Starting an apprenticeship can definitely be a daunting experience. Not only are you being thrown into a completely different group of people, but you are also making the jump from full time education to a workplace (often years before the rest of your friends)! There’s also still the learning component to balance, and for most people this means a complete routine and lifestyle overhaul. Here’s a guide to some of the firsts you are likely to experience in your apprenticeship:
Your first day is likely to be a flurry of activity as you meet your line manager and other key people that will support you throughout your apprenticeship. Preparation is the name of the game for this: pack your bag, plan your outfit, check your commute…the night before! Give yourself a helping hand in the morning by having as little to do as possible. Leave the house 10 minutes early if needed – show up on time and be enthusiastic to make a good first impression.
You’ll be meeting all your new colleagues that you’re going to work alongside. It’s likely going to be a bit of an information overload with all those new names and faces, so I’d definitely recommend setting up separate intro chats with some of the key members of your team to understand their role and how you interact with them. I’d also expect to do a lot of mandatory training courses depending on your workplace, but some of the boilerplate ones are fraud detection, GDPR and health and safety. This is often a little dry but the quicker you get them out the way, the sooner you can sink your teeth into something more substantial.
Hopefully your workplace has a structured induction plan in place, but if your company or team is relatively new to having an apprentice, they might also be working it out as they go. If you feel like you’re missing some key information, don’t be afraid to ask – it shows that you take initiative and I’m sure other apprentices will thank you for it too!
Just when you think you’re finally getting the grip of things, you’re bound to trip up and get something wrong. It may feel like the most embarrassing moment, but remind yourself that mistakes are part of the learning process. Every single person you’ve ever dealt with has made mistakes (more than you can count!), so instead of beating yourself up about it, be honest, take accountability, and do what you can to fix it. Chances are, people will be so impressed by how you dealt with it, that no one will even remember the mistake in the first place.
Success comes in all shapes and sizes, so make sure you celebrate all your achievements! I highly recommend starting a “brag book” where you collate all the lovely pieces of feedback and accolades you receive. Not only is this a good way of keeping track of the projects you’ve worked on, but it’s also the perfect thing to come back to on those days when you need a little extra encouragement.
As you start your apprenticeship, the best piece of advice I could give you is to not underestimate yourself. You are capable of so much more than you likely give yourself credit for, and whilst the road ahead is challenging, it is also extremely rewarding. Best of luck!