Starting your apprenticeship
So you’ve landed an apprenticeship, congratulations! Now you need to start preparing for your role – to help you out, we’ve gathered our top tips on what to do and not to do on your programme.
The night before the big day, you’ll probably be nervous or excited. After all, this is a great achievement and you should be proud of yourself. An apprenticeship is a big deal, and you have to be prepared to put the effort in.
Prepare the night before.
Lay out your work outfit so that you aren’t rushing around in the morning deciding what to wear. Decide if you will be taking in your own lunch, or will you buy something at a local shop? If you can prepare as much as you can beforehand, you’ll be a lot less nervous or stressed on the day.
Your first week as an apprentice is for you to find your feet and be inducted to the company, so don’t panic if your workload is light. There will be a lot of introductions and learning about your colleagues’ roles. Focus on meeting your new team and settling into your role; the responsibilities will come after.
You’ll hear this over and over again, but no question is a silly question, so if there is something you aren’t sure about – ask away! As an apprentice, this could potentially be your first job so your employer isn’t expecting you to know everything. Not sure how to use a computer software? Ask a team member you see using it on a daily basis, we’re sure they’ll help you out.
Don’t overdo it.
When you start your apprenticeship, it can be easy to worry yourself about little things, and lose your work-life balance as a result. Your wellbeing should always come first, so remember to:
- Get plenty of sleep – most people recommend 8 hours, but whatever you find works for you
- Eat well – you might find yourself in a rush, but take the time to fuel your body for the day ahead
- Exercise – whether it’s playing a sport, running, or taking regular walks, exercise can have a fantastic effect on your mood, making you feel calmer and happier. You might even find your new company has a sports team you can join!
- Stay sociable – it’s important to keep up with your social life and make time to see your friends, don’t let your work take up all your time.
Don’t be too hard on yourself.
A lot of our apprentices say their biggest mistake was putting too much pressure on themselves. They were nervous about potentially messing up, forgetting someone’s name or being late. And the fact is, this might happen to you, but it’s not the end of the world! Your apprenticeship is all about learning to do things for the very first time, so it’s expected you might not be perfect. Be kind to yourself and you’ll relax into the role.
Don’t be a lone wolf.
Be willing to admit when you’re not sure how to do something – you’re there to learn and that’s OK! It can be tempting when the rest of your team know their jobs inside out, but remember you’re just starting off. Your manager is more likely to be annoyed if you pretend you know everything and make more mistakes because of it.
An apprenticeship is all about learning, you won’t be expected to know everything and your team will understand that. Show your ability to work as a team and learn from your colleagues – you might find it’s a great way of making new friends.
Don’t give up.
Apprenticeships aren’t supposed to be easy. At times, you may feel overwhelmed juggling your new responsibilities against your studies, and this is when it’s most important to stay motivated. Talk to your manager, your mentor or a friend, anyone who can help support you through the tricky times. You will soon find a balance that suits you.
Remember how far you’ve come, and where your apprenticeship is taking you. Work hard and you’ll reap the rewards.
Interested in an applying for an apprenticeship? We work with many of the UK’s leading companies, from independent firms to large corporate businesses including RBS, J.P. Morgan, Deloitte, Kennedys and BT Group. All our current vacancies are live on our search and apply page.
For more information on BPP Professional Apprenticeships, visit our website.