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LAST CHANCE: Head for Points writer, London, £40,000 pa

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Applications for the job as our new HFP co-writer close on Wednesday so I thought I would give it a final push today.  The deadline will not be extended – I am back in the office after World Travel Market on Thursday and will then start to plough through the responses.  Very few people who have applied to date have prior experience of writing about miles and points so don’t let that put you off.  Similarly, don’t be put off if you are not currently working – in some ways, this is easier because you can start more quickly.  Before applying, you should also read through the questions posted under the original article here.  I have updated the text today in response to feedback from the first version.

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 a 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.

It is worth stressing that you should not apply for this job if you’re looking for a role with a lot of travel.  If you enjoy travel, miles and points then you will enjoy this job because you are effectively turning your hobby into a full-time living – but don’t apply because you are looking for a job where you can see the world.  You will primarily be seeing Central London.

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.co.uk 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.

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Comments

  1. How many people have applied so far? Just out of curiosity…

    • Although I might initially have said there will be at least 100 to 200 applications for this post on the other hand so many HFP readers seem to be people who already travel a lot and are also already in pretty well paid jobs. So may be there will only 50 or applications.

      £40,000 per annum to work in Central London is generally only going to attract younger people up to mid 30s looking to move on up in this area or those a little older who have had something of a career break but with a strong interest in the subject matter involved and who also fancy the opportunity of being a big fish in a very small pond.

      Of course I am sure that Rob will diligently and carefully consider each and every job application that he receives.

      • It would be tempting to apply but I fear that my age and somewhat long and waffly writing style would tend to rule me out. Although I am very good at knowledge retention in relation to numbers, statistics and other obscure and esoteric facts such as airline loyalty schemes.

        However given the need to work in a very small office (pictured in the article) directly with Rob I would suggest that although the ability and experience of the person will clearly be important that the final person selected will also come down to personality type and whether that personality will be a good fit in terms of working with Rob day to day and also especially in fronting up the operation in those weeks when Rob is away on holiday with his family.

        • Shoestring says:

          tbh my wife’s company has recently offered a couple of decent marketing jobs in London on money not so different – and they got a very poor response, not sure where the fault lies (ie advertising/ recruitment agency) or if there is a fault at all. Job market?

          Think more like 7-8 applications, if that – though the HfP job is ostensibly much sexier.

  2. Wouldn’t you want to be paid in avios?!

  3. Rob, I own a recruitment firm and I spend most of my days explaining to people who are hiring that “ploughing through responses” is a bad idea and a poor use of time. You’ve been very good to me in terms of advising in your specialist area, so if you want some reciprocal advise on how can save a load of time and get better results with your hiring process, just drop me an email. Paul

    • Doesn’t work when almost no applicants have the exact skill set.

      • Johnny5a says:

        Direct applications are always better – no-one slips through the net. My friend was rejected by a recruiter several times, i eventually introduced him to the end client, got the job straightaway.

        • I wonder though, how did the employer engage the recruiter(s).
          1. I want you to do a load of work and I will only pay you (half of what you ask for) if one of your candidates joins us….
          2. We will actually pay you an agreed and fair amount to go out and find us a selection of candidates whom meet an agreed criteria.

          As you can imagine, the results will be quite different.

      • Oh man. A ‘recruitment’ consultant (or whatever they choose to call themselves nowadays)
        Trust me, if you can avoid them like the plague, I suggest you do!

        • Recruitment is a £27 billion industry in the UK. Bigger than fashion and electronics combined, so I guess there’s a few people who need “us”…

        • Only for mass market jobs and even this will be eventually (soon!) replaced by AI. Such bespoke jobs as Rob advertised could ONLY be handled directly

  4. You should hire someone based up north to give an alternative view from someone based in not-London.

    • I thought everyone from “the north” travels via Heathrow anyway – hence the need for the articles about hotels around Heathrow and explanations about overpriced “pods” and busses to airport hotels which in other countries would be free of charge.

