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

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United Kingdom48 reviews

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3.3Work-life balance
2.9Pay & benefits

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Good place to work

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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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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

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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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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was long shifts

enjoyed my job here but was too far at the time to travel too and shift patterns were very unsociable. The management were good but the staff were so young and didn take the job seriously.




the travel
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Awesome team of people

What can I say - some of the happiest times I have had in employment. Excellent teams of people always happy to help the public and ensure a fun and educational day is had by all.
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fun and hard working place

my experience was amazing one of the best jobs i've had and i hope to get back into work for such an amazing company. and get back to working with the many beautiful animals they have.


get to work with some amazing animals as well as people


the public sometimes can be a handful and tend not to listen to instructions
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Challenging but fun job

The job usually started out with us opening up the doors and begin to serve customers, until by the end of the night where we would close off sections of the sitting areas to start to clean up and let the customers know we were closing. I didn't usually stay from the opening to the closing hours, but I had different hours throught the two weeks which allowed me to know what was going on at different points of the day, on a typical day. I learned that you cannot expect to get things done by yourself in every aspect of a job, especially in the catering industry, and that you need to rely on good communication between your team members, whether that's an assistant or manager. Management wasn't the best in terms of getting staff times right, but it was good in the aspect of looking after their staff in difficult situations. The hardest part of the job was at the end of each day, trying to stop customers from coming in when we were trying to shut down and clean up. Also another hard part was keeping up with chores when things got chaotic in the busiest part of each day. The most enjoyable part though, was making friends with your coworkers and creating a bond through mutual difficulties and situations.


A free day at the zoo once a month.


10 minute break in a 6 hour shift
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Worst place i have ever had to go to.

I was made to work with food when I was vomiting. Worked too hard, very long hours with little break - I've had to work 10 hours with 15 minutes break. My supervisor (one running the shop) was 17, same age as me. No order, no appraisals, no appreciation for employees.




Long hours
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Long days and extremely repetitive tasks.

Typical day at work- Morning is very slow, after opening there will be a few customers buying just drinks, cleaning tasks are normally complete within an hour of opening. Lunch time, feels very busy but that is because the food production takes too long and the queue can be out of the door even on a quiet day. After lunch it dies down again and cleaning will be done by around 4pm. Shutting down can take anywhere between 15mins to an hour depending on the amount of staff and how much cleaning had been completed prior to shutting. Lunch breaks normally start at 2pm but you can often get one around 4pm (occasionally had to have one once hot food has been taken off) they last for 30 mins max. What you learned- Very little, applied for this job to do kitchen work and have had minimal training in that area, am either put on the tills or dining area (normally the former) Management- Can be great but there is minimal communication from them. Often changes are put in without informing anyone which can cause confusion for staff and customers. Co-workers- Can be nice, there are very few staff in Mon-Fri so you don't get to interact much. Sat-Sun and school holidays are filled with 16 year old cliques so the environment is not very professional if you are looking to leave behind your school years. Hardest part of the job- Finding something to do when all the cleaning has been completed, often end up sweeping a clean floor, wiping clean glass or cleaning an already clean coffee machine. Most enjoyable part- None of it is particularly enjoyable, you have little work - 


Free entry to the zoo (for yourself and one extra person) and cheap entry for any extra people.


Low pay, low benefits, lack of communication from management, holiday requests often ignored, extremely short staffed during the week, extremely over staffed at weekends, lack of promotional opportunities, rarely get a pay rise, pay rise often only by 10p per hour.
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Fun and good way to gain valuable experience

You learn and develop your skills of working in a team, as well as organisation and improvisation skills. The fast paced culture of this job means you learn important skills very quickly, making the employee develop quickly and fit into the role only a few days into the job (if they've had no past experience).


Discounted Lunch


Long hours
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Absolutely amazing

So many amazing memories from this job. There are many prospects and opportunities for employees
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Something new everyday

Good fun environment, aims of the managers not always in sync with each other but a good company to work for
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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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