This week, our weekly tip comes from Lucy. Lucy is a Senior Consultant for Axcis and works in the London office. This means she works with some of our busiest schools and as such often has day to day work available in the mornings as well as long-term vacancies to fill. Her tip is to always remember plan your journey to school carefully.
The nature of supply work means that you’ll often be asked to go to a new school to work for a day to cover for an absent member of staff, or to try out for a long-term role. First impressions are HUGE in the supply industry – remember that you are often being called in to help on an already stressful day for the school managers. They need to know you will be on time and reliable in order to ensure the day runs smoothly for their students. When 8.45 comes round, we inevitably start to receive calls in the Axcis office from schools who want to know where their staff members are. This is not a great way to get off to a good start!
If at all possible, we would advise that you plan your journey carefully ahead of time, and ensure you allow 25% on top of your total travel time for finding a school when you are going for the first time. If driving, ensure you have a sat-nav or map of the local area (and an idea of where you can park). If walking, take directions from the nearest station and a map. It might sound over the top, but if you arrive late to school, you instantly create a poor impression of yourself and your reliability. Schools looking for long-term members of staff will be far less likely to consider you for the role if you don’t demonstrate that you can arrive for work on time.
If, however, you are in an unavoidable situation and stuck in traffic or on a broken-down train (for example), contact your consultant as soon as is possible (if you are stuck on a tube we know you will have to wait until you are above ground in the majority of cases). You can then explain the situation to your contact at Axcis, they can pass along the update to your school and ensure provisions can be made until your arrival.
When you get to school, apologise profusely and ensure they understand that this will not happen again if you are invited back for future work. In this way, you can ensure that you have the best possible chance of getting repeat work.