How to make the most of your apprenticeship
Little Fish in a Big Pond
It’s now my 4th month here at Wallet.Services. Some things have changed, others haven’t. We have hired 4 new employees since I started! It’s funny to think that I’m no longer the new guy. I’ve continued to learn something new every day (I should start making a list!) and have attended all but my final course at QA Apprenticeships.
So; what can you expect if you find yourself thrust into a role at an exciting new startup, fresh out of college and with your only prior work experience being a month at a mini-golf course? Here’s my advice:
1. Be a sponge
When you don’t understand something: ask someone. Interested in what one of your colleagues does on the day to day? Take them out for a coffee and have a chat. When you use your curiosity and thirst for knowledge; you’ll find yourself learning more and more at an incredible rate and you’ll gain respect, satisfaction and it’ll make you better at your job (which comes with its own benefits)
2. Fresh Eyes
Use your unjaded perspective to your advantage! I had never written a blog, managed multiple social-media accounts or made assets to be used at important events before! This may at first blush seem like a horrible detriment, but I found it allowed me to come up with new ideas that no one else had thought of yet (or been able to implement) Don’t be afraid to voice your ideas - you may have a great new angle that will be a huge benefit!
As you may already know; the people you know is often more important than qualifications! It may not be fair but it is the way it is. So, to take advantage of this; you must network! Meet everyone you can, attend events and talk to people. This will allow you to gain connections who will help you out in your career as well as helping you out with advice and someone to bounce ideas off, exchange tips for your field etc.
4. Failure is the First Step to Success
It is okay to not be incredible at everything the first time you try. It takes a while to learn and build up skills. Your employer and colleagues are all aware of your skill set and will be accepting of the fact you are at the beginning of your career and still have a lot to learn. I can’t count the number of times I’ve failed or maybe just not gotten the result I wanted at first but learned valuable lessons from the experience.
5. “In business, perfection is the enemy of profitability” – Mark Cuban
If you’re anything like me, you are a self-proclaimed perfectionist. You are not 100% satisfied if you don’t perfect every detail fastidiously. This is fine if you are working on a personal project or college or uni work; you most likely have the time for details. But what if you’re being paid to get things done on a deadline? Then you need to abandon the all or nothing attitude and submit the 80% completed work as done. You should keep your detail-oriented style; it’s a great attribute to have! You will spot things others won't and create a better product as a result. But it doesn’t make sense to spend an hour creating the vast majority of an infographic and another three ironing out the details; especially when its due in half an hour!
So, there you go; 5 tips from me to you on how to make the most of your apprenticeship or start to your career.
If you have any questions or wish to contact me I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading!