Getting accepted into an apprenticeship program at a well-renowned organisation is incredibly exciting. This allows you to learn from seasoned professionals while expanding your skillset and forging connections that benefit your career long term. Making the most of this success is essential to your future.
While making an error as an apprentice isn’t the end of the world, avoiding common mistakes ensures you make the best impression on the team. This can put you in line for a full-time job at the end of the programme or a stellar reference that lands you a position at a similar organisation. Here are the slip-ups you need to sidestep during an apprenticeship.
1. Arriving late
Punctuality is an essential skill for employees at every level of a business, but especially for apprentices. Although turning up a few minutes late might not seem like a big deal, it speaks to your dedication and work ethic. How can the business trust you with crucial tasks if you can’t get out of bed on time?
Even if you’ve never been a morning person, getting to bed earlier ensures you rise better the next day. Rather than needing to rush through your morning routine to get to work, you’ll feel more awake and relaxed when you have plenty of time to shower, get dressed and enjoy your coffee.
2. Dressing inappropriately
Apprentices need to dress appropriately for their roles and industry. Specific roles require uniforms or safety attire. Some office work settings will be more formal than others, such as law firms and corporate consultants; paying close attention to how you dress for the office is crucial to your success. But how do you know what to wear?
Before starting your apprenticeship, don’t be afraid to confirm the dress requirements with your supervisor or HR. You can also make a mental note about what your colleagues wear when in the office. If you’re still unsure, it’s better to be slightly overdressed than too casual.
3. Lack of commitment
While an apprenticeship is great for increasing your knowledge and experience, it’s also an opportunity to show the business that you’re ready to become a full-time employee. However, you won’t impress your colleagues if you don’t show that you’re willing to work hard for the organisation’s benefit.
Arriving on time is a great place to start but volunteering for extra duties is an even better way to stand out. This might involve assisting an extra busy colleague or cleaning up the staff pantry at day’s end. Showcase how you’re a diligent team player who is willing to go above and beyond expectations.
4. Failing to take initiative
It’s important to display a strong sense of initiative when working as an apprentice. While asking the right questions of colleagues is vital, needing to have your hand held through every task can become a burden on others. While being an apprentice is sometimes intimidating, taking ownership of your work is essential to your development.
For example, sharing your ideas in a planning meeting highlights your individual drive. Meanwhile, displaying curiosity about your role and what others do for the business shows that you’re excited to grow alongside the company. As your confidence increases, taking initiative will also become much easier.
5. Not attending social events
It’s easy to sidestep social events when you’re a little shy or daunted by your more experienced colleagues. However, part of the reason an apprenticeship benefits your professional development is that you get to know people who are established in the industry. In fact, building the right relationships can improve your chances of securing a personal victory.
While you don’t always have to attend work dinners or social gatherings, attempting to head along when invited puts your career in good stead. Plus, getting to know your colleagues on a personal level can help you feel more confident and settled in your new role.
6. Displaying a negative attitude
No one enjoys working around people who can’t help but have a negative attitude. Even if you’re working in a stressful environment where mistakes must be avoided at all costs, constantly complaining about problems or taking your frustration out on your colleagues won’t end well.
Instead, bring a positive attitude to help your team overcome obstacles and deliver the best business outcomes. By celebrating small victories, recognising hard work and treating colleagues with empathy, your apprenticeship can be an enormous achievement.
Is your apprenticeship going well? Be sure to speak to your supervisor and HR well ahead of time to discuss options for you within the company after your apprenticeship. Now’s also a great time to request a job testimonial to improve your chances of securing a permanent position.