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I have worked at Tesco for the past two and a half years since I left school in order to fund my uni life. I have continued to stick with the company because it suits my student lifestyle. Reasons for this are as follows...
In comparison to other part-time jobs the pay is very good. As a checkout operator who has worked there for more than a year I am paid £6.94 an hour. This is slightly more than the normal wage (which is still over £6) as I work in an inner city store. There is also added location pay which helps as living in Edinburgh is expensive. Workers are paid time and a half for working Sundays and Bank Holidays which is very useful. There is also special night shift payment for those who work past 10pm and even more money for those who work past midnight. In comparison to other part-time unskilled jobs this is excellent pay.
There is a terrific range of benefits for staff. Once you have worked here for 6 months or more you are entitled to a 10% discount card which is very handy from buying your weekly shop to shopping online. This also contains all your Clubcard points. In addition to this, staff members are entitled to free shares in the company at around 2 years of service. There are a whole host of benefits. Various money off deals and vouchers are given to staff allowing you to get money off at Christmas time and to get cheaper holidays and visits to places within Britain like Alton Towers (which my family used last year). Various benefits are in place to support your lifestyle including pensions, pregnancy leave benefits and childcare vouchers. Basically, Tesco seem to offer probably the best pay and benefits for supermarket workers on the whole in Britain.
As a student, I really value flexibility in my life. I currently work 9 hours a week and can do overtime if I feel I have to. Checkout operators and customer assistants usually work anywhere between 8 hours and 35 hours a week. Tesco have been superb at catering for my needs. When I really required exam leave last year they were very helpful in allowing it so long as I told them in advance. There is also a student transfer service in place which allows students to go back to a store closer to their parent's during the summer and then return to a store close to their university accommodation. The 'Debut club' which runs this can be inefficient in organising transfers and I've had to ring them a lot in the past to do so but I have always gotten my transfer in the end. This transfer system is designed primarily for students but I know that staff who are not students can apply for transfers too, should they wish or need to move elsewhere in the UK. Another wonderful thing about Tesco is that they offer provision for lifestyle breaks and career breaks. Lifestyle breaks can be for a period up to 3 months whilst career breaks are no less than 3 months. I have decided to work abroad at an American summer camp this year and Tesco lifestyle breaks has given me the opportunity to do this.
The uniform used to involve a terrible blue plaid shirt and dark blue trousers (or a skirt) which really did not complement your figure. The new uniform, introduced spring/summer 2008 was much better fitting with blue or red tops and dark blue trousers. I definitely prefer it!
*~Promotion and Graduate Opportunities~*
At my store many students who have graduated are moving on to take up jobs higher up the Tesco hierarchy, often working towards store management and jobs in head office. I have seen many people move up in job title, some who do not even have degrees. The chance to get ahead in Tesco is there if you wish to grasp it whether you have a degree or not.
The great downside of Tesco is that it can be a downright boring place to work - at least for me. The monotony of the endless beeps of scanning people's shopping and saying almost exactly the same thing to each customer (Do you have a Clubcard?) can be mind numbing. I have also stacked shelves which can make time go by a bit faster but it really is not much better. The only upside of stacking shelves is that you avoid a lot of nasty encounters with rude customers. I really like my colleagues at the moment who are a bright and cheerful bunch, many of them students like myself. However, I think many of them, also like myself, do not intend to remain at Tesco after they have left uni and will have even bigger, more interesting jobs on the horizon.
As an employee I would say that Tesco provides excellent part-time employment in terms of wages and benefits. However, I do not intend to stay there after I am a student as I generally do not find the job very interesting or stimulating. I know that some people will intend to stick with it all of their lives and may take up graduate opportunities but working in marketing and business management is really not for me. For the time being, however, it suits me very well. Summary: Fantastic as a part-time job but I do not intend to stay after uni
(My review on shopping at Tesco can be found in the other Tesco section and within my account profile)