APPRENTICE star and West Ham United vice-chair Karren Brady answers your careers questions.
Here she gives advice to a reader who wants to switch careers after 25 years in the same industry.
Q: I’ve been working in the same industry for 25 years and, while I enjoy it, I’ve stopped feeling challenged.
I’m in a senior position, but I’ve hit a ceiling in terms of development and prospects open to me.
I feel like I’m stuck.
I would love to retrain, though I don’t know what as, plus with three children and a mortgage, I can’t afford to.
I can’t start on the bottom rung again financially, either.
Do you have any advice?
Kate, via email
A: Twenty-five years is a significant period of time, and if there’s no chance of development or promotion, then I understand why you’re considering exploring other options.
For me, the key to staying happy in a career is to continually challenge yourself, but this can be difficult alongside personal responsibilities.
You’re in a great position of being employed and earning money while you explore other opportunities.
Reflect on your skills, interests and passions, and identify what aspects of your current job you enjoy and what you don’t.
Research careers or industries that align with these, and look for roles where you can use the expertise you already have.
There are many online platforms offering free courses that can help you acquire new skills, and networking can open doors to new positions, as well as give insights into different industries.
There is also no harm in talking to your manager – there may be “parallel” opportunities in other departments that are different from your current role and could provide motivation, without starting from scratch.
Remember that a career change is a gradual process, and it’s OK to take small steps toward your goals.
It’s an exciting time – good luck!
- Got a careers question for Karren? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.