Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

WE’RE HIRING: Head for Points writer, London, £40,000 pa

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I am looking to hire a new writer for Head for Points. If you’re interested, read on.

I ran this site on my own for the first three years. Anika worked for me part-time for a year and, two years ago, joined full time.  We kept this low key but I’m very happy to say that Anika got married a few weeks ago and she is no longer based in London.

What I have decided to do is hire a new writer to work alongside me in the London office.

I am looking for someone to join the business to co-write our standard day-to-day ‘points and miles’ articles. It will also involve replying directly to reader emails and updating legacy content.  You will also be taking on the flight and hotel reviews which Anika would previously have done.

You will not be looking after advertising, marketing, competitions etc but you will be involved in organising our eagerly awaited Christmas and Summer parties.

This job has very specific requirements

HfP is a bigger and more complex business than it appears, with the site generating 1.3 million page views per month and sending out 1.1 million articles by email.

Remember that we are producing 24 articles per week across Head for Points and Shopper Points – an average of almost five per working day. This is on top of a schedule of meetings and trips.

The key reason for taking on someone is to reduce the 365 / 24 / 7 burden on myself.  This means that there are very specific requirements attached to the job which may disqualify you.

You would not be allowed to take leave during the UK school holidays in February, May or October or over Easter.  We are more flexible over the Summer but there would also be restrictions.  I am always away over these periods and you would take full control of the site at these times. Bear this in mind if you have school-age children or your partner is a teacher.  This is not negotiable.

It would be an added bonus if you wanted to work part or all of the weekend in return for days off elsewhere. However, this is a “nice to have” rather than a “must have”. Don’t be put off applying if you want a Monday to Friday job.

What does the role involve?

I don’t intend to go into a detailed description of the knowledge you need. It’s very simple – if you think you could write most of the analytical HFP articles virtually off the top of your head, then apply.

If you don’t know all of the benefits of Amex Platinum, which BA Club Europe routes offer 160 tier points or which hotel top tier statuses include free breakfast, you’re probably not right for this.  At the same time, I would still want to do the more complex articles myself so you don’t need to know everything.

Remember that we write for a mainstream business travel audience and much of what we do is mainstream trade journalism.  We have small shelf of ‘Business Travel Journalism Awards’ to prove it.  The crossover of readers between HfP and, say, Flyertalk is low.

We’re not looking for ideas for obscure redemptions on obscure airlines. You don’t need to know every airline code (B6 anyone?) because we never use them.  We DO want you to tell people about offers to make a stay at the Holiday Inn Sheffield more rewarding.

If you already write about miles and points then this is an advantage.  There are certain key differences between having your own site and working for HfP.  The main ones are that you will not have control over what you write about (although obviously you can suggest ideas) and you will not be able to randomly vent about issues which interest you.  You need to accept that your work will be edited by someone else and substantial changes may be made.

If you compare HfP to a newspaper you will be writing the news pages, not the editorial comment pages.  The overall tone and direction of the site will not be changing.

You will be reviewing business class flights for the site. Recent trips included Tokyo on ANA, Johannesburg on South African, Boston on Aer Lingus and New York on Norwegian as well as some private jet flights.  There will also be occasional European high-end hotel reviews and some more prosaic UK airport hotel visits. These are usually 3-4 nights solo trips which you will need to plan and manage yourself. You will be away from home for 10-12 nights per year.

I am looking at this as a long-term appointment.  If I fall under a bus tomorrow, my wife and kids will be relying on you to keep the business going.  If the site is sold to MoneySuperMarket, GoCompare or someone similar I would expect you to become editor whilst I move to a non-executive role. This means that you need to show managerial and commercial potential even if it won’t be required short term.

WordPress experience is essential but you could teach yourself in a couple of days.  Basic HTML, CSS and video editing skills are handy.

Location

HfP is based behind Moorgate station in a 3,000 person WeWork co-working space. HfP has its own dedicated two-desk office.

The building comes with the usual perks – free beer, free coffee, an extensive events programme, table tennis, table football, on-site cafe etc.

I am considering moving the office to Victoria to make it walkable for me, but it would remain within a co-working facility.

Other points to consider

You need to hold a UK or EU passport (or a passport with equivalent travel rights) and be able to travel without restriction to the Middle East and North America.

Working for HfP is a public role and you will lose some of your personal privacy. We are regularly featured in the media and TV, radio and press appearances are occasionally required.

