Starting a new job can be terrifying, it’s even scarier when it’s a step outside of your comfort zone. I started my apprenticeship in an industry completely different to one I was used too. Sure I’m a Graphic Designer by trade and have lots of experience working Freelance but I’d never worked in the industry.
Weeks passed after my interview and I was finally ready to start my new role as a Marketing Executive (Apprentice) and it was as terrifying as it was exciting.
Now I'm a fully qualified Digital Marketer, I've drank the champagne and got the certificates to prove it. Months down the line I feel confident in my role and I thought now would be the perfect time to share with you some of the things I learnt along my journey - they might just help you.
1. You won’t know it all and you’re not expected too.
You’re an apprentice. Of course, you’re not going to know absolutely everything, you’re still learning and that’s okay. If you don’t know something either spend time Googling it if you try to be independent like I did, or just ask a member of your team some questions. - They will not think any less of you.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
I was told this countless times during my first few weeks and the truth is, they would rather you bug them with questions to ensure you’re creating the right thing, then you not ask any questions and deliver something that doesn’t fit the brief. You are here to learn and grow, the more questions you ask, the more knowledge you gain and the more useful you become.
3. There will be things you don’t understand but that is okay.
They might ask you to use a program you’ve never heard of or use abbreviations that you can’t figure out. Going back to point 2, don’t be afraid to ask questions, don’t be afraid to say I don’t know what that means.
They are not expecting you to know everything, your employers know there will be holes in your knowledge because you’re still learning and they are there to help you as much as they can.
4. Learn to say no. (If you don’t have time to take on all the projects being given to you, say so.)
If you are being given projects left, right and centre and they all have tight deadlines, if you don’t have the time to complete them to a certain standard - say so. The thought of telling your boss or your manager ‘no, I can’t do it, I don’t have the time’ sounds absolutely horrifying but there are only so many hours in a day and if you physically can’t get it done, it’s okay to explain to your boss why you won’t be able to get it done.
5. Have confidence. (They hired you for a reason, remember that.)
I know it’s easier said than done but have confidence in your abilities, they have specifically chosen you, you out of loads of other applicants, to work with them. Own that. They picked you because you are good at what you do, you’ll be the perfect fit for the team and you have potential. If they have that confidence in you, you should definitely feel confident in your own abilities.
6. It’s completely different to studying at University.
This applies whether you’re an apprentice or not, going into the creative industry is nothing like studying at University or even college or school. In real life, everything has a quick turn around time, you have budgets to work towards and restraints. You have clients to please, strategies to use and develop. Embrace the change.
7. Step Outside of your comfort zone.
You’ve made it this far, you’ve got the job and you’re still learning, so why not make more decisions that might scare you. Have conversations with your managers, take on new challenges knowing you’ve got their full support.
8. Ask for time to Study and Support.
Don’t be afraid to ask to do some study at work if you find yourself with 20 minutes between briefings or projects. Even 20 minutes here and there will help you with that work / life / study balance. If you’re struggling with some of your assignments, remember you can ask the people you work with for help and advice - that's what they're there for!
9. You will make mistakes.
It sounds terrifying but everyone makes mistakes at some point, maybe it’s a typo on a piece of advertising that’s gone out or a document wasn’t designed in the right programme. You will make mistakes, but it’s important to know your managers are there to support you and help you through it. Everyone hates making mistakes, but once you make a mistake you learn from it and you know it’s something you don’t want to do again so you’re more considerate about it in the future.
These few ramblings might help you, they might not but these are just a few things I wished I'd known at the start of my career. The truth is everyone is different, every job is different and every step you take is different.
Remember you were hired for a reason, so have confidence in yourself and your abilities and remember your team are there to support and help you throughout the growth of your career so make sure to utilise that.