New research on the benefits of having a furry friend in the office suggests that it could lead to a 15.5% increase in overall work quality of life compared to your average office.
Along with an increase in people’s satisfaction with their home-work interface, by better balancing their commitments, being able to have a dog at your desk indicated a 12% increase in job satisfaction.
The study found that a dog’s presence can reduce stress and people like them because they don’t judge.
They are also a source of social support, a dog is always happy to listen to you complaining about that printer that won’t work. Our furry friends act as catalysts for social interactions with other humans as well, who wouldn’t love to see the office dog stake a claim on the boss’s chair?
Companies are starting to realise the benefits that having a pet in the office can bring. Small businesses with the flexibility to make their own rules are the front runners in letting dogs come to work.
There’s a number of larger companies that appreciate the positive increase in work-life balance as well. Have a look on a company’s careers page to see if they list it in their benefits but a couple to get you started are Pets Pyjamas and Build-A-Bear.
Dog handlers are needed by a wide range of services from security and rescue to the Police and Armed Forces. Find out more about becoming a Dog Handler here
Different dogs are suited to different roles, just like people. You might be interested in using larger dogs for security and protection or smaller dogs for sniffing out things like drugs, weapons and money.
If you really have the passion for working with animals you can go it alone and start your own business. The UK reportedly has over 100,000 pet dogs and they all need walking and looking after. Starting a dog walking business can be difficult but once you have a regular client base that you can rely on, it can become multi-faceted and even employ other members of staff. Check out this comprehensive guide from Simply Business.
Some volunteering opportunities that are outdoors will welcome well behaved dogs, the National Trust for example sometimes allows dogs to come with volunteers during woodland maintenance or litter picks (check before you go, just to make sure).
If your dog is friendly with people and other dogs there are always charities who work with animal loving service users that would to pair you up. Not only is this kind of work incredibly rewarding, you’re improving the life of other people and your pooch too. If your dog is super chilled and friendly it could be trained to work as a Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog, find out more here.
Voluntary experience can really set you apart from other candidates when you’re job hunting and being able to demonstrate you are a well-rounded, caring person is never a bad thing!
Walking a dog is a huge commitment that the majority of owners knowingly undertake but a bit of help now and then is so useful. Let you friends or family know if you’re keen to get involved, it’s a huge relief to have someone you can trust if you need dog care on a busy day or when you’re sick.
Most dog lovers know about Borrow My Doggy but for those that don’t it’s a platform that allows people interested in caring for dogs to match up with people who have dogs that need care.
It could be an afternoon walk while the owner is at work or a week of dog sitting while they’re on holiday. There’s a small cost for the premium account if you want some extra features but the free account will still get you up and running with a new four legged friend.
A number of organisations attended our summer jobs fair in March with available roles still being advertised on our vacancy system. In this blog we hear from a student currently working for FGH Security. Thomas isn’t a Hope student but we hope that by sharing his story we can encourage you to apply to FGH, currently ranked the 23rd Best Company in the Northwest to Work For.
Get paid to work at a range of festivals this summer by joining FGH Security’s Festival Team (& don’t forget to share your festival story with us afterwards so next year’s blog is from a Hope student!)
Here in the Careers and Employability Team we love hearing, and sharing, the experiences of our graduates in the workplace. In this blog we hear from Denis, A Geography graduate from Hope, who’s now working for BDO LLP in Liverpool.
What is my job role?
I work at a large accountancy and business advisory firm called BDO LLP. I work in the firm’s Shared Service Centre (SSC), which is based in the Liverpool office, and my job title is SSC Assistant. I do bank letter coordinating for various BDO offices, mainly for London and Leeds. This means that I am constantly in communication with banks around the world and our Audit Managers to provide account balances for our clients end of year audits. This requires careful management of large databases consisting of hundreds of entities and client private banking information. At the moment our team is relatively new, so we are always implementing new ways of improving the process that we do. Read More
As part of the inaugural Angel Field Festival the Careers & Employability team hosted a workshop focusing on employability in the creative arts on Thursday 28th March.
The session was titled ‘How to Start Your Own Business in the Creative Sector,’ and was led by Kelly Forshaw – Managing Director of Jack All Productions. We were delighted to welcome Kelly on as one of the leading video content producers in the city.
Kelly said she started the company alongside her business partners after many years working in marketing and communications.
“We tell the client’s story.”
Kelly spoke of how the company uses their expertise in video production and PR to tell the stories of businesses and companies. “Some clients know what they want, some have no idea”
Kelly delved into the challenges she faced when starting a business. The first point she made was understanding the difference between cost and value. She said initially when pricing up their service for a client she was thinking only in the cost of tangible things such as equipment or travel expense, and that this a common mistake for creative businesses.
She stressed the importance of factoring in the value of your skill. Whether that be as a musician, composer, writer, designer, director etc – as a creative you have a skill that not everyone has. The analogy she used was of paying someone to paint your house. They wouldn’t charge just for the cost of paint, they also charge for their time and professional skill. She warned against creative skills not being as valued, and to know your value and ensure the client does.
“Add value to what you do.”
Kelly spoke of how you should always look to add value to your product/service to make you stand out and to make your clients as happy as possible. She realised they were creating videos for clients but many didn’t know what to do with it. They then offered a social media plan and targeted marketing which increased the range of their promotion, improved their package to clients and increased the amount of money they could make with a more premium service.
