Karren Brady's career advice on how to deal with stress amid changing workloads | 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 best manage stress when workload runs in peaks and troughs.

Q) I enjoy my job, but I find it quite stressful, especially when we are busy – the workload tends to run in peaks and troughs, so sometimes we don’t have much to do and sometimes we have too much!

In my annual review, the feedback my manager gave me was generally positive, but they also told me that I should work on my resilience.

I’m keen to progress in my job, but I’m not exactly sure what my boss meant by this and how I might go about improving resilience when it comes to work. Can you help?

Evie, via email

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A) All jobs can be stressful, and it’s important to learn ways of how best to manage those stress levels during more difficult times.

It’s great that you enjoy your job, and you appear to have a good relationship with your manager, along with receiving a positive review, so you are clearly well thought of.

In annual reviews, as with job interviews, it should always be a two-way conversation.  As much as it is an opportunity for your boss to tell you what you are doing well and where there are development opportunities, it’s also a chance for you to ask for direction with the things you know you need support with, and the areas they feel you need to work on.

Your manager should be able to give you examples of where and how you could have handled certain situations better and how you could have bounced back more quickly and improved your resilience.

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Talk to your boss and explain that you are keen to do better, so it would really help for you to have some extra clarity and guidance. Open and honest communication is key here.

A Day In The Life Of…

Susan Stille, 58, is the co-founder of accessories brand Stone & Mason. She lives in Chelsea with her barrister husband Richard, 66, and has three grown-up children, including her business partner Holly, 31.

I wake up at…

About 7.30am. I answer supplier and customer emails that have landed overnight from America – we are stocked in New York and Miami – then shower and dress before Holly arrives at 8.30am.

A normal day involves…

We start the day with a coffee and a chat about the day’s schedule. I design all our bags and I’m currently looking at upcycled materials, specifically how waste can be repurposed. 

I get inspiration everywhere – from looking at what people are wearing on the street, to Pinterest and my mother’s old bags and accessories.

In the UK, we’re stocked online. Our bag straps are made in Italy, the bags are made in Spain and we source our summer bags from Bali, so I travel in September and January, visiting our factories, checking in on production and approving samples.

Holly manages the business side, like admin, customer interaction and social media. Although we have a separate storage unit in London, we package all our products from home, which can lead to additional hours of work when it’s busy.

Holly is an excellent cook, so after a live stream barre class at lunchtime, she makes us fish and vegetables, which sees us through until we finish work around 7pm.

The best part of my job is…

Starting a new career at 54! I gave up my job as a wedding dress designer when I had kids, so I am proof that women can get back into a profession at any age. I also love working with Holly. We sometimes disagree, but unconditional love means we never take things to heart and issues are resolved quickly. 

And the hardest?

Not switching off. Holly and I start talking business first thing in the morning and find ourselves still doing so over dinner!

I wind down by…

I love going for morning walks or drinks with friends. When Richard comes home, we unwind by talking about our days. 

We do such different jobs, we’re always interested to hear 

what the other has been up to.

  •  Visit Stone-and-mason.com.

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