With so many adverts indicating that you could secure permanent employment after completing your training and qualifications – or progress up to another apprenticeship –, how do you ensure that you live up to your employer’s expectations and impress once you have been offered your apprenticeship?

To try to get the best answer, we turned to local apprenticeship provider, t2 group. They deliver the training to help you secure your qualifications whilst you are with the employer. Here are their recommendations …

Brush up on your employability skills

It may sound obvious, but this apprenticeship will be your first paid job and inevitably very different to the routine of school or college. However, there are a lot of similar ways that you can impress an employer as much as you would have a teacher or Head. Examples of key skills to carry forward from school into the workplace include being on time, dressing appropriately and following the rules.

Show that you are reliable

Always be on time for work and have a backup plan for transportation. If you know that you will be late or not coming in, call your manager as soon as possible. When I was late for work in my first job – I can remember it clearly to this day – I made endless excuses about the bad weather and heavy traffic, but it fell on deaf ears: “Next time,” I was told “leave earlier.” And that told me!!

Try also not to take time off in the first few weeks so that your manager knows you are dependable. Some things are unavoidable – a pre-booked holiday or wedding – but (s)he would have been told about that when you accepted the apprenticeship. Your job is to keep it to a bare minimum – you’re new so remember that the employer – and training company – are assessing your level of commitment and enthusiasm: make an effort!

Follow the rules

No matter what these regulations may be – or how legally binding – you should always know the company rules and procedures. The easiest way is to start by reading the employee handbook and pay attention to any Health & Safety information. If you are unsure of a company policy on anything, ask your supervisor or human resources (HR) manager: it is their job to help you with this.

Act your age, not your shoe size

Act maturely and professionally at work and any related events, no matter how relaxed and informal they appear. You could be representing the company at an external event, but you are always representing yourself – even at after-work ‘jollies’: never ever let yourself down!

Follow the formal chain of command

If you have a problem at work, follow the proper reporting line, approaching your line manager first, unless you are told to do otherwise. Bring urgent or questionable matters to the attention of your supervisor in a timely manner. And ask for help when you need it.

Dress appropriately

Find out what clothing is acceptable and then dress appropriately. Read the company dress policy – it can often be set out in the original job advert – and always come to work clean and well groomed. Above all, present yourself as competent and professional.

Act professionally

Aim to be self-disciplined and to have a good work ethic. Prove that you need little supervision and that you are serious about getting things done and doing them well.

Keep your personal life out of work, in phone calls, and use of company equipment. Avoid using your mobile phone (talking, texting, surfing the Internet, etc.) for non-work related activities during work hours.

Never use alcohol or illegal drugs while working.

Be calm and focused under pressure. This shows that you can handle busy or stressful situations.

Learn how to take constructive criticism or be corrected by supervisors or colleagues. Use performance reviews as a chance to learn how you can improve

Improve your communication skills

Be clear and professional in all forms of written and spoken communication, using language appropriate to the work environment.

Never swear when talking to others – no matter who else might – and avoid using slang words or speaking too casually to customers and supervisors.

In your writing – whether typed or handwritten – avoid misspelt words and abbreviations to be sure to stand out and impress.

And improve your listening skills by making eye contact and paying attention when people speak with you. This will leave a positive impression on them and show that you are attentive and engaged.

Be flexible

Deadlines and situations change all the time at work. Being able to accept change adds value to you as an employee.

Manage your time so you can meet deadlines and prioritise tasks. Avoid standing around talking when there is work or a customer to help.

Work well with others

Get Along with Others. Be a team player and help colleagues with projects. Volunteer to work on teams.

Be aware of political, religious, or cultural issues that might offend others. Most workplaces have policies to support Equality & Diversity.

Have a Good Attitude. Be positive and friendly. Respect your supervisors, colleagues and customers.

And ask questions to reduce potential misunderstandings and errors.

And finally … get noticed

Take on new projects or learn new skills. This shows initiative.

If you make a mistake, admit it right away and find out how to fix it. Take responsibility for your decisions and actions.

Learn all that you can in your current position before looking for opportunities to move into a new job either with the current employer or – potentially – elsewhere, but do what you can to impress so that it is your decision alone if you choose to move on.

Thank you t2 Apprenticeships for another great blog! @t2group

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