When a new year begins most people make new year's resolutions towards their personal life such as starting a new hobby or going to the gym, however there is no reason why you can’t make a new year's resolution for your professional life.
As apprentices, we are constantly growing and learning as there is a lot we have to know to be competent at our job and pass our EPA. Setting goals and holding yourself accountable to them is a good way to get into a routine that aids your professional development.
Regularly recording KSBs (knowledge, skills and behaviours) is something that apprentices struggle with. To give yourself the opportunity to record some evidence, you can ask your manager for a couple of hours a month where you are able to watch a LinkedIn learning video on a topic that is relevant to your job. Knowing you have regular evidence for your KSBs will allow you to meet your target off-the-job training and help you meet all of the requirements. It will also get you into the routine of regularly updating your evidence, so when your manager gives you additional off-the-job learning, you know how to evidence the training properly and how to do it efficiently.
Attending the office multiple times a week could be something that some people struggle with due to being able to work from home. Setting a goal to go into the office twice a week on specific days will help you get into the rhythm of waking up earlier and commuting to the office. After a couple of weeks, most people forget about their new year resolutions, but to help you keep them, you can ask someone you live with to wake you up on the day you have set to attend work, or schedule in-person meetings on that day so that you know you have an obligation to go in. Having things that force you out of previous habits will give you the incentive to go to the office without additional motivation.
Once you have finished your apprenticeship and you have more responsibilities, you will be required to present your work and ideas more often. This could entail you presenting to your team or even clients. Some people find public speaking nerve-wracking and aren’t able to convey their ideas to the listener correctly. Public speaking is a skill you must regularly practise, so setting regular goals will build your confidence. You could start off by asking someone you work with, like your mentor, if you could present what you have learnt recently at university. By setting up a meeting and having a short presentation every 2-4 weeks, you would get used to talking to an audience. Over time you will find that you are able to talk without prompts and you could also start asking more people to attend these meetings so that you can get used to a bigger audience. Over the course of this year, you will see a great improvement.
These are just a few examples of what goals you could set, however the format of having someone or something holding you accountable can apply to any goal you want to set. By the end of the year, you will find doing the task much easier and you will see more improvements in your apprenticeship.