring they’re connected is crucial. When we launch a new cuisine, I’m across all PR and press activity, as well as our online chef-led group cooking sessions.
We’re always testing complex recipes, and ahead of a launch I’ll spend five days in a studio shooting dishes and lifestyle photography for advertising and socials.
As the business grows, my days are filled with meetings with my team, chefs, agencies, partnerships contacts, content creators and copywriters, which leaves emails to tackle in the evening.
After leaving for home around 5pm, I’ll finish up work in the evening when the kids are in bed.
The best part of my job is…
Inspiring our customers in the kitchen. And the bonus of running our own business is balance.
It means if Riaan has a cricket match, one of us can step away to go and watch.
And the worst…
The start-up world’s not easy and juggling it all can feel overwhelming, but I have learned when to take my foot off the pedal.
I wind down by…
Cooking, reading, listening to podcasts and gardening. We go on a long family walk every weekend, which is a great decompressor.
Use code FABULOUS20 for 20% off any Cookaway world menu until August 31, 2022 (Thecookaway.com).
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.
Compiled by: Claire Frost & Gemma Calvert
Karren cannot answer emails personally. Content is intended as general guidance only and does not constitute legal advice.