Today’s post is the third and final part of my little apprenticeship series, and to end this series I wanted to share a few tips that I’ve picked up over the past year on how to impress your employers, and set yourself up for success in the working world.
Turn Up on Time
I wanted to say this first of all, because your punctuality says a lot about who you are as a person. Employees that are habitually late and don’t make up the time, are often lazy in their approach to work in general, and surprise surprise, they don’t usually stay in a company for long. Trust me, I’ve known apprentices to be ‘let go’ mainly because of their continual tardiness – so just don’t be late for work!
Assertiveness is an essential soft skill that everyone should work on, but it is especially important for junior employees and apprentices. Being assertive will allow your voice and your ideas to be heard, meaning you are more likely to get noticed by your employer, for all the right reasons. This could be a whole post in itself, but here are a couple of tips on how to be more assertive as an apprentice:
1) Ask questions – don’t be afraid to ask for help, or ask for certain things to be explained if you don’t understand. You’re there to learn.
2) Speak up in meetings – even if you’re not sure what you are saying is correct, just say something! Trust me, it’s better than not contributing at all.
3) Active listening – don’t just hear what is being said, really make an effort to listen and absorb information like a sponge.
But at the same time, you need to be careful that you don’t come across as cocky, or a ‘know it all’. You need to find that balance.
Use Your Initiative
The ability to be independent at work is a must. Even though you may be new to the industry, managers don’t want to have to ‘spoon-feed’ you. You need to show that you can see what needs to be done, and work from your own initiative.
Do as You’re Told
I’m going to sound like a nagging mum here, but apprentices who reject authority generally don’t get on well in the workplace. Don’t be that apprentice who acts like a rebellious teenager, just do as you’re told. If you’re asked to make tea and coffee, do it. If you’re asked to do some filing, do it. But if you start to feel as if you’re being taken advantage of, you need to speak up – again, it’s about finding the right balance.
You have to remember that you are at the bottom of the pecking order, and you need to earn the respect of your managers and colleagues. Speaking of respect, that moves me on to my next point…
Respect Other Employees
It is so important to have good workplace relationships. Employees can sometimes be sceptical of apprentices, so make sure to respect your management and your colleagues, and they will respect you in return. If they don’t, that’s a problem with them, not you!
This seems obvious, right?
Well you’d be amazed at the amount of apprentices who have a serious lack of work ethic, and seem like they don’t want to be at work full stop. For some young people, an apprenticeship is simply a way to waste a year while getting paid. In my eyes, an apprenticeship is an opportunity to get your foot in the door in your chosen industry, gain valuable experience, and basically begin your career. Why wouldn’t you take that seriously?
So there we have it! My advice on how to be a good apprentice!
I’ve really enjoyed writing these apprenticeship-related blog articles, and I really hope that I’ve helped even just one person out there. So, if you’re aged between 16 and 24 and you’re not sure what to do next, then I suggest looking into apprenticeships – it’s been a great start for me and so many others!
I wish you all the success in the world – thank you for reading!