New to AAT, furloughed, but still going

Student hold her child

Meet Emily. A mother, furloughed, and not far into her AAT journey. We speak to her and find out how she’s adapted to these life altering events.

Shortly after Boris announced the lockdown measures my company put us on furlough. It all happened pretty fast. I work in a wig shop and wasn’t used to such dramatic shifts.

But I made the most of it.

I always used to think ‘If I wasn’t working, I’d be able to get loads of my AAT studying done!’. So I thought studying, combined with looking after my young son, would be enough to occupy my time.

Things didn’t quite go according to plan though.


After a few weird weeks I started to struggle with motivation. My son was requiring a lot of attention and the lack of routine was proving a challenge. So I spoke to my eagle mentor and she advised that I spend just 10-15 minutes a day revising and working through my module.

I did have a little bit of success with dipping my toe in, to keep it ticking over. However, the new issue was that I’d done all the revising, but the exams were cancelled!

This is for the Foundation Level Bookkeeping Transactions exam, and if I failed I’d have to resit so it wouldn’t make much sense to study beyond that module. So I’m at a stalemate with my studies, as I have nothing left to work towards for now.

Like many say, it’s a weird time. I’ve had some weeks where I haven’t been working, and also had nothing left to study.

To keep well balanced, me and my son have been going for walks every day. We have to get out of the house, whatever the weather, every day. And now being able to go for walks with friends here and there has been a massive bonus too.

Back to work

I’ve recently been told I can go back to work in July, which is some kind of development – but I have mixed feelings about it. Yes, it will be great to have that routine again, which I can fit in with childcare and my AAT studies, but it will be this ‘new normal’.

Work have been fitting out the shop with PPE, and now customers must book appointments and we must keep distance etc. So more transition for me to get used to!

I’m looking forward to it, but also not.

Same future, bit delayed

I have good days and bad days. One day I will wake up and be motivated and get stuff done, but then other days I can’t be bothered doing anything.

Before this all started, I wanted to study AAT to get new opportunities and so I could specialise in accounting. I do all the books at work, so eventually I wanted to pursue that and do it more.

I also wanted to have more of a 9-5 type of job, so I could be around for my son a little more too. Nothing has changed in my mind though, I just have to accept it will take a little more time.

One day at a time

When I started AAT foundation level I was a little daunted by it. I hadn’t studied since school so I had to learn how to learn all over again. I’d look at the sections and think ‘Oh my god, this is hard!’. But when I’d calm down and re-read it I’d be okay and realise that I do actually understand.

When I started studying I did have a target. I wanted to follow the study plan my mentor put in front of me – meaning I would’ve passed Level 2 (Foundation) by October/November.

But with everything that’s going on right now, I’m not going to put that pressure on myself. I’m just taking it one day at a time.

Are you furloughed and ready for a new start?

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