Colchester Zoo
3.3 out of 5 stars.
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3.3Work-life balance

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School like environment.

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Management are very immature, and talk done about people behind their back. They also treat you like you are in school rather than at work. The actual job is quite easy, and can be fun to work with friends, I just think that the catering section is badly lead.


Sociable hours. Work with friends.


Not great benefits from the job, school environment.
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Not the best place to work

Management never really there when needed. Benefits not that great. Can get better discount with gold card. Staff get annoyed if you ask for a day off to take child to hospital for an appointment. Kitchen is too small to work with. Most the staff are kids


Made friends


Long hours, no fixed term contract
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Insights into Colchester Zoo

Based on 4 survey responses
Areas for improvement
  • Supportive environment
  • Ability to learn new things
  • Sense of belonging

Colchester zoo

Good place to work as a young person. Good to get customer facing experience and to build the CV. Good management and good pay for what it is. Also get free tickets.
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Don’t bother

Poor wage management is non existent whatever you do your in the wrong to much to do the hours you have to work. You will be put in one place then the other and have no set Rota very poor


Discounted food


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Fun fast paced environment

Great place to work, benefit of visiting the zoo with friends and chance to progress. Fast paced environment with lots of events taking place through out the year to be part of.
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Could be better

Often saw bullying by management and wasn't backed by management when following zoo policies e.g. no kids allowed without adults. Strong culture of nepotism and favoritism in the zoo. Only way you can get a promotion is to be a butt kisser or threaten to leave when they are understaffed. Last minute rotas and often wouldn't find out when your working until the day before the new week. Tiny disgusting staff room. If you are seen to be not doing anything even for a second you would get told off. Had to ask for the toilet and water.There are some positives though. Paid above minimum wage, free entry for you +1, discount in shop and catering. Some customers are really nice and job isn't too hard. Great colleagues.


Free entry to zoo for you + 1, discount om food and shop


Last minute rotas, treated poorly, favouritism
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Company dont respect you would forget when you worked even when they signed you in previously. Would make you work alone for hours especially when washi g up. Stressed, not treated fairly and pay didn't amount for the work, wasnt worth it.
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This job put me into therapy

I hated this job so much I because depressed and suicidal, and suffered severe panic attacks. The higher ups have absolutely no respect for their staff and treat them all like their beneath them. When confronted about some of the horrible things they did they flat out lied to my face and passed the blame onto the only person in the company that was trying to help and better the company. They’re also very discriminatory.


Some of the people you work with can be nice.


There are sometimes 13 hour shifts with 20 minute breaks, cold areas to work in through winter, constant danger from wasps, you tell them your allergic and they just tell you to put up with it, rude management who treat employees like children and act like they’re better than you, they discriminate against staff etc.
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Avoid if you can.

The first thing you will notice is the horrendous pay: £6.50 an hour for a 19 year old, working 9am until 5pm.... It's practically slave labour. Sometimes they make you work until 9pm or 10pm for late nights. No extra pay. Nothing. The managers are supervisors were all so young and there was a weird culture in the zoo, especially towards the newbies: everyone who had worked there longer than you knew each other, and if you didn't fit in with them they would ignore you, give them the most horrible jobs, and sometimes even talk behind your back. You won't get time off unless the managers like you: it's a very clicky atmosphere which takes them to get used to. I barely got breaks, and couldn't even go to the toilet sometimes. Colchester zoo taught me to never be silenced and speak up when you're being treated badly.
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Good place to work

I love communication within the work place. Working with different people and helping people in the work place. Can be hard and stressful at times when busy.
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No words... wasn’t allowed to the toilet or a bottle of water in the scorching summer without permission from the supervisor... avoid at all costs. If you want to be bullied it’s the perfect job
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Poor pay but fun jobs available

Very low pay and it was run by teenagers the management expected a lot for terrible pay, however had some fun jobs like face painting and helping in Halloween and Christmas events but overall pay was shocking and was a zero hour contract and got really funny about any time off even if it was a one off.
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Alright place to work, not great pay

Not a lot of pay for the amount of work expected of you and the conditions aren’t great. Can be quite boring as there’s a lot of standing about and always on your own so going to toilet or getting water etc was always always impossible. Managers where lovely and nice atmosphere
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fun workplace

I worked within a lovely team of people however the managers let the team down and the support that was offered throughout the training and afterwards was not great.
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Unpaid work experience

I had an incredible experience during my work placement in the cats section at Colchester Zoo. I interacted hands on with many different animals and learned many different safety procedures when looking after more dangerous carnivores etc. I also learned different ways of introducing enrichment for different purposes and thoroughly enjoyed the team I worked with.
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Fun work environment

Colchester Zoo is a fun and challenging work environment, which gives me the chance to work with some amazing people and learn many skills whilst working with them. I work with the volunteer team, which I do in my spare time because, I can't always make it due to college.


Free Lunch
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productive and busy

working in Colchester zoo it was a busy day most days, and the people you work with are all friendly, the mangers are friendly but can be strict to work with.The job will always get done and you will get through the day. You wouldn't know the times which you would finish at it depends when the mangers send you home. Working at the zoo, gives you free entrance into the zoo with a plus one, which is useful in summer and holidays. I has learnt to use good communication skills and good customer service. the hardest part of the job was making sure everything was in order. the best part of the job would be seeing the cumstomers faces after a good fun day at the zoo and asking them about their day.


cheap lunchs


not a set time to finish
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Excellent management and family environment

Working at Colchester zoo was truly the best experience I could have expected, all the staff member were incredibly welcoming and after the first shift I felt part of this amazing family atmosphere that stretches through the whole company.
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Nice and friendly staff and management

Haven't really got a bad word to say, friendly staff and management are always friendly and always received help when needed on busy days. Would recommend as a first job.


Meeting new people


Long Hours
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Fun workplace

Overall I had an amazing time at the zoo, it was such a fun environment to be in and amazing staff to work with. Working there i have improved my confidence with large crowds of customers and improved my customer service skills within a work place.


Discounted Food
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Very hard work tough management

Bad management very harsh, not very understanding if something was to go wrong. Not very helpful when training in the job when I first beganmaking is harder to grasp the aspect so od the job I was less familiar with.


Potential to visit for free


Poor pay
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Overall rating

Based on 51 reviews

Ratings by category

3.3 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
2.9 out of 5 stars for Salary/Benefits
3.1 out of 5 stars for Job security/advancement
3.1 out of 5 stars for Management
3.3 out of 5 stars for Culture

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