“What is it you can do that others can’t?”
Defining a unique selling point was another key challenge explored. Kelly said it was vital to search for what made your product or service different, why should clients to come to you out of everyone in your industry. She said it was important to know your audience, to know who you’re making your product for and how to let them know that.
“Make sure you’re the first person they speak to.”
The next key point was networking. Kelly admitted this can be tough and not everyone enjoys this aspect but if no one knows who you are then you won’t have any business. Kelly said the first place to start is within your own circle of friends. She admitted hesitations over putting herself out there, of setting herself up to fail, but that she had to get over those insecurities or she’d have no clients.
Kelly said if you can let your friends and social media network know of what you’re doing, they’ll likely come to you first over a random company as they’ll trust you. From there your business can grow.
Other bits of advice in this area centred on not being afraid to ask for introductions, putting yourself out there at networking events and being a nice person. She said asking people to go for a coffee and for advice is a subtle way to build relationships.
“Create a portfolio of what you do. Sell your story.”
Kelly touched upon marketing being an important factor in building your business. She highlighted social media as a key tool as it is free advertising and that you should let as many people as possible know what you do in as many different forms. She said the likes of photos and blogs will help build a picture of who you are and what you stand for and will help to sell you and your ideas, not just your product.
Kelly rounded out her challenges by examining contracts, payment and insurance. She said this is crucial in protecting yourself and your equipment and ensuring you are prepared for all circumstances.
“Ready. Fire. Aim.”
Kelly’s final advice touched upon taking the plunge and putting yourself out there. She said that when she first started she hesitated with many projects as she wasn’t quite sure if it was the right client, or if the content was ready and ended up missing out on an opportunity.
She said without being too gung-ho, often you’ve just got to go for it, take the chance, and refine as you go. Learn from experience and mistakes and make sure that next time you take that on board and change your approach. Every project or client is going to have drawbacks in some form and if you wait around for the perfect opportunity with no risks you’re just going to be left waiting.
The session was well received by the budding creative entrepreneurs who attended. One student said “She was so inspirational and really motivated me to start thinking about my own business.”
Thank you to Kelly Forshaw of Jack All Productions for such a motivational and eye-opening talk that has really benefited our students.
On Tuesday 12th March a panel of speakers from the film and video production industries shared their stories, knowledge and experience with first year students on the Film and Visual Culture course at Creative Campus.
“Do your research, know the companies, know what they stand for and how you can contribute.”
The first speaker was Maureen Sinclair from Clapperboard UK. Maureen told the students her incredible story of how she started as a writer for Mersey TV working with home grown luminaries such as Phil Redmond, Frank Cottrell-Boyce and Jimmy McGovern on the groundbreaking soap Brookside.
Maureen gave advice on the power of collaboration and a shared vision in the writer’s room and on set, and also the importance of being focused at all times while working and pulling your weight.
Maureen spoke about Clapperboard and their work with school children aged between 12 and 17 to help them write scripts, make them into short films, and showcase them at an Oscars-style awards ceremony with famous names and experts from the industry on the panel.
Her reason for starting the company was to give opportunities to young people in Liverpool that they may not otherwise get. “We’re a city of storytellers,” she told the students.
Maureen closed with advice imploring the students to research production companies, watch their films, understand their mission statement and let them know what you and only you can bring to that company.
“Whatever your project is, make it the most exciting in the world.”
Kelly Forshaw, the managing director of Jack-All Productions, spoke about how she started her company after extensive work in acting, media, marketing and communications.
Jack-All Productions is a video-led creative content agency. Kelly said they specialise in producing engaging digital moving image, starting with the creative concept right through to delivery.
Kelly spoke about how she wanted to work with organisations to amplify their story, to tell it in an exciting and engaging way in which they may not be able to, as she believed in their cause.
Kelly’s story introduced the students to another avenue for their skills in filmmaking. Kelly’s advice included how to network and how to get yourself known by production companies.
She advised students to be as friendly as possible and to put yourself about. To get yourself known, take people for coffee and ask for advice.
One nugget of guidance that struck a chord was to treat every project you work on as the most exciting in the world, to make the ordinary become extraordinary by using your skills as a filmmaker and storyteller.
“Tell me why YOU want to make films. Tell me your story.”
The final speakers were Jay Podmore and Jason Lamar of Avengers Media, a start-up film company created by two actors who wanted to create their own roles and shape their own futures.
They spoke about their obsession with filmmaking and story and how they were fed up of waiting for the phone to ring, fed up of rejection, and decided it was time to make their own films.
Jay told how he had not been to film school but took the knowledge he had gained from working on many film sets and started to shoot his own short films.
He showed the students examples of his work and gave advice on throwing yourself in to challenges, not being afraid of asking for help, and to create your own opportunities rather than waiting for others to give you them.
Jay’s advice to students looking for work experience or looking to make films was to be sure of what it was they wanted to say in their filmmaking. He said he looks for individuals who are passionate about telling stories only they can tell.
“Be nice, say yes to things, everyone knows everyone.”
The closing message to the students agreed by the panel was that film is a tough business, but it’s those who work hard and with a smile on their face that will prosper.