Starting an Apprenticeship From Home
Alex Knowlson, Cohort 28
Before I started my Juice Academy journey, I had worked for two jobs in the retail industry
dealing with customers face-to-face. The first job was as an assistant in a sweet shop for a
close family friend, and the second was at my local McDonalds whilst I worked towards my
A-Levels. After a year of deciding my next path, I fell upon the Juice Academy.
As I now begin my apprenticeship at CheckdMedia, it is strange to find that I will be working
from home until at least November as they prepare the new office workspace. Some would
say it is a dream not having that morning commute and having that extra-long lie in, however
for me, working from home has presented me with some new unexpected challenges both
physically and mentally.
In terms of my physical challenges, the lack of movement has been the biggest issue. My
morning commute was always a chance for me to get my head into the right mindset, as well
as exercising and keeping healthy. It would sound bizarre, but walking for 15 minutes before
and after work was such a key part of my day and something, I would later begin to take for
granted. Now the travel to my desk is a little over five steps. As well as this, I sit in my chair
for most of the day rarely moving more than the parameters of my room. A big change from
what I am used to.
The second and arguably most impactful challenge I faced was mentally. The idea of a ‘bird
trapped inside a cage’ best describes how I have felt in my new working environment. Going
from a busy workplace with lots of interaction with your co-workers, to working at home
alone at your desk is difficult. The only face-to-face social interaction that I have is with my
Mum and Dad, usually at lunch or after work, or on the occasional trip to Co-op for a meal
deal. This has been a big shock for me as I didn’t put it into context that would not speak to
anyone in person.
However, since starting the apprenticeship, I have formed positive
relationships and no longer feel like an outsider. Hopefully, when I enter the office when
restrictions loosen, the transition will be natural and easy.
Now that I am a few months in, I am forming a routine to help with all these challenges. The
solution that I have found to help with the physical challenge is forcing myself to go do at
least 20 minutes of exercise a day. Even on the dreariest of days when you’d rather curl up
in front of the TV, going out and getting that fresh air really helps. It also gives you that
sense of accomplishment that you haven’t worked all day and done nothing else. For the
mental side, I have found that taking time out of my day to chat with friends and family, or
even a co-worker, helps to keep me sane. Also, you never know who really needs to talk and
you could be making their day by just dropping them a message.
I can definitely say that starting an apprenticeship in lockdown is tough and has brought many challenges, but it has made me a better person because of it.