So you nailed the interview and have managed to score an apprenticeship – congratulations! You have a right to celebrate, but you’re aware that your starting day is just around the corner. It’s very natural to be nervous – you’re entering a new environment, with new people, and maybe even a type of role you’ve never done before.
There are more tips here about settling your nerves before you start your apprenticeship, but here’s a few ways of how you can impress on your first day.
Be on time and finish later
This goes without saying, but you should make sure you’re even a little bit early, and ready to get started. Stressing and rushing on your first day is not a good look. However, this rule applies not just for your first day – but for every day.
This will give off the impression that you are organised and reliable, essential factors when your boss considers you for the job. Not being the first to rush out the door will also show that you’re a hard worker who’s willing to get stuck in.
Your interview will have given you the opportunity to look around and see what everybody is wearing, which will give you an idea of how you should dress for your first day.
Remember, it’s always better to be a little overdressed than underdressed. If you’re considering wearing a tie – go ahead and wear it. You can always take it off.
Listen and ask questions
Not only the majority of your first day – the majority of at least your first month will be about soaking in new information. As an apprentice, you won’t be expected to know everything right away.
Always listen carefully, and if you don’t understand something – admit to it and ask questions. Questions will show that you are keen to learn, and will ensure you won’t fall behind later.
A great example of initiative would be to email the company beforehand and ask if there’s anything you should know before you step through the door for the first time. This shows that you’re eager to get started and enhance your skills.
I’ve always been a firm believer of ‘learning by doing’, but some people may confuse this by getting ‘thrown in the deep end’. Engage with different tasks at your own pace, and ask those around you if they need assistance. You will find yourself learning more about the role, your colleagues, and the company.
Show interest in everyone and the company
You never know who you will meet on the first day – it could be your future best friend, or even the chairperson who’s passing by. So smile, be polite, and say hello to everybody.
Asking people questions about their role and the company will help you to understand who’s who and how the company functions. This will also help you make friends and contacts. You never know when you might need them during your work hours!
Overdone cliché? Maybe. But if you try too hard to impress, it might come across as a bit forced. Just relax, and don’t try to guess the culture of the team or company. You will find out more about this slowly.
In the end, your colleagues are going to see you every day, and will be more familiar with the person you really are after a while in the job. So don’t put loads of effort pretending to be somebody you aren’t.