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Man: One of my colleagues is always complaining about his job, or moaning about our boss, or the company’s management. It’s making other team members dissatisfied because some of his complaints are true and it’s created a very negative atmosphere. I’ve tried to speak to him about it, but now he just thinks I’m trying to be the boss’ favourite. 
Woman: Well, I’m not trying to question your analysis of the problem or your motives for trying to sort it out, but I do suspect you’ve gone about trying to solve it in a way that casts you, however unjustly, as a bit of a self-important bore. Why don’t two or three of you put your complaints to your boss in a fair and constructive way? And, it might be a good idea to involve your unhappy colleague in that. 
Janet: I’m glad you persuaded me to go to the recruitment fair. It was nothing like I thought it would be. 
Paul: Yes, it was really interesting.
Janet: I was quite sure that I would become a translator before I went to the fair because I was just about to finish my degree in modern languages. I wandered up to a stall that was promoting careers in Public Relations, just to have a nose really. I was blown away. It seemed perfect to suit my skills and interests.
Paul: Well, I’d been looking for a job in the papers and in employment agencies and I didn’t find anything at the fair, but one of the employees I spoke to there passed on my CV to the marketing and business development manager and a week later I was invited for an interview.  I couldn’t believe my luck when they offered me the position.
Man: It’s not just a job for men you know and it’s a career where you can achieve promotion very quickly. 
Woman: What’s the salary like?
Man: Typically, graduates who join can expect to earn £28,000 within a year and achieve two promotions within the first two years. Of course, you can join up straight from school but it will take you longer to get to a higher position such as management.
Woman: To be honest, I didn’t think I could ever do your job. You’ve got to be out of your mind to want to work with dangerous people like that, plus I wouldn’t have the courage to face violent criminals.  You never know what they are going to do next.
Man: Well, I just wanted to be sure of a career where I could do well without having to wait until I was a lot older.
Woman: My background is from a family of six children from a council estate  where I saw friends drift in and out of crime. I had a desire to help people see that there are choices in life. I was interested in probation work but having left school with little in the way of qualifications , I never thought I could do it. It was only after taking an IQ test that I realised that I might have a chance.
After leaving school, I joined the army. Then I started to study for a degree in Health and Social care. At the same time I was a volunteer for the St. John’s Ambulance Service, the Probation Service and at a residential children’s school.  Then I applied to be a trainee probation officer. Time management is the most important skill, especially the need to prioritise deadlines , read and digest information and then write clear reports for the courts. I also have to be able to interact with people from all walks of life. There is a lot of one-to-one work with offenders and this requires you to work through both your own and their emotional barriers. 
Every day is different. Of a working week, about three days are spent in the office with the remainder split between prison and being in court . The best thing is that you get to work with a huge spectrum of people from the homeless to professionals who have made mistakes. The worst thing is that the job is generally very pressured and there are times when you have to engage with people that have committed crimes that involve domestic violence.  That is really hard to take.
My role is currently that of Case Manager where I manage up to 35 offenders at one time. I liaise with the courts which is basically providing guidance on the best sentence for people to be given.  I also visit prisons where I am involved in the release process. As a next step, I’d see myself as a Practice Manager, monitoring a team and ultimately I’d like to be a senior Probation Officer.
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