HOW TO GET AHEAD: WHAT IT’S LIKE TO WORK FOR ... AOL - Dressing down won’t get you a dressing down at AOL, the PC company on your PC

What do they do? They sell ads across the online company’s three brands, AOL, CompuServe and Netscape. AOL is for the family, Netscape is for net-savvy youths and CompuServe is for business professionals.

What do they do? They sell ads across the online company’s three

brands, AOL, CompuServe and Netscape. AOL is for the family, Netscape is

for net-savvy youths and CompuServe is for business professionals.



Good offices? Spanking new premises on Hammersmith Road, not far from

Kensington High Street. Staff praise the well-equipped meeting rooms,

which have full audio-visual facilities. There are colourful kitchens,

called ’oasis areas’, on each floor.



What’s it like? Young, friendly and non-hierarchical. Casual dress is

the norm. The 200 or so staff are split evenly in terms of sex and

although this is no Noah’s Ark, sources say there is a fair bit of

copping off.



Even marriages are not unheard of. There are also quite a few gay

people.



Prejudice of any kind is not tolerated.



After-work drinking takes place at the Queen’s Head on Brook Green. Late

nights and working through lunch are not encouraged - but you’re

expected to work hard the rest of the time.



What about perks? A non-contributory pension, sickness benefit, 25 days

annual holiday and free membership of Holmes Place health club. Sales

people get a laptop, a mobile phone and a car allowance. Occasional

European travel includes heavily-subsidised trips to play in the AOL

pan-European football tournament.



Free massages, given at employees’ desks, are very popular.



How does it recruit? Without much difficulty, as everyone wants to get

into new media. But the company is keen to find people with experience,

so there’s no graduate recruitment scheme.



Is it good at training? Staff are encouraged to be proactive. If you

want to be trained in a particular area, ask to be sent on a course.



How do you get ahead? Stick around - the industry’s growing so fast it

isn’t difficult to move up the ladder. But you must seem dedicated.

There’s a team spirit, so bitching is career inhibiting.



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