Dream Job

In that funny in-between time after you’ve celebrated the end of exams, finished packing up your uni room and retreated to your parents’ kitchen table to plan your next move, there’s something reassuringly familiar about the big, well-known grad schemes. Whether it’s the Fast Stream, Teach First or a rotation programme around a top investment bank, grad schemes carry a faint whiff of the institution you’ve just left- with their promises that you’ll join as part of a cohort of...

Alex O’Brien is a Talent Manager and our resident early-stage startup specialist. In this interview, he explains why an understanding of series funding really matters when you're choosing the right career for you. Why did you want to talk about startup funding? Because it’s so important, and so poorly-understood. The stage of funding that a company is in tells you a huge amount about it- what it’s doing, its success to date, and what it would be like to work there. Recruiters...

As February draws to a close, lucky ski seasonnaires are probably the only group of people who are happy that winter’s having a final hurrah: what in London means grey sludge and packed tubes just makes the Alps more Alp-y, and means there’s lots of soft white snow to zoom round in. And the freezing weather delays a gloomy prospect: spring, slush and mud, and packed Ryanair flights back to the UK. At this time of the year, many people are...

In December I did something that ran counter to all my natural instincts: ten days before Christmas, I booked a last-minute flight to a rural part of southern India. I decided to spend the last working week of 2017 quite cut off from my business, clients and team; to swap client meetings and Christmas drinks for solitude, yoga and meditation. When you’re a target-oriented person (like, I suspect, most CEOs and managers)- someone who thrives on immediate action and progress,...

It’s considered a bit seedy, when we talk about work, to admit to being money-motivated. We talk about careers in the language of higher purpose: work is about ‘making a difference’, ‘loving what you do’; being ‘passionate’ about your particular service, or product, or contribution. Candidates at job interviews worry that by confessing their ambition to earn, they’ll sound either like they’re not truly excited about the company and role they’re applying for, or like unscrupulous scoundrels who’d do anything...

Claudia graduated from Edinburgh University with a degree in Modern Languages this summer. We placed her into a Sales role at an e-commerce technology startup in September. We caught up with her a couple of months later to find out how to get a job in a startup straight after uni, and what working in one is really like. What were your career plans when you finished uni? I don’t think I had fixed plans, but I knew I wanted a new...

Duncan graduated from the University of Exeter this year, with a First Class degree in Business and Management. Venatrix placed him into a graduate role in a Marketing technology startup in the early autumn. A few weeks into his role, we caught up with him to find out how he’s doing, and what working in a startup is all about. What were your career plans when you finished uni? Initially, I didn’t really have any- I wanted to take a year out...

Summer- if you can call the funereal seventeen-degree drizzle that was July and August this year summer, that is- is well and truly over. But if you’re a recent university graduate wondering what to do now that festivals, holidays and barbecues have trickled to a stop, don’t despair- as the famous Keats poem says, autumn is the best season for graduates to get their first job! Here are five reasons why: 1. Companies are hiring now- but they won’t be for...

A few weeks ago, I was asked to give a talk about ‘Authentic Personal Impact’ at the workshop Crossing Thresholds, which was set up to empower women in senior positions in the Civil Service to climb higher up the career ladder. Writing my talk and participating in the workshop got me thinking about the place of personality in building and running a business. Most entrepreneurs would probably agree that personality is a vital resource for inspiring employees, creating a positive company...

Venatrix Talent Manager Alex O'Brien's tips for making sure you're in charge of your future After end-of-exam celebrations and the glory of graduation, hunting for your first graduate job can be a profoundly sobering experience. We’ve all been there- scrolling through hundreds of adverts for candidates with at least two years’ experience (how exactly are you supposed to get the experience?!); waiting to hear back from businesses whose rejection policy is to ghost unsuccessful applicants and hope they get the message,...

Think about what really matters In the age of Google HQ, it feels almost compulsory for companies to have trendy offices in Shoreditch complete with ping pong tables and fully stocked beer fridges. Get excited about these things- a great company culture will make your working week fun and rewarding, as well as bringing plenty of free food and drinks your way- but remember they’re just perks, and don’t let them overshadow more important considerations. Make these questions the basis of...