      • Not everybody wants to travel via Heathrow. Amsterdam Schiphol is far more connected to the UK regions than Heathrow.

      • Only to be able to use the BAPP companion voucher in CW or F!

        Despite what anyone says, the sheer aggravation of getting to Gatwick in the timescale permitted by annual leave allocation outweighs the benefit of travelling in a premium cabin.

    • And who is going to attend all the press conferences, receptions etc? I would do this if it made sense – I would save £20k on salary and could save another £20k by dropping the office.

      The majority of our readers are young London professionals. They are a peculiar tribe. If you don’t understand how they live and travel you can’t write stuff they want to read.

      • Comedian says:

        You’d offer 20K to an applicant based up ‘north’ ? You make me laugh Rob.

        Unless by ‘north’ you mean Rochdale or Oldham. But by my reckoning the likes of Edinburgh is also in the ‘north’ and I’d like to see how many there would snap your hand off for the role if advertised at that salary level!

        • Froggee says:

          I feel a bit sorry for Rob here.

          He’s put together the best and most honest job spec I’ve ever seen, looking to hire one person who he is going to be working directly with (hopefully) for a very long time. He’s put in a lot of thought about it and knows what he wants yet is having to fend off a bunch of people telling him that his business needs something different.

          Coincidentally I live in Edinburgh but have no interest in the job (at £20k or £40k) and realise the economics of this only make sense for someone London based.

          Yes I occasionally fly KLM and have had top tier with them in the past. Flying Blue is not a great scheme and there are limited opportunities compared to Avios out of London which (as Rob says) is most of the readership.

      • Heinztein says:

        That’s interesting Rob as I fall into that bracket. Most of the commenters appear to be more middle-aged-with-kids sorts…

        • The people who comment on HFP – most of whom I have met and like – represent under 1% of our daily readership and are not representative of the whole.

        • Heinztein says:

          Sorry, I should have said, I like then too albeit haven’t met in person!

        • Rob’s comment makes sense. The 99% are probably too busy to comment.

        • I meant to add – but thank goodness for the commenters, because they are part of what makes HfP special.

  5. It’s a real shame, I would love to apply, I have a degree with a dissertation on the Package Travel Regs, am a relatively frequent flyer and love to collect Avios, my only problem is that I live up north and to move back to London would cost £40,000 for rent. Gutted it’s a missed opportunity as it would be my ideal job ????????

    • If this is something you’d really want to do you would move to London, I did ????

      • Indeed. Not a single person I know who remained in South Yorkshire became financially successful or had a ‘leading’ career. As we are all heading to 50 that won’t change now.

        They live ok of course (my brother paid £33k for a 3-bed house) and I would never say that career is the be all and end all, but if you want to be a leader in your chosen field you probably need to get out.

        Of those of us who did get out from my school – and remember I went to an unbelievably average comp:

        * Justine Greening, potentially the next PM, literally lived on my road and was one year above me in the same very average comprehensive school
        * One of my classmates is now one of Deloitte’s leading partners in London
        * Another was joint head of London Aquarium for many years
        * Another is one of the key barristers in the Grenfell Tower inquest at the moment
        * And I was a Partner at one of the UK’s leading private equity firms for many years

        • After uni (in the north!) a few of my friends moved to London for work but they all eventually moved back up north because of insane housing costs and the (also insane) working hours meant that they never met any prospective partners. Now they’re all happily paired up with families so I suppose it depends what you want!

        • No insane working hours at HFP. I have kids to read to.

        • Matthew Fisher says:

          It depends on the industry. I’m a GP partner in Cheshire; we own our premises, our rates are lower, our wage bills are lower, and our profits (and therefore our pay) are higher than many of my friends with similar sized practices in Greater London. I’d be mad to move back down.

        • Heinztein says:

          you presumably worked insane hours when in the PE game though, Rob, so it’s a bit disingenuous to give the impression that London mostly isn’t like that (though tell me I’m wrong).

