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Tips For Managing Your Working Day as an Apprentice

April 11, 2022, 12:40 p.m.
If you’re straight out of education, or lacking in work experience, entering the working world may be a switch up for your routine. An apprenticeship can offer a fantastic balance between learning and working, meaning you can settle into your new daily routine with the right support and guidance.

One of the hardest things to do when first entering the workplace can be time management. With little experience, you may find it hard to structure your day and manage your priority tasks and responsibilities. Below, your team has shared 5 tips for managing your working day as an apprentice…

Set daily goals

When you arrive at work and get settled at your workspace, you’re going to want to prepare your day and what you’re expected to achieve. It’s a good idea to jot down all of the tasks you want to complete, ensuring they’re challenging and achievable. You can then begin to set yourself some SMART goals for the day. When writing your goals, make sure they meet the criteria of being specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely.

Once you’ve set yourself some goals, start planning them on a schedule for the day and block out time periods that you want to dedicate to completing each goal. For more information on time blocking, read here: https://todoist.com/productivity-methods/time-blocking

Be clear on your working and learning split

With an apprenticeship offering the opportunity to earn whilst you learn, it’s vital that you get the balance right between achieving the responsibilities of your role and also studying to achieve your qualification.

With every apprenticeship, you’re required to complete 20% ‘Off-the-job Training’, this means you’ve studying, learning or developing new skills away from the usual tasks of your job. In some cases, you’ll be assigned a day away from your usual working environment to attend college, university or a training centre. If you’re required to complete your 20% off the job training within your workplace, it’s really important that you’re clear on when you’re working and when you’re learning.

For more guidance on 20% off the job training, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeships-off-the-job-training

Ask plenty of questions

When starting a new job, you may feel like you’re lacking in knowledge, skills or experience - this is a totally normal feeling which will eventually deteriorate as your confidence grows. One thing we recommend adding to your daily routine is making a note of all the questions you may have, or barriers you’re facing. Within the apprenticeship process, we believe that no question is a silly question. Keep in mind that your employer, and colleagues you work alongside, are all there to help and support you. They will be aware that you’re new to the role, and it’s going to be expected for you to ask questions and seek support. If anything, asking questions is a positive! It shows that you’re eager to learn, engaged in the tasks you’re doing and willing to get stuck in.

If you feel like you’re bombarding your team with questions, you can always jot down a list of things you’re unsure on. You can then ask your team members, manager or employer to dedicate some time to going through the answers with you.

Take a break away from your workspace

In order to keep a healthy work life balance, we recommend scheduling in a break away from your desk, or work space. If possible, re-energise and get some fresh air!

It’s important to keep in mind that no matter how much you enjoy your role, getting away from any screens or focus points is going to help you prevent burn out in the long run.

Challenge yourself with one hard task a day

It’s commonly known that if we’re struggling with something we find difficult, we’ll naturally put it off and wait until it's a priority before challenging ourselves. To face this, we recommend getting into the habit of tackling one hard task, each day. Regardless of how much of a priority it is, get stuck in and face those fears!

Pushing yourself to go the extra mile will also keep you motivated and engaged with your role. If you’re constantly completing repetitive tasks, with little brain power required, you’re more likely to disengage from your role and lack motivation to achieve more.

If you’re looking for harder tasks to complete, start by asking your colleagues or employer if you can take on more responsibility or assist more experienced team members with parts of their role.

We hope the 5 tips we’ve shared will become valuable when structuring your day as an apprentice! If you’re looking for more advice and guidance, speak to your Assessor or Development Coach.