It’s not easy being young at the moment and getting a job. It doesn’t seem to matter how much experience you have, getting an interview these days is just a big an achievement as getting a job is.
To improve my CV I’ve been getting more work experience to improve my chances of getting interviews I actually want. Currently I’m in the middle of work experience at the BBC and something I didn’t expect to discover is that their working environment has taken my breath away, for the better.
Like most people, I only know what it’s like to work in the private sector. In the four locations I’ve either worked full-time or on work experience and the countless places I have had interviews, I have seen very cluttered working spaces with few facilities for staff. Small kitchens, limited or poor options for food, basic lavatories in buildings situated in the outskirts of towns. They are not really places you want to hang around in your lunch break or free-time.
Contrast this to the BBC – canteens, excellent kitchen and restroom facilities, fancy seating on every floor to have informal meetings or just have lunch. I have been amazed at the quality of the working environment compared to workplaces I have witnessed in London, Yorkshire, Berkshire, Essex and West Sussex in the private sector.
With the cuts agenda of politics we hear today, many public sector jobs will be lost and there will be less spending on public sector facilities.
At the BBC they are currently moving many jobs to Salford, selling-off magazines, cutting back on its web presence and considering radical measures on its daytime content both on television, and radio, internationally, nationally and regionally. Am I witnessing the last days of a BBC that has prospered in the good times?
What I have observed in my short period at the broadcaster is though, that they really look after their staff, much better than the private businesses that I have been at.
You hear of pay freezes in the private sector while management get huge bonuses, companies moving to cheaper offices that diminish the job satisfaction of the workers and a scaling down of employee perks and facilities.
I know times are tough, but absolute penny-pinching will not get us out of the bad times. The Government’s current pet project is The Happiness Index – don’t think there are many with smiley faces at the moment.
Yes the BBC and other public sector bodies such as the NHS, the police and prisons, local authorities and the civil service have gone too far with some of their spending, but surely the old adage money doesn’t buy you happiness rings true. Most right-minded people would put happiness over money any day so shouldn’t we also apply that with our society and working life?
Private companies can’t not spend above their means, the public sector can get away with it more, but what I have learned in my tiny amount of time at the BBC and watching programmes recently such as Kirsty Young’s The British at Work, is that maybe the private sector has lost its way in how it treats its staff.
Gone are the days when private companies built communities for their workers to live in e.g. Cadburys, or even organised staff outings or entertainment evenings.
The working experience now is quite a lonely one now where you go in 9-5 and leave immediately. Maybe some of that community spirit that once existed in our workplaces before needs to be resuscitated to get us out of the state we’re in. I’m not saying the BBC is employment Utopia but I have certainly had my eyes open.