Written by Jess Smith, Volunteer Office Assistant and TRS Teacher who was voted TRS Teacher of the Year 2019 by fellow TRS Teachers.
At TRS we believe that volunteering should support the artist’s career and not be free labour.
I started volunteering in the office because I was debating to start a franchise and wanted to find out more about working in the self-employed office. I wanted to learn about invoicing, communication with organisations, filing and the general upkeep of a dance business. I feel I have learnt this while volunteering, and this could not have been done without the help and advice from Rebecca, Georgie and Georgia. All three of these lovely TRS office staff have informed me of details I needed to know, corrected me when tasks needed to be improved and guided me through my journey. I have been in the office since September 2019 and working in this environment with these lovely people has helped me make my decision to start my franchise. Thank you to all three of you.
Whist working in the office I have learnt how to properly file when you’re self-employed. I did not have knowledge of working in a self-employed environment. I have learnt the intensive filing system behind being self-employed and the importance of keeping track of everything. I am still quite new to the system and was unsure on what I needed to do, being here amongst others who are already self-employed really helped me understand the system.
I have also learnt how to create invoices for businesses, ensuring the information is correct and concise. I have learnt to double/triple check all details whether entering information in to the company database or creating invoices.
I learnt how a dance business is run, how to have proper communication with other businesses and I learnt about invoices. I have understood more about how I can help the business in different ways, for example volunteering, offering help with general office tasks and providing support to teachers.
As a result of working in the office, I have gained more regular work and cover work. As communication occurs within the office, it is easy to identify a problem and sort a solution, occasionally the solution is to offer my time. I have offered solutions that may not benefit me but will benefit the company, for example offering to travel further to a new class and giving up my regular class as it may attract more teachers if it is within easy access.
In the TRS office we are talkative. We do love a good gossip. As we’re all dancers/teachers, we’re good at multitasking. It is very often we’re all chatting away while not looking at each other, working. We are all supportive and help to guide each other through difficult situations and offer advice and guidance, whether it be a home or work situation. We each have each other for support and that is what makes this a good office team.
My favourite thing about working in the TRS office is working with people who feel like my second family. The Right Step have the family feel where everyone wants to help each other, we all give positive vibes to each other whether it is with dance or non-dance related topics within our group chats, and we all try to meet up when we can, whether it be a sharing day or a meal out.
My least favourite thing about working in the TRS office is not being able to use multicolours when doing office things, I love making my writing vibrant and colourful. Since working in the office, I have learnt that not everyone likes multicolours on documents.
I would not be where I am today without the TRS office staff. Thank you for everything.