Advantages Staff Discount and Benefits
Disadvantages Career Progression and Pay
|Range of duties|
|Career prospects||It did not help my career prospects|
I was 15 when I left school obtaining good qualifications and heading off to college to do Travel and Tourism. The store was sort of newish to the area and was taking on staff at the same time as I left school. The store was one of the superstores within its portfolio and had the old uniform with the white shirts and grey trousers.After sending in my application form I was invited to an interview as a check-out assistant. The pay and the job were ideal and the hours allowed me to go out at least twice a weekend.
After preparing for hours on end for my very first interview I made my way to the store running over questions that I could be asked and arrived 30minutes before my interview and waited in the store café until I was called. The checkout manager then took me for my interview which was relaxing and not to formal which made me feel at ease. The simple questions like "what do you think makes a good team?" were asked and I left feeling happy but very unsure. It was only two days later I was invited in for my induction course which was a week long and included health and safety and various company information and on the job training.I swiflty got into my job role and learned how to get past the management who would ask if you could come in and work 3 3/4 hours (its not until 4 hours you get a 15 minute break). Then the managment were great and their was a sense of teamwork and job satisfaction. Overtime was readily available anywhere and training in various other departments was easily achieved.
As time went on it became clear Tesco was changing, it started cutting overtime to allow for budgets and management were in and out from various levels after short periods. New entry managers were random and this lead to a backlash from staff who were easger for promotion and working towards a career.Various departments work at different pay rates and it became apparent who was earning certain rates and who were not. After making a beeline for the customer service desk as quickly as possible I got the job and bounced my pay packet up swiftly with less supervision over my job role.
As Tesco began to evolve the store began to undergo further development to extend and enter into more non-foods. More jobs became available and staff moved internally where ever they could to obtain better pay.Tesco has its own internal managment scheme as well as graduate schemes, and if your department manager had the time and really pushed you forward your career was sorted, otherwise you just might as well sat back and go for the ride.
I entered into the employee share scheme somehow and because I was very young had no idea about it all and listened to my grandma who said forget about it and leave it! After my 12 months I was also awarded with a staff discount card which came in handy but restrictions were in place on purchases and bigger items were rejected by the managment over profit and customer satisfaction.Uniforms changed and became what we see now within all the various Tesco stores, ultimatley they were more comfortable but staff didnt care.
After pursuing the internal management scheme and pushing it forward I had realised I had been through so many department managers that I was starting all over again with a new person! Which is very annoying and unmotivating.Ongoing training was provided but not really at a sit down and lets really go through it attitude but more a watch me and this is how its done, now sign here to say you have been trained. A word of warning would be to stick to your own department because as staff turnover began to increase if you were familiar to another department or trained to work elsewhere you would be picked from your current job to work in another department. This really affects your own job role and your own department will come down on you for failing to achieve your targets and deadlines.
The staff when I started were happy and content and as the company grew the staff morale deteriorated and turnover was quick and swift, especially with school leavers and part-time students for university etc.They pay strict attention to your start time and when you clocked in for your shift.
The staff canteen was great, it left a sense of relaxation when I was there, we had games machines and various vending machines, food going out of date was put out for the staff and the meals cooked for the staff at dinner was lovely. But you could only have two rashers of sliced turkey in gravy or three roast potatoes at the most! Many people then took the option to have their own food (which had to be reciepted for otherwise you were taken to the office for further action because it may have been taken from the shop floor).The people you worked with made the job worth-while and good friendships are formed and even staff parties are organised, but only if you join the staff social club!
I personally watched out for everything, staff were nicking all the time, adding their own clubcard onto transactions and telling the tills that the customer had taken the computers for schools vouchers when they didnt want them, keep them to one side and take them for their local schools.I realised about last year I still had my shares in Tesco and cashed them in for £800, a nice little bonus left for me years after i had left!
If you can work round Tesco to your needs and really push to get where you want you may just get to managment, but dont hold out to much hope for it. I see people at my local store now who have been there since it first opened, and people who started with me still trying and at the same job, and others who shot straight up to senior managment and middle managment. Now I would only use Tesco as a bypass for thinking of what to do next like many of the students who come and go.As Tesco becomes more global and dominating the market more oppurtunities arise but more procedures are having to be put in place to cope with its growing demand for global takeover.
It was only recent that middle managment was downgraded and team leaders were placed in, at a lower wage, so department managers had to re-apply for their own jobs but with lower pay!I have done so much in the time I have left, I moved to spain, I came back, im travelling the world daily, and I still see the same people working at the store passing produce over a scanner which sends out the same mono tone sound all day everyday.
In its defense I learnt so much, I was only 15 remember when I started. I learnt everything from the legal side of the operation to marketing and food health and safety and its internal operations.But unless you really have a passion for supermarkets, have an unemployment scare, mid-life crisis, or want simple hours to suit your children going to school then I would recommend taking up employment with more oppurtunities elsewhere.
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