This month is Stress Awareness Month, which aims to get us talking about the impact of stress on our professional and personal lives. 74% of UK adults admit to feeling so stressed in the past year, that they have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. Therefore, it is more important than ever we open up a conversation about stress and its impact.
Several members of Team Trident are currently studying alongside their job, either towards their APC (assessment of professional competence, which allows them to become chartered) or another qualification. To help break the stigma around stress, we’ve asked them to share their experiences of stress, and any personal tips they have to manage it.
Tom Holloway – Assistant Building Surveyor
“In a workplace I find the easiest way to balance work and ensure everything is complete is to use a diary or calendar to plan. Setting out each task individually means you can visually see the items being completed as you tick them off. This helps with motivation and reduces stress. I’m also working towards my APC; for me the best way to keep on top of this is to regularly work at small intervals, rather than spending days cramming. It is also very important to have time away from work and socialise”.
Aaron Toor – Assistant Building Surveyor
“I’ve found the below tips help me with my stress management:
- Prioritise and make a to-do list – Start each day by creating a to-do list and prioritise them according to their importance and urgency. This will help you stay focused and organised each day.
- A calendar can help you keep track of important deadlines, appointments, and events.
- Practice time management, set specific times for each task and stick to them as much as possible.
- Learn to say no. – It’s important to know your limits and not take on too much. If someone asks you to do something and you don’t have the time or energy, it’s okay to say no.
- Take breaks! – it’s essential to take a break to recharge your batteries. Use your breaks to do something you enjoy, such as reading, listening to music, or taking a short walk.”
Elliot Watson – Apprentice Building Surveyor
“As an apprentice I must balance work, university studies and now APC preparation. This can feel like a lot, and it usually weighs down on me. I’ve found the best way to cope is to try and complete tasks as soon as you get them as procrastinating can cause a lot more stress. This allows you to best manage your time allowing for more breaks in between. When something is causing me stress, I take a step away from my desk and go put the kettle on. It is important to take mental breaks and not run yourself down”
Kelsey Joyce – HR and Systems Administrator
“In April 2022, Trident gave me the opportunity to enrol on the CIPD Foundation Certificate in People Practice course to help further my career and gain a qualification in HR. The course was over 8 months where I had to study in my own time, whilst still working a full-time job. I would spend my evenings and weekends studying and writing my assignments, and sometimes I would be still sat at my laptop until 10pm, knowing I had to work the next day. I sometimes felt like I never got a break away from the laptop!
There were times where I would doubt my ability to be able to complete and pass the assignments, but with the help and support from my family and colleagues, I successfully completed and gained my certificate in December 2022. The thought of how I would feel once I had passed the course really helped me get through those 8 months and gave me some self-confidence back and enabled me to believe in myself a little bit more. Stress can be hard to deal with, but taking regular breaks from studying, and talking to people can really help boost your morale. Whilst at the time it was stressful, I am so glad I did it as the hard work paid off.”
Matthew Pilkington – Assistant Building Surveyor
“I am currently working full time whilst working on my APC after work and on weekends. Juggling the two can be stressful at times however I have learnt to do little bits of revision often, rather than trying to cram everything in at once.
Trident also offers revision days, regular CPD and fortnightly graduate presentations to help us manage our workload. I also sit down with my supervisor and counsellor often to keep track of my progress and to get a grilling on the APC competencies.
Bristol is known for its nightlife, so I am often out socialising and at music events to help me relax and unwind. However, as my assessment approaches I am going to try to limit drinking… I have instead recently taken up pottery and have started to sell clay pots as a hobby.”
Jack Skinner – Apprentice Building Surveyor
“As I study, work full-time and have commenced the APC process there is many stressful moments which I have to manage to ensure I keep high standards in the work I am delivering.
Keyways I ensure stress doesn’t get the better of me is by ensuring I manage my time wisely by:
- Creating structure – Having a process which is continuously followed.
- Prioritising workload – Ranking to-do lists helps you complete the tasks with the most demand.
- Setting deadlines – Helps staying focused on a particular task.
- Avoiding multitasking – Enables you to give your full attention to a task”
Hannah Tottie – Marketing Assistant
“I’m currently working towards my Certificate in Marketing, which means I have lectures after work, assignments to complete and an exam to revise for. This means I can be on my laptop for 12+ hours, working and then studying. Especially if you’ve had a busy or hard day at work, this is the last thing you want to do. The one thing I have always done when I’ve studied before that works for me is to make sure I have at least thirty minutes a day to do something for me, and what I want to do. This could be getting outside for a walk, reading a book or watching some TV. Whatever it is, taking time away is always important, and helps me feel refreshed, more productive and less overwhelmed.”
Jake Harrison – Assistant Building Surveyor
“I’m currently preparing for my APC and working full time. The best way for me to be able to manage this all at once is to set myself a weekly plan where I allocate time to complete objectives and then allow myself time to socialise and get away from the computer screen. On a weekend I will allocate time for study in the morning, that way I know I have the evenings to socialise, which help me manages stress as I have that to look forward to and I know I won’t lose touch with friends and the outside world”
Daniel Wardrop – Assistant Building Surveyor
“I think it can be difficult adjusting from student life to full-time employment as for most people it’s a change in working hours, level of workload and time available to do hobbies and see friends etc. It’s important to manage this so that you are productive at work but also make the most of your time outside of work. We spend most our days looking at screens so I find getting the right amount of sleep is essential and also find going to the gym either before or after work a good way to clear my head”
Tom Hardy – Assistant Building Surveyor
“Stress is something that goes hand in hand when preparing yourself for something as big as the APC assessment. While I am some time away from undertaking it myself, I know plenty of other graduates who are certainly feeling the pressure. Balancing work responsibilities on top of all the extra-curricular learning is an impressive task, but I believe it is equally as important to take necessary steps away from the stresses when possible. For example, taking time to exercise and de-clutter things you have going on. Keeping a clear head (and a clear desk!) is key to focus and eventual success”.
To learn more about how Trident helps those who study alongside working, visit out work with us page.