APPRENTICE star and vice-chairperson of West Ham FC Karren Brady answers all your careers questions.
Today she helps out a manager whose colleague keeps calling in sick and a woman who is questioning her job after a friend at work has left.
Fabulous’ Bossing It columnist Karren Brady answers your career questionsCredit: Lancton
Q: Although I’m employed by a large company, day-to-day my job involves working closely with one other colleague who I’ve built a bond with over the last few years and am now friends with outside of work.
Recently, she told me she’s got a new job and I’m devastated. Without her, my role is going to feel very different and it’s made me start questioning whether I’ll actually enjoy it if she isn’t there. Do you have any advice?
Siobhan, via email
A: It is good to have friends at work – someone you can blow off steam with after a tough day and share work issues with. No doubt it feels sad that she is leaving her job, but she isn’t leaving your life and you can continue to be friends afterwards. The most important thing to consider is: are you sad that she’s leaving or that you are staying?
This is a good time to reflect on your own career. But if you are happy with the work you do, you have to accept that she is leaving and you’re not. Instead of being sad, try to focus on positive things you can do. Think about ways you can expand your network in the office and start to make new friends, as well as ways you can progress in the company and take on more responsibility.
Maybe offer to mentor her replacement, for example. This will make you feel valued and productive. Accept that your environment will be different and that you will miss your friend, but also look to expand your horizons.
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 manage a team of five people and one of them calls in sick, says she has an appointment or suddenly has a childcare issue every single week, which means she needs to take time off – though she doesn’t request it as annual leave. It’s got to the point where she hasn’t worked a full week for the last two months.
I’m loathe to take this higher up as I don’t want to get her into trouble, but her constant absences are putting extra pressure on the rest of the team. What should I do?
Sarah, via email
A: I agree that it’s not easy juggling your own schedule while also covering the workload of a colleague who is constantly taking time off, but obviously you also want to be supportive and a good boss.
Don’t let the anger and frustration build up – the best way to deal with this is good communication. Your colleague may not understand that her taking time off places an extra burden on the rest of the team, and as you have always accepted the situation she may think it’s fine.
So sit her down and explain that her unreliability (show her the record of her absences) is causing frustration and you want her to think really carefully about taking time off – it can only be for a real emergency.
As her line manager, you have every right to speak to her, so don’t be stressed about doing this.
Explain that you don’t want to take it further, but unless she becomes a reliable member of the team you will have no choice. Also check with your HR department what the policy is on sick days.
There may be a rule that over a certain amount of days employees are not entitled to be paid, which may also focus her!
Compiled by: Claire Frost
Karren can not answer emails personally. Content is intended as general guidance only and does not constitute legal advice.