        • I was on a very cushy 9 to 6.30 in Private Equity, because I was in business development and not execution, so there were no peaks and troughs. In the late 90’s when I did project financing for a while (toll roads etc) it was very crazy though. I can honestly say I never worked a single weekend during my 11 years in private equity.

        • No one likes a show off!

        • I have to say i’m pretty surprised that you are from Rotherham Rob! I had you down in my mind as some posh Surrey lad.

          Amusingly I now live 1 road from Justine Greening and was the Deputy Chairman of her local Conservative Association.

        • You should be more surprised that Justine joined the Conservative party. She may or may no remember me – we had the big(ger) corner house at No 1, hers was a more standard semi-detached.

        • Heinztein says:

          Very jealous!

        • @Joe you seem to have never seen Rob on TV 🙂

    • Really??? £40k just on rent, good grief.

      What type of accommodation does that get you?

      • We rent our old one-bed in Wapping out for almost £30k per year. You are looking at £100k+ for a family house in SW3 / SW7.

        • how are u getting 2.5k for a 1 bed in wapping?

        • Lady London says:

          Wapping is walking distance in the City and easy easy from Docklands. There’s a very peculiar market of City/finance people that will pay £30K for a one bedroom flat in that close a location.

          I doubt you’re expecting the new recruit to necessarily live in Central London. Lots of us commute and don’t pay anything like £40K. Some people even have gardens and dogs and still work in London and don’t pay anything like that. Carefully chosen and a bit edgier area you can even do it in Zone 2. or so.

        • My partner and I pay about 21.5K for a 2-bed with a garden in Shepherds Bush area which is pretty central I guess. But I had to view literally 33 worse / more expensive flats to find this one!

    • Anika was paying £700 per month for a room in a two bed flat.

      • Genghis says:

        Which is how most people live when they move to London. I did. You grow in your chosen profession and then you can afford more / buy etc.

      • You can do it cheaper if you live in say a 5-bed house and share with more people.. but either way moving in with randomers you don’t know and may or may not get along with is not fun.

        I would estimate your bills are quite low also at £175/mo… a zone 1-3 travel card is almost that at £153/ month and council tax along on such a property can be at least that too.. add elec,gas,water,insurance,tv,internet,mobile phone and you are probably going to be at more like double that per head + transport

        But 40K does give a good amount to left over to eat food and play with 🙂

      • We’ll have a room going in our rental place (Westferry) for £700 – if you were prepared to live further out East I’ve no doubt you get something for £500/600

    • I too moved down from London to work with helicopters. If the role was in the outer Hebrides I’d have been prepared to move. You need to be able to source and make your own breaks which I’d imagine is a prerequisite for this role.

      As a plus you suggest you’re a frequent flyer and Rob has already said he’s interested in business class flight reviews. Put that together and you may be able to make your first role writing ad hoc reviews. At 30,000 feet no one cares where you live or what degree you have. We’re interested in the menu, the wine list, which way the arm wrest’s face when raised, when is QR going to get two armrests in their Q suite (well that’s my personal gripe) does the service in the lounge stay the same when busy or does it drop beneath our reasonable expectations as business and first class customers also, if the plane is situated away from the gate do first and business class customer’s share a bus with economy (unlikely to get a seat) or do we get our own bus (likely to get a seat).

    • If you can’t make £40k pa to work in London, there is something seriously wrong with you.

      • My comment about price of living in London stems from the fact that I would be unable to flat share/rent a room – 3 dogs to consider: All I was saying was it’s a job that I would love but logistics make it impossible. So I’ll just stay up north and read the website instead. Good luck to whoever gets the job ????

        • WeWork allow dogs in the office. 😉 Just sayin’

        • Thomas Howard says:

          WeWork allowing dogs in the office makes me wish I hadn’t exposed myself as a halfwit in this comments section. I think this roles a great opportunity for anyone starting out or looking for a career change. I’m sure the networking opportunities and facetime with Rob are worth double the salary.

      • Lady London says:

        Well tbh it won’t be easy. But it is do-able. And if it’s the work someone wants to do then they will make their own luck out of that.

