It can take a while to settle into a new role, from meeting new people to learning new tasks, and you may find yourself feeling nervous about starting an apprenticeship.
The key to overcoming those nerves is having a realistic idea of what will be expected of you, and knowing how to respond to this. Whether you’re looking for an apprenticeship, or you’re due to start one, here are a few things to think about.
Each morning, have everything already prepared. Ensure you have everything you need for the following day, so that you can leave the house in plenty of time. This will help ease morning stress, particularly if you are prone to “where are my keys?” or “I can’t find my shirt” type situations.
Take 15-20 minutes the night before to prepare lunch, find and iron your outfit and put your keys, phone and wallet or purse together, so that you don’t run late (even if you do keep hitting snooze on your alarm!). If you tend to worry the night before, this could also help you sleep better.
Look after yourself
When you start your apprenticeship, it can be easy to worry yourself about simple things, and sometimes these can have an adverse effect on your well-being.
The are the main things you should try to do:
- Get plenty of sleep – 8 hours is the recommended amount, so aim for that.
- Eat well – you might find yourself in a rush, but make sure you at least get a good breakfast.
- Exercise – whether it’s playing a sport, running, or talking regular walks, exercise can have a fantastic effect on your mood, making you feel calmer and happier.
Take it one step at a time
Don’t imagine that you’ll be expected to take on a huge amount of responsibility on your first day. Apprenticeships are about developing new skills, so you’ll be given time to take in new information.
The point of your first few days is to be inducted, so don’t try to rush things. At first, your focus should be on learning to do things properly, not as quickly as you can. People will expect you to make mistakes in the beginning – we all do, and it’s an important part of learning.
To start off with, you should focus on settling in and meeting the team; you’re going to be spending a lot of time with these people, so you might as well get to know them.
Be kind to yourself
The main reason many people get nervous about starting an apprenticeship is the thought of screwing up. You might mess up a task, forget someone’s name or position, be lost, or run late. The truth is, these things happen to all of us, even those that have been with a company for years! With an apprenticeship, you’re learning to do things for the first time, so it’s expected that you’ll need time to get things right.
The thing you need to consider is, in a few months’ time, will anyone remember the small mistakes you made in your first few weeks? Probably not. If you put in the effort, it’s likely that the mistakes you make will be minor, and those around you will be understanding.
Ask for help
Everyone struggles sometimes, especially when starting in a new role, but it can be difficult to ask for help. You might be worried about bothering those you work with, or feel embarrassed about admitting you don’t know something.
Rather than asking for help, many people struggle on and try to figure things out for themselves. Instead of making things easier, however, this can cause more problems.
When you start your apprenticeship, you won’t be expected to know how to do everything, and your new colleagues understand that. After all, they were new once. Besides, it could give them a welcome opportunity to showcase their knowledge.
So, rather than struggling, ask for help. By doing this, you will be much more comfortable with your role, and it could even be a way of making new friends.
Lastly… breathe! If you find your new position overwhelming, one of the simplest and most beneficial things you can do is to take a few seconds to focus on your breathing.
Taking a deep breath will slow your heart rate and help to alleviate stress. The nature of this exercise means that you do not need any equipment, or a particular type of space (such as somewhere to lie down). Whether you’re at home and feeling nervous about starting an apprenticeship, about to go into an interview, or at your new role, you can take advantage of this easy way to feel calmer.