Top Tips for starting your Apprenticeship

Are you thinking of or about to start an apprenticeship – here are a few valuable tips! Many of these tips you may not immediately think of so this will give you a huge headstart and ensure you enter your apprenticeship with the confidence and charisma that will set you aside from the rest.

1 – Research the company

Ensure you have done your research and have some clear comparisons so that you can be sure that what you are getting into is the right fit for you and your goals because as you will learn, your career is one thing you should be selfish with.   If you have established it’s a yes – continue to read up on the company website and social media channels, if you can pick up some of their most-used terms it is bound to give you an extra boost on your first day and is guaranteed to help you make a good first impression. 

2 – Learn the names of your colleagues 

Learning the names of others will ensure you are approachable, known, and most of all respectful.   If you can research ‘The Team’ online that will give you an even bigger headstart so you already have a few faces to names before you even officially start!  Once you begin, your company may have Organisation Flow Charts outlining the roles in the business which will also prove highly useful as you can begin to understand how you would/could co-operate with them, therefore, making yourself invaluable. 

3 – Remember, you are all equal

Being an apprentice can perhaps feel a little lower status than most of your colleagues just because you are studying and they have more experience however, you must thrive off their experience and remember they were once in your position so ‘treat others as you would like to be treated.’ 

4 – Observe your senior team

Observing how the senior staff members work and conduct themselves as well as the way they interact with clients will teach you alot. The quicker you are exposed to this, the quicker you can replicate it yourself and begin to understand how you must hold yourself once at a higher status when you have progressed through your career.  Retaining, or jotting down their topics of discussion and learning the key terminology they use will also allow you to gage a further understanding of the company.

5 – Always ask questions

Asking questions can do several things, firstly your colleagues won’t expect you to have a complete understanding of the business straight away so in some ways it would make it rather strange if you didn’t.  Not only this, it will prevent mistakes and aid you towards clarity of their expectations.  Lastly, questions can be impressive when including context you have already picked up at work, in which case, they will be to everyone’s benefit. 

6 – Stay enthusiastic & motivated

You may perhaps feel over, or underwhelmed when you begin. Change is always impactful and until it becomes routine it may feel a little unsettling. If you encourage yourself to concentrate on the present tasks at hand until your understanding has broadened out it will enable you to progress further. It will also prove your dedication to your employers and yourself. Keep your head in the game and maintain a steady work persona and you will get noticed, likewise, if there are any problems ensure you speak to your manager. 

7 – Be efficient in time management 

Get yourself a weekly study plan, perhaps even to the hour, if not, maybe just a diary. Scheduling is absolutely key, you need a balance of; work, study and social to keep a steady mentality and prevent stress.  Social activity at the beginning, mid and end of the week could make all the difference.   Not to mention, study time must be laid out strategically so it is realistic and varied to keep you motivated.   Finally, your work may have an online calendar for meeting bookings or you may need to devise a planner primarily for your working hours. Whichever it may be, make sure you schedule extra time aside for yourself to fully catch up and reflect as you will always need it.

8 – Don’t get dishearten by constructive feedback

It is easy to get wrapped up in your work and be overly ambitious, only to then be reminded by your more experienced colleagues that you aren’t expected to know everything yet and you, therefore, have to make corrections, start again or even hand it over to someone else.   Do not be dishearten by this, it is constructive criticism and they will still be appreciative of your time as well as understanding that you are still learning.

9 – Don’t get lazy, keep busy

Following the last point, just as it is easy to be overly ambitious and try and do too much, there is also room to swing the other way.  Picking up bad habits and perhaps being a little lazy as time goes by will get noticed.   On the other hand, if you are not being set lots of work deadlines, or it is potentially a quieter month take it upon yourself to set your targets and create a bullet point To-Do-List until there is another influx to keep you busy and on the ball.   Mandatory Training is always a good admin To-Do when you first start and haven’t got much on.

10 – Always maintain punctuality

Similarly to picking up bad habits, being late can become one of these, especially if your manager seems more lenient with your arrival times.   Short term it may not get noticed but long term it assuredly will.   Small things like leaving an extra 20mins early in case of traffic or getting the earlier train or bus, or even waking up earlier if necessary to give time for your morning routine.   You can also shorten your morning routine with breakfasts that are quick to prepare and lay your clothes and lunch out the night before.   Whatever the case – always ensure your alarm is set the night before and your ringer is on!

Starting an apprenticeship is an exciting time in anyone’s career and it is a learning exercise for you and your employer – we are all individuals and never stop learning – good luck!