        Travel trade pays far less in comparison even for really experienced people. @RussellH will know more about this but not that long ago I was still seeing positions requiring serious skill and knowledge, in Central London or near suburbs, offering £12-15K or so.

        Rob is the “glam” end of travel journalism. Working with him will help you work out all sorts of wrinkles that will help you in your future career. But you have to actually want to do the job.

        • Oddly I’d say we are less ‘glam’ than much travel journalism, but then we’re not ‘travel’ journalism to that extent. Hanging out with the airline and programme CEOs is more interesting, for me, than any of the travelling – but it is slightly different for me because a) I am the same age as most of them and b) my City career means I fully understand what they are doing. The usual ‘I am a CEO and you are a scruffy underpaid journalist half my age who knows nothing’ dynamic does not apply.

      • If you aren’t earning £40K in London, you are probably in the Public Sector!

        • You’ve spent too much time in finance. The mid-level London jobs I see at, for example, the marketing agencies we work with are generally pitched at around £27k. Whoever gets this job will be one of the highest paid travel writers in Britain, which is worrying but a fact.

          The Times & Sunday Times is currently offering £30k+ for a “Digital Travel Content Editor” for example. Tripsmiths, who do content for other sites, is offering £28k for a content editor in SW London. Mr & Mrs Smith is offering a paltry £22,000 for someone to work in London producing travel content for their site. Travel Trade Gazette is offering “up to £30k” for a new staffer. I could go on, it only took a few minutes to find these examples.

        • I work in London with plenty of people on less than £40K! I’m on less salary than that myself!

        • Wow, I never would have expected there to be so many people that read this site actually believe that £40k pa is a “standard” London average. As Rob rightly pointed out, there are plenty of professionals earning anywhere between £20 – £30k pa living and working in London. Even on those kind of salaries people CAN and DO make living in London work. I am not entirely sure why everyone thinks that by earning £20 – 30k, you’ll be living like a pauper. It isn’t the case at all. I know plenty of people that earns that kind of money and can still enjoy the perks of London living.

        • Nonsense

    • Nonsense. You can get a perfectly good place to live in and around London for much less than £40k. 2 minutes of research and you’ll realise that. Lazy comment.

  6. Unfortunately, with two kids under 5 I won’t be able to apply…
    However, if you ever plan to create a French version of your website and need help in translating articles, feel free to let me know!

  7. I would love to apply but I am stuck with an equity loan on my flat in Cardiff as I used the Welsh Governments help to buy scheme. I’ve checked with WG and for a ‘common sense’ approach to being allowed to rent it would be two years minimum. I’m also prohibited from leaving it empty. I’m sure you wouldn’t want a commuter, maybe next time!

    • There’s a Help To Buy piece in The Times today which shows how you were stitched up. Before H2B, new and old property cost the same. Because H2B forces you to buy new, there is now a 20% gap between the price of an identical old and new house (demand for old houses is now far lower). However …. once you’ve bought, you cannot resell it to anyone who needs H2B which means your new property loses 20% of its value overnight and you are immediately in negative equity. Only Government could invent something so stupid.

      • I’ll fish that out for lunch time. I reserved early and managed to get some hefty incentives as they were coming towards their end of financial year at the time. Bristolians moving to the city and vast investment have increased prices a fair bit recently. It’s still chump change though in comparison to elsewhere.

      • BSI1978 says:

        …I read the same piece and have commented before on the stupidity of the scheme. It’s now so ingrained into the economy however that a large portion of buyers and more worryingly house-builders are massively dependant on the same. To top it all off they are extending it for crying out loud.

        I’m writing nothing particularly groundbreaking in stating that the shock to the system when this is finally(!) switched off is going to cause untold issues.

      • Interesting to read this, 2 years ago my estate agent warned that this was going to occur. Not just an issue in terms of selling, but also in terms of remortgaging where original valuations dont reflect the original sale price and growth in the period.

