For those of you who are just starting out, or for the apprentices and trainees who are well settled into their roles, here are some important tips and reminders to keep you on track!
Remember, you’re not always going to be working on the most exciting project every day. Some tasks might be mundane – especially during these uncertain times where everyone is helping out wherever they can. We all start somewhere and while it might not be exciting to sweep the floors or empty the bins, these things still have to be done! You will have your chance to be involved in all sorts of exciting work so don’t stress if it isn’t happening right away.
Be open to feedback. It is very likely that you will receive criticism, and this is not a bad thing! You are learning a new skill and for many of you this is your first full-time role. It can be difficult to hear negative feedback but these conversations are important for you as you learn and expand your skillset. Be open to a discussion with your supervisor and seek feedback before it is given – your supervisor will be impressed with your proactive approach.
Make the change. Once you have received feedback it is important that you implement the recommendations and changes. Supervisors will not have these conversations with you just for the sake of it! Listen to what they say. Sometimes it will be about streamlining the way you do something to be more efficient and other times it will be to protect your safety and wellbeing – either way it is important that you listen and adapt.
Some days are going to be more difficult than others. Some days at work are hard, sometimes you don’t get enough sleep, some mornings you need two coffees before you even get to work! It is normal to have ‘off’ days where you don’t quite feel like yourself. It is important that you don’t let this dishearten you and that you make sure you turn up the next day and try again. However, If this lasts for a long period, discuss it with your supervisor or with your TABMA Field Officer as soon as possible. Have a think if there is anything triggering this feeling and reach out for help.
Finally, you are not going to everything. Sometimes, you won’t know anything at all about a new task, or piece of machinery or an assessment topic, and that is absolutely fine! The best part of being an apprentice or trainee is that no one expects you to! What you are expected to do is:
- Ask as many questions as possible, show you are eager to learn
- Listen to the response and if you don’t understand, you can always ask again. It’s better to ask a ‘silly’ question than make a simple mistake.
- Remember that safety is the most important thing. Make sure you are wearing the right clothing and PPE, ask the question if you think you are doing something wrong and speak up about any concerns you have in the workplace.
- Show up on time, every time. Show how keen and committed you are to this opportunity!
- Complete the duties assigned to you in a timely manner.
- Be friendly to your colleagues and anyone else you encounter through work. You are not going to like everyone, but you still need to be polite to them.
Starting your career is an incredibly exciting time. It is normal to feel overwhelmed or stressed at times. You are starting a new job, meeting new people, starting a new routine and studying theory work at the same time! However, you should remember that this is an exciting time with many opportunities ahead of you. If you need any advice or wish to discuss any concerns or queries call your TABMA Field Officer for a confidential discussion.