So, why an apprenticeship?
Earn while you learn. Everyone’s heard that before. However, the mentoring and training that you receive is what made the apprenticeship route stand out for me. Imagine working for and shadowing someone who’s got the job role you want, and they’re telling you exactly how to get there…Not bad, right? I mean, the actual value of carrying out said shadowing and training from professionals in your chosen industry on a day-to-day basis is pretty much invaluable, and provides you with a completely varied skillset, expert knowledge, and experience that you cannot receive listening to (or sleeping through) lectures and writing 15,000-word assignments at 2:47 a.m. because it’s due later that morning.
You get to practice the things you’re most interested in, develop the skills that will generate the most results, and put all of that to practice in a professional, working environment. The sheer amount of experience you will have behind you after 3 years in comparison to your peers at university is pretty much incomparable. Having come out with 3 years’ worth of work experience, sector-recognised qualifications, and industry-tailored skills isn’t just beneficial for you and your current employer, but this makes you what-the-hell-you’re-hired-worthy.
Of course, earning while you learn is a huge benefit, as you’re actually being rewarded for your work and the results you’re bringing to the business, but what’s even better, is the long-term salary prospects. Whilst the starting salary isn’t in the Elon Musk range, as one would expect when just starting out a new career, by the end of your apprenticeship (which can be anywhere between 12-24+ months) you will be on at least the national minimum wage for your age, and likely more depending on the skillset and abilities you have developed over the course of your apprenticeship. 6-monthly salary reviews are also popular amongst employers, so one can expect thy pocket to thicken on a yearly basis at the very least.
Don’t worry, you’re not stuck
Funnily enough, I didn’t enjoy my first apprenticeship. It was a job in commercial real estate – a large, ever-developing industry, with good pay (ever so slightly closer to the Elon Musk range) and some big fish working all throughout the sector. And we’re talking international fish. My employer and team were great, truly – hugely knowledgeable, good banter, and taught me a whole bunch of stuff: information and time management, communication and organisation skills, lease reading, data input, how to not make a fool out of yourself in front of these big, international fish etc.
But the career path just wasn’t for me. There wasn’t enough room for creativity, new ideas, or a huge variety in the things you do. This is where I realised that actually, the things that interest and excite me lie in the development of smaller businesses, whether it be marketing, sales, branding, stuffing your face with a £3 meal deal from Tesco during a meeting, operations, or client-hunting. I was at this apprenticeship for 7 months, and decided it was time for a change.
I knew I wanted to work for a smaller, more meaningful business, where despite my age and limited levels of expertise, my ideas are listened to, I’m given constant feedback and training, and where I genuinely enjoy working and spending my time. And by ‘enjoy’, I mean being excited on Sunday evening to go to work on Monday morning ‘enjoy’. The notice was handed in, the goodbyes were said, and the tears were shed (not really), and I was off.
Some parting advice from Cinderella
Cinderella went to the ball, wasn’t a big fan, also lost her glass slipper, but then found her slipper and married the prince. If you haven’t gathered, I am Cinderella. Now, you’re probably wondering, “why will this guy not shut up about Cinderella?” Because it goes to show that if you’re not enjoying something, and know you can be bringing more value elsewhere, then it’s ok to leave the ball and lose a slipper on the way, because the likelihood is, there is a prince or princess waiting for you on the other side in the form of a modern-day, progressive employer. With a ring and a slipper. If you or someone you know, like me, feel like you haven’t been enjoying the ball, or haven’t actually had the chance to go to one yet, get in contact with us via email at email@example.com or apply for one of the vacancies on our website Find an apprenticeship | Jobs | Professional Apprenticeships and we’ll help you find your prince and glass slipper. And that’s a guarantee.