Oxfam

  www.oxfam.org.uk
  www.oxfam.org.uk

Oxfam Reviews

Updated December 13, 2014
Updated December 13, 2014
69 Reviews
4.2
69 Reviews
Rating Trends

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John Gaventa
25 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Lots of opportunities to work with people around the world (in 3 reviews)

  • Most employees (most of my experience is at Head Office) are good people who have interesting life stories (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • influence within Oxfam is restrained due to lack of resources and the voluntary nature of the support of the currently 17 Oxfam organisations (in 2 reviews)

  • Can seem removed from the field work on the ground (in 2 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Worked as an intern

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Oxfam

    Pros

    I was a programme intern in Oxfam GB in Vietnam. It was such a great working environment for fresh graduates.

    Cons

    Interns do not have salary. We were only supported with a small incentive and work fulltime

  2.  

    Oxfam - great people to work with just not ideal for me salary wise. Not bad at all

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Oxfam

    Pros

    Great people and really rewarding to be in this great company.

    Cons

    Not much salary benefit, Not sure on career progression either

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More you invest in the salary, the better people you will get rather than volunteers all the time.

    Although I do apprectiate they are non profit org, the more you will succeed

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  3.  

    Oxfam Review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Humanitarian Campaigner in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Humanitarian Campaigner in New York, NY

    I have been working at Oxfam full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good values, good work environment, chance to create change

    Cons

    Long working hours at times

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    One of the top humanitarian aid organization, but still problematic

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator

    I worked at Oxfam as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Oxfam has the funding, and internal structure to allow it to respond to humanitarian emergencies fast, and relatively effectively-- this is what makes it a leading organization in the field of humanitarian aid.

    Cons

    Emergency aid is too top-down. The higher-up directors in regional and headquarter positions make executive decisions with little consultation with field actors. Often these decisions hinder the ability to work effectively on the ground.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consult people working on the ground in field offices (including program coordinators) when making decisions that affect their work. Institutionalize bottom-up feedback mechanisms from field offices to regional and global directors.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Good experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Volunteer in Bury Saint Edmunds, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Volunteer in Bury Saint Edmunds, England (UK)

    I worked at Oxfam

    Pros

    I was a volunteer in the bookshop. I gained a lot of retail experience and got my confidence back. There was a laid back atmosphere. The other volunteers were very nice and so was the manager. There was only one person I didn't get on with. We had good chats about the world while sorting the books. Free coffee and biscuits.

    Cons

    No pay. Some volunteers are lazy and happy to let you do all the work. Messy and squashed back room.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Needs better management of volunteers. More volunteers on certain days. Advice to volunteers about how to develop within the organisation.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Good employer with a commitment to developing people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oxford, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oxford, England (UK)

    I worked at Oxfam full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Invests in staff
    Good retention record
    Relatively strong on diversity
    Invests in management development
    Good terms and conditions
    Attractive on CV
    Lots of opportunities

    Cons

    A bit bureaucratic
    Tries to do too much

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great working experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Cashier and Stockroom Assistant in York, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Cashier and Stockroom Assistant in York, England (UK)

    I worked at Oxfam as an intern

    Pros

    Excellent potential to improve and go further.
    Great staff and lots of fun talking to customers.
    I loved my work there.

    Cons

    As I was a volunteer, I did not get paid for my work but, while that would have been a problem for some, that was not an issue for me.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    A great volunteering experience, highly recommended!

    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Volunteer
    Current Employee - Volunteer

    I have been working at Oxfam (less than an year)

    Pros

    * Great bunch of people and a high level of trust afforded to volunteers.
    * Extra responsibilities are granted fairly quickly, which was a pleasant surprise.
    * You end up volunteering with a varied selection of age groups, everything from students and the odd school age weekender, to retired people wishing to retain the sense of teamwork and satisfaction that they have been used to in their working lives.
    * Shifts are short and it is generally up to you how many sessions you work a week. All they ask is an initial commitment to volunteer for a period of 3 months. There is no undue pressure to sign up for more sessions than you are comfortable with in any weekly period.
    * Copious quantities of tea are available, along with the occasional biscuit.
    * Volunteers are able to claim back bus fares incurred in getting to the shop and, in the event of having to work an all day shift, their lunch expenses.
    * The management style is relaxed and friendly without coming across as forced or insincere. Gratitude to volunteers for a job well done is genuinely expressed.
    * There is always someone to ask if you get stuck with anything, and there is no blame or judgement attached to needing assistance.

    Cons

    * The high number of volunteers can make it difficult to remember faces and names.
    * There is a physical element to many of the tasks, so it may not suit someone with mobility issues.
    * Work can sometimes be of a solitary nature, but there are also opportunities to work with other volunteers.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    I have enjoyed the experience very much. Definitely gonna work there again if I have the time. Boost up your CV too.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Cashier in Manchester, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Cashier in Manchester, England (UK)

    I worked at Oxfam part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The staff was very friendly and working there was very relaxed. The work experience was very enjoyable. It has also improved my communication skills as well.

    Cons

    Sometimes you have to work after hour. There could be some miss communication with some employees because they can't speak a lot of English

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Very good management, no need to improve.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Volunteer at Oxfam books

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Oxfam (less than an year)

    Pros

    There was no interview: I just filled in a form and then brought it back to the shop and the Deputy Manager called me after few days, asking me to come to the shop for a chat. She simply asked me why do you want to volunteer with us? I said that I had a lot of free time, because I was looking for a job, and I wanted to do something more useful than staying at home all day waiting for e-mails. She said "Bored? I understand."
    So she offered me to volunteer there twice a week, on Saturday morning and Thursday afternoon (4 hours per shift). Later you can choose freely (but considering when there are few volunteers) which days and hours you want to work. Relaxed and friendly atmosphere, no pressure, you can always ask someone, they accept you even if your English is not very good. There is always someone else around if you have doubts or problems. Some volunteers are very nice and one gave me advice on how to find jobs or more exciting volunteer experiences.
    After maybe 4 times I got a chance to stay at the till and speak to customers.
    You can pick up a section you are interested in and you know something about (e.g. history books) and change items on display, decide what to keep etc.
    I asked the Manager if I could use him as a reference and he said yes.

    Cons

    Some volunteers aren't very talkative and often it's just sorting books in silence. The atmosphere isn't lively at all.
    A lot of books are thrown away even though they have only minor flaws (e.g yellowish pages): of course they cannot keep everything as they receive a lot of unsellable books or lots of copies of the same book.
    I don't always agree on how they set prices for donated items.
    One section I had ordered and repriced more reasonably (in which I am more expert than every other person there) has been changed after few days, separating books that should be sold together and raising prices for small books that are too old in their approach to the subject to have a good value.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't throw away too many books/items: if they don't sell, try lowering the prices gradually, even to ridiculous levels. It's still better to get one pence instead of nothing. Or donate them to public libraries. Or to your volunteers :)

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

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