Want to know what it’s like to work for Axcis? We’ve invited some of our contractors to write a blog for us. This week’s article comes from Bryn Jones who works for our Wales office. Bryn is a teaching assistant who has been working for Axcis since early 2015 – and this is what he has to say about the experience thus far…
Not long after I graduated, I found myself sat at my desk in a call centre waiting for the clock to hit 5pm – just after coming back from lunch! I had a thought; “this is not how I want to be spending my twenties”. Don’t get me wrong, I loved having a natter on the phone and a good chat with co-workers but the job itself was dull, sat at a desk 9 – 5 with a phone attached to my ear – so I needed a change.
Getting a phone call from Axcis accepting my application was really exciting for me – I almost cheered to myself in the call centre car park – I just knew my career was about to take off! Before joining Axcis, I had gained some experience in a SEND school where I learned
what it was like to be a teaching assistant. Then things really started happening when I had a call from Jen, Vetting Officer from Axcis Wales, who are based in Newport.
Waiting for my Interview with Jen, I remember watching the snow fall in the enclosed garden. I watched it cover the plants and fall to melt on the pond as I mused about my future career in education. Snapping me out of my trance were the other workers using the office building dressed in suits and office wear – much like what I had to wear in the call centre. That’s when I looked down at my casual clothes and thought to myself that I am happy that this is my work clothes now – and that ties are not compulsory! (Don’t get me wrong, I do wear smart casual when it is needed but schools tell you what they expect you to wear and it is still more comfortable than the strict “A tie must always be worn” rule that came with my previous profession).
I must first say here that I am really thankful to Jen as she organised to meet me close to closing time at the office, as I was working during the day of my interview, and she made me feel so comfortable even though (because of the snow) she must have wanted to get on her journey home quickly – so thank you Jen! Now, as anyone who has gone on a job interview knows,
these things are petrifying and you are always told to seem relaxed and confident! I was not at first but because of the atmosphere of the office it was more like a chat with a colleague and I believe that Jen got to know me as a person. This in turn helped her to build a realistic profile of me to send to schools. After my photo was taken (I pray I wasn’t looking too awkward), Jen informed me that she would be in touch to let me know if Axcis would accept me as a contractor of theirs and then the interview was over and I felt relaxed and happy that it seemed this was the start of my new career.
I can’t speak for everyone, but whenever I go to a new school, the first day is always the hardest for me as I am not sure what to expect. I was lucky with Axcis as I was given a long-term placement at a high school in Cwmbran and after a couple of days I soon got into the swing of things and really enjoyed my time as an LSA there. Getting to sit in classes again with different students on my timetable, I really felt like I was helping them and getting something from my work. Having different students from all years with various additional needs really helped me to broaden my experience. It also meant no day was the same and it was never boring. Yes, there were days when I would go home exhausted, but I look back on these days as the most eventful and without trying to sound cliché, I grew as a person from this experience. My friends and family have told me how I’ve become confident and outgoing since starting work with children in secondary schools, as you are put in an environment where you are drawn out of your shell and it has been great for my professional development.
Another great thing about working with Axcis is the opportunity to have the holidays free. I see myself as a ‘realistic traveller’ where I want to see as much of the world as I can, but I also know I need the funds to do so and this is why Axcis is a perfect fit for me. Not only do they provide me with work but I am also given the holidays to explore the world!
I have only had my passport for a year now and thanks to Axcis I have been able to travel to Italy during the Christmas holidays, Spain for Easter and during the summer holidays I was backpacking around Croatia, stopping in Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina along the way. I know none of this would have been possible if I stayed in a typical 9-5 job, at most I may have got a week all-inclusive somewhere – but this is not the traveling for me. Not only has Axcis provided me with a good career but also the opportunity to travel the world.
If you are interested in teaching assistant work with Axcis, register today or contact us to discuss further how we can help you. We have offices across the country and work with a diverse range of schools and candidates – you never know, we might be the perfect match for you, too!