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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Settling in at TARGETjobs

After their introduction post last week, Ross is back with his first individual post letting you all know what it is really like to work at TARGETjobs HQ. 


After three weeks at TARGETjobs, I’m sufficiently settled to reflect on how I’m enjoying my time with the company. I can honestly say that it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done. Everyone’s awful. Mum, can I come home now?

Kidding on. I’m really happy in the office: there is wonderful flexibility when it comes to fetching a hot drink. In saying this, I don’t mean to suggest that TARGETjobs is an absolute free-for-all where employees race around choking back free tea, determined to take advantage of an abundant commodity. Instead, I hope to convey an image of freedom within a bright, shiny building in the middle of a calm yet modern business park in rural Oxfordshire. In a corporate world of stress, restrictive suits and closely-monitored workers, TARGETjobs is a relatively relaxed working environment, which must have a positive impact on staff morale.

The first week or so largely involved being trained in different aspects of editorial, such as copy writing, proof reading, commissioning and writing in plain English (which will be ‘helpful’ in this job, as opposed to ‘beneficial’ or ‘advantageous’) as well as on a content management system (something that is increasingly important in the digital age).

After that, my main priority was compiling 150 company blurbs for The Guardian UK 300 list of the most popular graduate employers. It took me quite a while to complete this task and finalising the piece on the last company was pretty satisfying. I was buoyed to think that my efforts would contribute to a widely-circulated publication and was content to be allowed to sit in my job and write things in a pleasant environment.

I must admit, though, that there was eventually a level of tedium attached to constructing these pieces, for example ‘Friend, Mate, Chum & Pal LLP is an international law firm, with offices in London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Abu Dhabi and Crowmarsh Gifford. It recruits around 15 trainees each year from both law and non-law academic backgrounds.’ This structure was used many times throughout the blurb compilation process.

Writing for this publication enhanced my knowledge of the graduate opportunities available in a number of different sectors; it also helped me to clarify which careers would possibly be slightly more difficult to launch, one such example being: barrister specialising in commercial law. My research into pupillages available in different chambers led to my perusing the academic backgrounds of the latest recruits, most of whose qualifications absolutely blew me away. Although I should perhaps refrain from supplying disincentives to aspiring barristers at top commercial sets, entry into these chambers seems as competitive as a fight between well-matched armoured bears.

When I finished writing the blurbs I wrote a news article about the results of a survey on popular solicitors’ firms. It went on the website a couple of days later and looking at it made me feel a bit lovely.

Next day, when explaining to my friend what I’d been doing at work, he said, ‘Here…that sounds really good.’ I felt that this was a fair appraisal.    

Ross will be back in two weeks time, but if you can't wait that long until your next insight into working at TARGETjobs HQ Alex will be posting next week about what he has been getting up to and what he is learning. And if you want to keep up-to-date with our latest posting why not following us on Twitter @targetjobsuk