Hints on employer expectations for apprentices
When you first enter the workforce or a new industry, it might not be obvious how you’re being appraised. Knowing what your employer expects from you can help you get off to a great start in your apprentice role.
It sounds obvious, but your employer will want you to turn up on time and make sure you are early for appointments. By doing this, you will show you are really committed to the job and that you appreciate the opportunity. Conversely, by turning up late or not at all, you may give the impression you are not interested in the work.
Remember the way you are dressed and groomed says a lot about you – just think of what you thought about people the last time you took public transport. Perhaps it’s time to consider getting rid of that stubble or investing in some new work clothes. Investing time in your appearance could pay dividends in the long run.
Be polite, especially when dealing with customers. The old adage really does ring true; it doesn’t cost anything to be polite and may even help your career
Hints on keeping the job
Keep in mind, many apprenticeships, traineeships and jobs are trials for more permanent roles. The following should come in handy when it comes to making sure that you keep the job.
Become invaluable to your employer
Much easier said than done, remember most employers taking on apprentices will be small business owners - people who will often require their employees to go beyond the tasks outlined when they first took on the role. Don’t be afraid to take on extra responsibility or even extra work. It will make you more valuable to your employer. If they do decide to get rid of someone, your place will be a bit safer.
Do your best
It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people start drifting once they get comfortable in a job. Many find it difficult to remain enthusiastic and committed after they have reached a certain point in their career. What’s more, it’s obvious to their co-workers and their bosses. If you keep doing your best long into your apprenticeship, you will find yourself in a much better position when it reaches its end.
Learn new skills
You should already be doing this, given you are taking part in an apprenticeship; but think about other ways you can develop your abilities. For example, if you’re doing a ‘hands-on’ apprenticeship, perhaps learning plumbing, think about helping out with administrative tasks in the office if you have some spare time. Multifaceted and multitalented employees are much more likely to hold on to the job. This is particularly true during slow periods.
Try and drum up new business
Companies are there to make money. If you can bring in contracts for your employer through promoting their business outside the workplace, it will help your career in the end. Think about doing this even if you don’t work in sales – it will do your career a world of good.
Be polite to customers
Most people remember a time when they had a good experience with someone they hired to do a job. Conversely, few ever forget a bad experience. Employers and managers will always find ways of getting feedback from their clients – some even phone them up after you have finished working. Good reports from them can make a real difference in your career.
Don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t know something
No one expects you to know it all when you first start. In fact, if you did they might find it a bit annoying. Ask for help and admit to your boss when you are struggling. Not only will this help you to learn more, but it will improve your working relationships.
Ask for feedback
No one likes being told where they are going wrong. But it’s much better to be open about it when you still have time to improve, rather than asking why you lost your job after it happens. An apprenticeship is an excellent opportunity to learn about your strengths and weaknesses. Make the most of it!
Most people like to enjoy themselves while they work if possible – it also generally makes them more productive. Try to work with a smile on your face the whole time. Even if it doesn’t help other people, it will make your day go by a lot quicker.
Do the basics well
Stuff like turning up on time, dressing correctly and saying thank you are so easy to do and yet so many people forget them. Making sure you do them every time will earn you a reputation as a dependable and good worker, while failing to do so could land you in a situation you don’t want to be in.
Being an apprentice is hard work and often you will be asked to do menial tasks you don’t think will help you learn. Making sure you do these without getting annoyed will help you in the long run, even if they are dull.
Don’t forget to visit our Training and Development
page for more information about securing employment in the Resources industry.