      • the_real_a says:

        Any subsidy on the demand side when supply is constrained will lead to asset inflation. Do they teach economics in school any more?

      • ‘Only Government could invent something so stupid.’ – I think you mean Civil Servants.

    • I almost cried when I saw the prices of flats in central Cardiff, compared to London, when I last went there. Consider yourself lucky 😉

      • It’s chump change. Even compared to nearby Bristol it’s chump change. Now Newport… that’s a place to buy some cheap property before the prices rocket…

    • Nonsense says:

      How would anyone know what you’re doing with your flat? (be it empty or otherwise) Do they send someone round each morning to check up on you?

      It’s like those mortgage lenders that supposedly don’t allow you to let your property – same applies, how on earth would they know? Do you think they’re monitoring letting adverts daily?

      • Council tax, electoral register, etc etc
        Mortgage companies do check! – And with good reason too protecting both all parties that you are doing things by the book just in case things go wrong.

      • the_real_a says:

        With the revised laws over the last few years, you are in serious threat of a fraud conviction if you did this. If you are investigated for a crime (even if innocent of said crime) its now routine to pull your credit file and look for low hanging fruit convictions, such as over inflating your salary to lenders or misrepresenting your mortgage.

      • Friend who worked at the Royal Mail told me that council tax staff would come into the sorting office and check the names of the mail being sent to an address. Would be done for various reasons, i.e. if you had applied for a single persons discount on council tax. That was a long time ago, as above post states i imagine its even easier now, quick check of credit agencies.

  8. Noggins says:

    Not wishing to worry anyone but when we sold our house that had a granny annexe we were contacted by the council tax folk and told we should have been paying a separate council tax for it – if we had no ‘granny’ in it. Fortunately we had had but when we asked to claim the one month exemption for having it empty (ready to sell) we were told that someone would be out to inspect it and confirm it was now unfurnished. Sure enough the following day an inspector was out to ensure our one month exemption (£100) was due! And when I asked him how they knew we had an annexe he said they monitor estate agent adverts and when they find a house with an annexe that they don’t know about they pounce…..

    • They are very sneaky! Our council set the council tax a band too high on when the estate I live on was built. Long story short I found out we were paying too much but had to jump through so many hoops to get adjusted (and threaten legal action). But we and the neighbours all got a very nice rebate in the end!

      • Genghis says:

        I got our band readjusted when we moved to our current place. Was quite straight forward. Funnily enough the VOA response reiterated all of the argument that I put across. Now save a few hundred a year.

        • One road near us ended up all residents had CTX increases after a person appealed. Those neighbours won’t speqk to them now!

      • Councils don’t set the bands. As Ghengis says, it’s the VOA

        • Shoestring says:

          Appealed ours based on price paid for property & lost the case. Gave up as it seemed others were also paying next band up for similar – could have worked out negative.

    • First thing I did when I bought my house with a granny flat was have it reassessed back to a single property. It went up a band, but meant I was only paying one bill, instead of one with a SPD and one at 100%, so saved money. As it’s bigger than all the neighbouring houses, I can’t really complain about paying more for it – just that it has less parking because of the way the road is laid out.

      And yes, appeals can go against you, depending on the VO’s decision. Nothing to do with the council, who merely collect the tax at the rate for the designated band.

  9. Lukethetraveller says:

    Real shame, travelling is my life and I would love this type of job, however English is not my native language and with some very pedantic readers here, it wouldn’t do any good.

    • Anika was not a native speaker either and she managed very well with some editing and proofing supervision from Rob. I think this should not discourage people from applying at all. Also this might help to “internationalise” HfP English which sometimes is a bit too British 🙂

  10. czechoslovakia says:

    Would love the job, just no-where near good enough, being a *A kind a person.
    Good luck!

  11. Lady London says:

    £40,000 for rent? You mean you’d be looking for a place for…. £3200+ per month?

    Even living in/near or working in London there are ways of not paying that. Even with 3 dogs.

