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Karren Brady’s career advice on supporting your partner’s career ambitions

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 on how to support her partner’s new career ambitions while being realistic.

Karren Brady, Baroness Brady, CBE is a British business executive and television personality

Q) My husband and I both work in care roles at an NHS hospital. However, the stress of the job over the last two years has led my husband to consider a change of direction.

I empathise with him, but he’s really frustrating me. He’s full of barmy ideas for jobs he’s completely unqualified for – one minute he wants to be a carpenter (his only experience is putting together flat-pack furniture!), the next a chef (he makes a good roast, but has no formal training).

There’s no way we’d be able to survive on just my salary if he were to retrain. I do want to support his ambitions, but we also need to be realistic. Do you have any advice?

Marianne, via email

A) You and your husband have no doubt been under unimaginable stress during what’s been the most difficult and unpredictable few years in our lives.

I am not surprised your husband is toying with the ideas of jobs that take him far away from the kind of stress and pressure he’s been under.

The fact that he’s coming up with all these ideas but not actually pursuing them makes me think he’s fantasising as a form of escapism with no real intention of actually applying for them.

If you do think he’s starting to seriously explore a new career, then you should be supportive of him, but as you say, in a realistic manner.

Have an honest conversation about what you could afford if he had to accept a lower salary and the impact it would have on your lifestyle.

If he is unhappy working for the NHS, then it’s right he looks for a job elsewhere, but he needs to make a planned decision – not a spur-of-the-moment one that would cause stress in the future.

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