What you need to know before starting your apprenticeship

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girl sitting at cafe

So you’ve bagged yourself a brilliant apprenticeship. You’re about to start training as an engineer, digital marketing pro, nurse, pharmacist… the apprenticeship possibilities are endless!

You’re ready to start earning and learning, while studying towards a great professional qualification.

But before the big day arrives, we have a few top tips to help you smash your first day at the office (or on site, in the studio, clinic… wherever!)

Here’s what you need to know before starting your apprenticeship.

Be prepared

person googling

Everyone likes a good Google, right? When it comes to your first day at an apprenticeship, there are three things you need to research ahead of time.

An apprenticeship means you’ll be working for an employer while also studying towards a vocational qualification (or even a degree!) at a college, university or training provider. So give yourself the edge by contacting them to see if you could do any reading or prep work beforehand. Getting a head-start on that reading list will make you feel calmer and ready to hit the ground running.

It’s also important to research what the company you’re working for does. You’ll have already covered this in your interview prep, but have another Google to have a clear idea in your head when your first day rolls around.

And the final thing you need to look into is the structure of your particular programme. How many days will you spend at college versus in the office? What modules or components are there? Check the apprenticeship listing and any information you’ve been sent to make sure these details are clear.

Get there on time

guy in a car

Actually, make that arrive early. Make sure you get up early so you’re not flustered and have plenty of time for a filling, healthy breakfast. There’s nothing worse than getting super stressed because you realise you’re running late for your first day.

You could even go a step further and test out your driving route or bus/train journey to make sure you’ll be there with time to spare.

Double check where exactly in the building you’re supposed to be, and who you’re meeting.

Dress sharp

dog in a suit

It’s really important to dress appropriately for the particular apprenticeship you’re doing. If you’re not sure, ask! And if you’re still in doubt, it’s good to err on the side of too formal. It’ll show that you care and that you’ve made an effort. Your employer will be able to see that you’re committed and have respect for their business. Then, if necessary, you can see what everyone else is wearing and adjust for the coming days.

Listen! No, really listen

woman listening

Okay so that sounds like pretty obvious advice, right? But when you’re a bit nervous on your first day, it’s easy to not really listen properly. You’ll quickly realise you don’t know your colleagues names, let alone detailed instructions about what you’re supposed to be doing. So practice actively listening. Concentrate on what people are saying, process it and then take your time to respond.

A pro tip is repeating anything you’re unsure of to make sure you remember it. You should also take a notepad to jot down some notes – your employer will be impressed at your dedication.

Ask questions

talkshow host`

We can’t emphasise how important this tip is. Asking questions doesn’t make you look silly or like you haven’t been paying attention – in fact, it’s quite the opposite. It shows that you’re eager to learn more. Your boss will like that you’re interested and enthusiastic. If you’re unsure of anything, or want to find out something more about a particular point, ask, ask ask!

Make friends

cat and pony

First things first — introduce yourself! It might seem awkward at first but trust us, people will really appreciate that you’re going the extra step to introduce yourself to everyone at the workplace. It shows enthusiasm and that you’re keen to be part of the company.

There may be other apprentices in your cohort you can make friends with – if not, become pals with your coworkers. Not only does it show great team-working skills, it’ll make your work a whole lot more fun!

Be yourself!

Emma Watson

Easier said than done, we know – but master your first-day jitters and be confident! Your personality will shine through and you’ll enjoy the experience a whole lot more.

We know that can be a little nerve-racking but do your best to put yourself out there – everyone remembers their first day and will be wanting you to succeed and do well.

Be friendly and polite and your first day will be a total breeze.

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