SME Agony Uncle: Bobby Kerr answers all your business and work-related questions


Each week broadcaster, entrepreneur and agony uncle Bobby Kerr joins The Hard Shoulder to answer all your employment-related questions.

Team building... You either love it or loathe it. Kieran Cuddihy, filling in for Ivan this week, kicked things off by asking Bobby for his opinion on teams having offsites and bonding sessions. 

Bobby says he thinks it's important that people get along but that he feels it's something that should happen naturally and not be sprung on a team out of the blue. Ultimately, Bobby believes that people who get to know each other outside of work will work better together. 

Now onto your questions... 

I'm a self employed IT consultant and I'm busy, knocking a decent living out of what I do. It's just me at the moment and there are just not enough hours in the day to fulfil the demands of my time. One client that I work with about two days each week has offered me a full time job to run their IT department in a company that appears to be going well. It would mean taking a pay cut initially and dropping the clients I have now. My father says I should welcome the stability but this doesn't really float my boat so I'd welcome a second opinion.

Bobby says this person has answered his own question. He says this man knows he has wored hard to build up the clients that he has and probably knows that he's at the point where he count take someone on himself, which is a risk but Bobby says he knows himself that he has worked hard to get to where he is. So he should stay where he is for now. 

We have a big deal happening at work at the moment that I am heavily involved in. I am due to take holidays from this Friday and the deal should be closed by then but it's not for reasons beyond my control. My boss has said I might need to keep my phone and email on while I'm away and I am furious about this because I have been working hard night and day on this deal. What would you do? 

Bobby says this person has a couple of options. They could cancel their holiday and speak to their boss about covering any cancellation fees and potentially another holiday once the deal has been completed. Or if this person decides to go on the holiday, they could designate time each day that they will be available on the phone or to respond to emails but this is ultimately, this person's choice to make. In Bobby's opinion, it's not right to ask someone who has been working very hard on a project already to give up their holiday or work while they are away. 

I have been interested in motor sports for all of my life and am a decent rally driver. I've worked in sales for years and I like my job but I've recently been offered a job in what appears to be a good motor sports company. I am worried about turning my hobby into my job and would appreciate a second opinion. 

Bobby says this is a difficult decision to make because while we all have our hobbies, once you turn them into jobs, the relationship we have with our hobby is inevitably going to change. However, if the job on offer is good then it might be a trade off worth considering, Bobby advises. So if this person does decide to go for the role on offer, they should be willing to accept that their feelings towards their hobby will probably never be the same. 

You can listen back to all of Bobby’s employment advice from Tuesday’s The Hard Shoulder here: 

If you have a business or SME related query you would like answered - you can get in touch with Bobby each week by simply sending a short mail to [email protected]

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