Confidence does not come naturally to everyone. The workplace can be intimidating, especially if you haven’t been in that job role for very long. Apprentices not only meet everyone in their new workplace but also the other apprentices on their course and the staff at their Training Provider. It is okay to be a bit anxious, but you do deserve to feel comfortable and confident.
Get to know the people around you. If you feel nervous talking to your colleagues, start off with the ‘go to’ icebreaker questions, “How’s your day going?”, “How long have you been working here?”. If you feel comfortable doing so, build from there – create further conversation from the other person’s answers.
We’re not saying everyone you speak to at work will become your best friend, but by getting to know the people around you, it will be easier to start friendships and create great work relationships.
Get involved! As COVID rules are easing up more places are opening and allowing groups to attend. If your workplace go for drinks or food one evening, tag along! Try to be open to invitations even if it may seem a bit daunting. Seeing your colleagues outside of work can take the pressure off your shoulders to be professional. You can get to know what your colleagues are like outside the walls of work, and by building that different relationship with them, you will feel more comfortable in the workplace.
What about other apprentices?
Your Trainer will most likely do icebreakers to get to know their learners. The apprentices in your class are all doing the same course – you already have at least one thing in common! Going through your apprenticeship you will soon become chatty with your class; you will be able to support each other through the ups and downs of the working world as you have all taken that first step at the same time.
When a colleague asks how you’re finding your job role or work in general, be honest. Explain how you’re feeling, you’re not alone in how you think, and you don’t deserve to be alone in working through any low self esteem or any other issues you may be facing.
Ask all the questions – don’t feel like you can’t speak up if you don’t know something. It’s better to ask and learn then stay in the dark and never find out!
If you feel uneasy about opening up to just anyone, find out who is the Safeguarding Officer in your company or Training Provider and turn to them. They are not only the best equipped to talk through how you’re feeling but you can trust that everything you share will stay confidential.
Here at EMA Training, our Safeguarding Officer, Julie is consistently working hard to ensure she can provide the most efficient support to any apprentice who needs it.
You should always be unapologetically you. We’re not saying ignore all the dress codes and say whatever you like whenever you like. However, you deserve to be the person you are. Confidence comes from within, but when you feel confident on the outside it can help your confidence in all scenarios.
Before you leave the house to go to work or to college, put some time aside for yourself. That could be to cook your favourite breakfast or take some more time on your appearance or to go for a quick walk. When someone feels uplifted, it’s noticeable, it makes a person come across as confident (even if they’re not). So, take time to do things that make you happy!
Reaching a goal is always a great accomplishment. Whether the goals you set are one hundred percent work related or in your personal life – if you’re proud of yourself, you will gain more confidence.
Try setting realistic goals throughout your apprenticeship to not only track your progress but also to recognise your hard work. Here at EMA, we celebrate our apprentice’s success; your Trainer and Mentor will be there to support you in reaching your goals every step of the way.
Professional doesn’t equal serious, don’t feel like you can’t be relaxed at your workplace. As long as you are meeting your targets and working hard, you shouldn’t stress too much about being so serious.
You have probably heard this one before, but it’s true – it’s okay to make mistakes. Try not to worry about saying the wrong thing or making the wrong decision, that’s the only way you will learn and grow. Your workplace and the people around you are probably not as serious as you think. At the end of the day, they are all people! Everyone has made mistakes, and by talking about them you can form connections with people as they help you through those mistakes.
By facing new challenges your confidence will start to build more and more. As you take on these challenges, make new mistakes and put yourself out there, you will grow into your role and as you grow, your confidence will also.
Here’s a few words from our own Safeguarding Officer, Julie, about how EMA ensures we are providing the best support we can offer. “Being the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), confidence building for Apprentices is paramount both professionally and personally. Therefore, we offer interventions to aid the wellbeing of our apprentices:
· Help to build confidence for sitting exams
· Communication with others verbally
· Communicating using written media in a professional setting
· One to one mindfulness (relaxation session) to title self-doubting
· Strategies to use daily such as breathing techniques
· ALS(Additional Learning Support)
EMA Training operates a very supportive environment with one-to-one mentoring, additional training sessions and continuous monitoring of progress in the workplace by closely working with employers. Therefore, the Apprentice is supported by ALL.”
If you’re struggling with your confidence and would like some support please talk to your Trainer or Mentor or contact Julie, [email protected]