Karren Brady’s career advice on going back to college to become a teacher | The Sun

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 feel go back to college and retrain as a teacher.

Q) I’m in my 50s and I work in an admin role for my local council.

I’ve been planning for a while to go back to college to study classical literature – one of my passions – as a mature student, with the intention of teaching the subject in the future.

Then the pandemic hit and forced me to delay my plans. And now the cost of living crisis seems to have scuppered my dream completely – there’s no way we’d be able to get by on just my husband’s income alone.

Do you think it’s time for me to give up on the idea of teaching and keep reading as a hobby?


Karren Brady’s career advice on taking a big risk to start working for yourself

Karren Brady’s career advice on asking for a raise in a salaried job

Sheila, via email

A) I admire your ambition to keep learning and to change careers.

Doing something you’re passionate about is important, and yet it does seem to be a luxury when there’s so much worry about the cost of living.

I absolutely do not think you should give up on the idea of teaching – after all, a good teacher is one of the most important people a child (or adult) can have in their life.

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So you need to consider how you can make it happen without hugely reducing your finances and quality of life.

Can you study as a part-time student perhaps? It’ll take longer, but will enable you to earn while you study.

Universities and colleges offer scholarships or bursaries and there is help available to fund an Access to Higher Education course, where the loan can be written off once you complete a subsequent qualification.

Check out Gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan, plus visit Getintoteaching.education.gov.uk for webinars where you can ask an expert what you could be eligible for.

Seek as much advice as you can before making any decisions. Good luck!


Desriee Asomuyide, 30, is the founder of inclusive educational toy company Little Omo. She lives in east London with her son Isaiah, three.

I wake up at…

6.30am. After showering and getting ready, I wake Isaiah up at 7.30am and drop him off at nursery, so that I’m at my home desk at 9am.

A normal day involves…

Checking my content planner to assess the day’s tasks, then I’m on email, liaising with stockists at Disneyland and Selfridges.

I started Little Omo – which means “little child” in the West African Yoruba language – in September 2020, a year after being made redundant from my job as a fashion stylist.

I came up with the idea when I was given flashcards at my baby shower and all the characters in the pack were white.

After touching base via Zoom with Mariie, my London-based virtual assistant, I meet with suppliers who produce our puzzles and flashcards.

We launch new products every 3-6 months, which I illustrate, plus I edit photography and create Instagram reels.

After eating a sausage and bacon baguette with salad around 10am, I head out for a 45-minute walk to a local park, where I do my business calls, including speaking to our freelance PR manager Maxine.

Being outside helps my creativity. I’m constantly planning how to grow the brand and social media is brilliant for spreading the word – it’s how Disneyland found us!

I clock off at 5pm, and once I’ve collected Isaiah, I don’t touch my phone. He’ll only be young once, so we play cars or watch TV.

He loves helping me cook his favourite dinner – plantain, chicken and rice.

The best part of my job is…

Creating inclusive educational products for the current and next generation of black and brown children.

Seeing themselves in the products they are learning from builds confidence.

And the worst…

Working on my own can get lonely and it’s sometimes tempting to clean the house or get distracted by the TV.

I don’t have a partner and there’s a lot of pressure being a single parent, but I have help from my family and friends.

I wind down by…

Once Isaiah’s in bed at 7.30pm, I light a candle, listen to some meditation music, then watch Netflix before bedtime at 10pm.

  • Visit Littleomo.com.

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