Over the last few months, many new apprentices have started their careers across Australia. Whilst it’s a very exciting time for most, it will also come with some challenges.
Here are some tips to help you in the first few months of your new career:
Some tasks might be mundane. You are not going to walk into your first day as a mechanic and instantly be working on the best of the best cars. You probably will have to do things like empty the bins or sweep the floors. Just remember, these jobs need to be completed and whilst you might want to get more involved in your skill – your time will come.
You will receive criticism, and this is not a bad thing! Criticism is an important part of learning any new role. No one wants to hear negative feedback, but the truth is no one really wants to give it either. These conversations are vital in your development and it’s important that you understand the feedback that is given and take steps to grow from it.
Some days are going to suck. In an ideal world, we’d score our dream job and skip to work merrily every day. The reality is a bit different from that. Some days at work are hard, some nights you don’t get enough sleep, sometimes you just totally lose your energy before lunch. This is all normal, and its okay. The best way to address this is to make sure you turn up the next day, and keep at it. If this lasts for a long period, discuss it with your boss and see if there is anything that is triggering it or anything that can be done to address it.
There is a difference to a bad day, and a bad workplace. As a follow-up from the above point, there will be some bad days. However, it is important to know the signs of an unsafe workplace and recognise that if you do make the choice to leave – it does not have to be the end of your career. Find out general information through Safe Work Australia and about Bullying and Harassment in the workplace via The Fair Work Ombudsman.
And finally, you won’t know everything. Sometimes, you won’t know anything. And that’s okay, you’re not expected to know how to do every new task that comes your way. What you are expected to do is:
- Ask as many questions as possible.
- Listen and understand the response, if you don’t you can always ask again. It’s better to ask a 'stupid' question than make a simple mistake.
- Always put safety first. This means making sure you are wearing the right clothing and protective equipment, speak up if you think you are doing something wrong, point out any safety concerns you have and again, clarify anything you don’t understand.
- Turn up on time. This shows how keen and committed you are to your new job.
- Complete the roles asked of you.
- Be nice to your teammates and customers. You are not going to like everyone, but you still need to be polite to them.
- If you do have a dress code, stick to it. If you are not sure, clarify with your workplace before your first day.
Starting your apprenticeship is an incredibly exciting time. It’s okay to feel stressed and overwhelmed at times, not only are you starting a new job, you’re also undertaking theory at the same time. However, it should be balanced with exciting new challenges, new people and a new skill that will put you on the path for your career.
Congratulations, and good luck!