    If you wanted to make it work I’m sure you could. Getting round the mindset of professional often young(ish) travellers, who work or live in London, though, is a very peculiar thing as Rob says.

    • I’m still not very clear on what a professional youngish traveler who works or lives in town is. Are we looking at the well moneyed through their profession i.e. finance, tech, pharmas who’re comfortable spending higher amounts on travel in general including hotel chain’s executive apartments? Or is this cohort now more likely to frequent a Moxy type hotel with the austerity thing that’s been going on?

      • You are looking at a bunch of people who, in general, took graduate jobs in London after university and are now 10-15 years into their professional careers and have generally achieved some level of success but with a lot more to (hopefully) come.

        • Nicely cleared up, thanks Rob and good luck with the search.

        • Out of curiosity, where do you get all your info about the visitors -from Facebook pixel?

        • Come to our parties and you can meet 250 of them in one room.

          There is also date from Quantcast and Alexa page count pixels on the site, plus Facebook, and all of these give us aggregate data based what else they know about you. Quantcast claims a HFP reader is 4.2x more likely than the UK average to earn £70k+ for example. No idea how they get to this, but working this stuff out is what they do all day.

        • Most jobs in which people fly regularly in Business Class tend to be senior roles in marketing, sales or at Chief Executive level.

          Also in order to earn enough Avios to regularly make long haul Avios redemptions in to Club and First Class again implies a very high level of annual card spend (apart of course from the fanatics who constantly cycle between different cards and earn large sign up bonuses each time).

          All that being so it hardly seems surprising to me that the average HfP reader has a much higher earning level than the average member of the UK population.

        • Shoestring says:

          Julian – you’d make an excellent HfP sub editor!

          Always the master of detail & I think you could learn (in time) to sharpen up your prose.

          A joy to read, I think you should consider applying.

        • Shoestring,

          I’m glad to have one at least fan on the site given that I also seem to have connected with quite a few detractors regarding my somewhat expansive writing style. I do however retain and store normally pointless facts and data and recall them with ease (surely a key qualification for the job). Only a few commenters here are memorable for different reasons and Genghis (mainly as the most heavily addicted contributor who would clearly be a shoe in for this job were he not already apparently now earning far more money than the pay offered), oldharryrocks and Lady London (obviously the name alone stands out but the contributions are interesting too) are amongst them.

          Things going against me (aside from insufficiently concise writing style, although of course HeadForPoints articles are themselves relatively length) are clearly age (since I appear to be around five years older than Rob, which I think most bosses would find difficult with someone as old and opinionated as me) and possibly gender, although I am sure that Rob will select on merit all things being equal.

          May be I should give it a go therefore (only a few hours left to apply) but I think with a position like this one it will come down not just to the ability to do the job satisfactorily but also personal connection and rapport with Rob as determined by the interview for those who make it that far in the selection process. Employment gaps would also be an issue with me but noting that Rob has not immediately discounted someone who is not currently working (and actually sees advantages in that situation) then he appears to be more broad minded than most potential employers.

          I’m still wondering though about any possibilities on share options after so many years service etc in the event that Rob eventually sells the business on to one of the usual suspects for several tens of millions………………………………..

        • Damn I see that a couple of typos made it in to the last post (at least I spotted them subsequently) but as usual there is no edit button.

          Were I to get the job I would definitely hope to try and persuade my boss of the benefits of a normal proper threaded web discussion forum where those contributing then also receive post update emails.

        • Also if I take Rob’s CV at https://uk.linkedin.com/in/headforpoints at face value and his start date in the world of employment (September 1999) then he only appears to be either 40 or 41 compared to my 55.

          So I’m still feeling like the late 20s to mid 30s applicant (I’m also guessing that being female might actually be a potential asset rather than a hindrance given that Rob’s wife clearly didn’t impose any non officially advertised strictures in that area regarding the previous post holder) with some relevant writing and numerical analysis skills is most likely to be the person that Rob is seeking.