Whilst this is technically a Monday to Friday job – unless you want to work over the weekend in return for days off elsewhere – review trips will involve weekend travel. Working late is not encouraged but we may, for example, set up a rota over who is responsible for monitoring site comments in the evenings and weekends.

Anika won “Best Newcomer to Business Travel Journalism” at the annual industry awards in 2017 and I would hope that whoever takes this role would be nominated in 2019.

The job is a genuine partnership with a very high level of delegation and high levels of mutual trust.

Compensation

The salary is £40,000 pa.

Interested?

If you think this role is for you, please email me at rob at headforpoints.com and tell me why.   Do not apply if you cannot commit to working during school holidays as outlined above.

If you have any questions, post them below or contact me directly. Applications close on Wednesday 7th November. Interviews will take place in November. We are flexible over a starting date but the sooner the better.

Comments (197)

  • Botham says:

    The best of luck with this appointment. You have been very open and honest with the job spec and it sounds a wonderful opportunity, in a fast moving market.

  • Eli Goldberg says:

    Omg this sounds so tempting

  • Simon Schus says:

    Congrats Anika!

  • Seat54 says:

    I laughed when you mentioned the Holiday Inn Sheffield, for me that’s still up there as number 1 worst ever place I have stayed, the cobwebs (and massive spiders), dirty bedding (blood stained) and strange coloured tap water left me with no desire to stay, shame really I did like the building.

    • mr dee says:

      It was a trick question, here is the solution to make the stay better, stay at the Doubletree Sheffield!

  • mel says:

    I would love to have the job as a recent graduate who loves to travel and write but unfortunately I do not hold a UK/EU passport 🙁 Good luck with your search!

    • John says:

      I believe that non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens who are in the UK on settlement visas (mainly spousal and legacy Tier 1 General nowadays) or ancestry visas (which lead to settlement after 5 years of UK work), as well as anyone on an EEA family permit, need to be considered for the role alongside UK/EU/EEA citizens.

      However Rob has a valid exemption for those people whose passports do not allow them visa-free travel to Europe (but hey, there is a non-zero chance this will happen to all of us soon!) or the US/(Canada?)

      • Rob says:

        Yes, in reality if you have a passport which gives you equivalent travel privileges as a UK/EU passport then you’re fine.

  • filipino_chino says:

    Good luck to whoever applies and congrats to Anika!

    I hope the following does not happen… “If the site is sold to MoneySuperMarket, GoCompare or someone similar” – looks like someone is eyeing up their way out of this :/

    • Morgan says:

      It’s pretty reasonable to have an exit strategy!

    • Rob says:

      Look at it this way. I spent 16 years in banking, of which 11 were venture capital / private equity. I’ve done 7 years on this now. It would be interesting to have a 3rd career though before I finally kick the bucket.

      • Alan says:

        Lol 15 years in my job so far – another 28 to go!

      • RussellH says:

        I can 100% sympathise with this! I did 7 years as a research chemist, academic, not industrial. Half of that was in the USA. I did get a job offer froma major pharma co., but turned it down as I already felt that I had had enough of it, plus it was in the London area and I had no desire to move back to London.
        Then went into teaching – twelve years full time (of which most of the first five years were outwith the mainstream, two of these being in a private school in Switzerland for the (frequently spoilt) children of the seriously rich. Another 7 years half time teaching and the rest starting a tour operating business, and my final 13 working years just in tour operation.

  • Peter K says:

    Sounds like a competition!
    4PD

  • Baz says:

    My dream job, considering I have just finished a masters and considering travelling before I settle down into the “Real World”

    • Craig says:

      Re-read the job spec. It’s not a “travel job”, it’s a “sit in an office being a journalist” job. More Tesco research than First Class flights…

      Not easy for those with actual wanderlust…

      • Rob says:

        Correct. You should treat the travel as a pleasant occasional perk – and remember you don’t get to pick the airline, the dates or where you stay and will need to work whilst away.

      • RussellH says:

        Even if it were a ‘travel job’, this would not mean a lot of interesting travel. There are a few CEOs of large travfel businesses who started out as resort reps, which is long hours and not much pay for a job that is 99% boredom and 1% panic while based in one place for months.
        I knew someone who was sent out by his travel employer as a rep during the Munich Oktoberfest every year. Sounds great until you realise that the job was basicly picking up the pieces of clients who had drunk themselves into oblivion and ended up in A+E / been mugged or sexually assaulted / insert your own horror story here. And the reason that he had the job was because he could be completely relied on to stay sober – because he was seriously allergic to alcohol.

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