          However this would have been the perfect job for me to apply for back in 1993 after eight years in my first job as a numbers and data analysis geek (also talking to the national financial press about the numbers and associated monthly commentary that we produced) with a trade association for the collective investment fund industry (AKA unit trusts). Unfortunately the internet at that stage had scarcely been conceived and most of us with an interest in that area were at that stage using some quaint walled garden service known as Compuserve.

        • So you have applied Julian? Good luck!

          And I think you have more fans than you think. You provide intelligent, measured, appropriate and on topic responses, and you acknowledge these could be more succinct and that is the first step in improving these!

      • Shoestring says:

        Here’s one for you, Julian. I really wanted to be a Reuters reporter but they turned me down as an undergraduate. Not to worry, I got another 8 job offers, those were the times.

        Anyway, I later got to present business plan for 45 minutes or so to Chris Hogg (different chairmanship) and he basically said I was the main man lol, big on the congrats etc. What talent, what potential lol.

        So I could possibly really have been that hack that I should have been! If only he’d been on the panel 10 years earlier.

        • So what career did you end up pursuing then?

          I always thought that Shoestring was a BBC series private investigator (detective) of 1979/80 (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoestring_(TV_series) Trevor Eve was particularly good in the role but apparently he feared becoming typecast – see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoestring_(TV_series) However it appears that members of the same production team were also responsible for the creation of the excellent Bergerac series. I can still remember the theme music for Shoestring quite clearly now but then I can also still remember the decimilisation ad jingles of 1971 when I was only 7/8 years old.

          Regarding the job I fear that I have not applied so far (one reason being that I unexpectedly had major commitments to attend to yesterday evening) and of course Rob may well dismiss me out of hand (as he is quite entitled to) for not meeting the official deadline. However I note the application process is only to email Rob telling him why one is suitable for the role, which does not on the face of it seem that arduous compared to many job application processes. Surprisingly he doesn’t even seem to ask for the customary CV, although no doubt he would not object if anyone attached one.

          I have more time than yesterday to try and write something convincing. However I do wish now that I had managed to apply for one of the tickets for the previous HfP parties in time (before they sold out in about two hours) as if I had actually met Rob I would already have a far better idea of whether or not he is somebody I could happily work with. Still that would clearly become obvious in the unlikely event of making it as far as an interview…………

        • The last two parties sold out in 3 minutes actually 🙂

  12. This comment thread makes me wonder if demand is there for more content based around the North, or if perhaps the Northern types are just a bit more vocal at times.

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      I think we are more vocal. This site, like most of the country, will be geared towards the M25. It’s hard to argue because that is where a critical mass of people exist. I’d love to see some more stuff focused on MAN, but that doesnt help people 2hrs north of EDI. It’s a tough nut to crack.

      I would also like to see some more stuff on earning avios with sunglasses. Once I’ve finished my 23hr day down the mine for £20k a year the sun doesn’t half hurt my eyes when I get back to the surface.

  13. George K says:

    I think the point has been well made in some of the comments above, but I’d like to state with a certain degree of experience that a) the £40k salary for such a London-based job is probably the most competitive I’ve ever seen and b) that London rent is perfectly achievable around the £9-10k mark (and in many cases, much lower).

    I’ve worked in both trade and national/international media organisations over the past 20 years, with the former offering starting salaries in the low £20s these days – after years of stagnation. A couple of years ago, Time Out London had a column called ‘Quit your job to become a…’ and when Journalism was mentioned, the starting salary was listed as £18.5k pa (which was exactly the starting salary in my company about 12 years ago).

    There’re plenty (and without a doubt, too many) jobs in London that offer even below £20k (without even considering the gig economy phenomenon) so for those still in doubt, I’d like to state that this job has not only an above-average starting salary, but also an air-tight job spec (a rare sight as most job descriptions I’ve seen are usually thrown out the window as soon as you start).

    Best of luck to the candidates! There should never have been any cause for any complaints.

  14. Rob,

    Your not on the list of notable former pupils, where did it all go wrong?!!

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