Our very own apprentice at Salad Skills, Harriet, has detailed her journey in this wonderful post that explores what made her look into doing an apprenticeship, the highs, the lows and how she thinks everyone should be considering apprenticeships for themselves…
Hi, I’m Harriet. I’m 18 years old and I am currently completing my apprenticeship in recruitment. I have written this blog to tell you about my story so far; how I got into an apprenticeship, how it’s going and how I’d recommend the apprenticeship route.
Why have I done an apprenticeship?
Originally, when I was at school and it was time to decide what A-Levels I wanted to do, my overall goal was to study criminology at university and then join the police force. But when it came down to it something just didn’t feel right. I didn’t want to stay at school or go to college. I wanted to earn some money, be an adult, have a career.
This was all very well but I couldn’t find any jobs locally for someone with no experience. The only jobs were things like shop work, waitressing, bar work etc. I wanted something more.
I spotted some apprenticeship roles where I’d be able to ‘earn and learn’ and I decided this was my best option.
The end of the world
I got excited and quite carried away when I saw a vacancy for an events and marketing apprenticeship. I applied and got invited to the local Innovation Centre for an assessment day.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get the job, and then on the same day, I failed my driving test. I thought my life was over. That was a really awful day.
However, I tried to take all the positives; I had experience now of an assessment day and a driving test, so I’d be better prepared next time. I tried not to let it all knock me down and continued to look for other apprenticeships.
When things seem like the end of the world, I know now from experience that you do just have to keep going and know that things get better.
The day everything changed
One day, out of the blue, I received a phone call from Salad Skills. They were the company who had been running the assessment day I’d been on. They recruit apprentices on behalf of other businesses. They wondered if I would like to do a few days’ work experience with them. I jumped at the chance!
After those couple of days, they saw something in me and offered me the chance to do an apprenticeship in recruitment with them.
This whole experience really changed the way I felt about a lot of things. They had confidence in me, they were willing to take a chance on me, all from just two days of working with them. I was on cloud nine.
Eventually, I also passed my driving test too!
The day to day
I have now been with Salad Skills for over six months and it’s been amazing. To say I have learnt a lot is just the tip of the iceberg. Their belief in me and the time they give to me too is amazing. 99% of the time I love my job, what I’m learning and who I’m working with. There have been difficult times though where I’ve thought it was all too hard and I doubted myself.
In my first six months, I have been involved in so much. My favourite thing recently is that I was made ‘Head of Christmas 2017’. Everyone knows how much I love Christmas and the company really value working hard and having a good time and feeling like you’re part of a family and are not just an employee. I also organised our Christmas party, Secret Santa and decorations in the office.
What has changed for me?
When I first started at Salad Skills I wasn’t confident on the phone, or particularly confident in myself. But now, I call our applicants for apprenticeships to do our initial screening, I take most of the calls that come into the office. I am no longer scared of any of this.
As my confidence has grown I have started networking with and speaking to other businesses. I have changed so much and don’t doubt myself nearly as much anymore. I have learnt from the people around me how these types of situations work and what to say (and not say).
I have also seen Salad Skills grow and I have been able to make suggestions based on my first-hand experiences as an apprentice. I have been helping at assessment days and seeing people who are just starting out where I was six months ago.
Little things have even changed about me, my handwriting has improved, I’m learning the importance of checking my work and how to do it properly.
In this first six months of my apprenticeship, I have grown as a person in ways I didn’t expect. The whole experience has taught me you never know where the future may take you or what’s around the corner and to always keep your head high and keep going. You’ll find someone who believes in you and they’ll teach you to believe in yourself.
What have been my lows of doing an apprenticeship?
- There’s loads to learn and get your head around
- Getting used to the change in your routine and working longer hours
- It can feel overwhelming, but you just need to be honest
What have been the highs of doing an apprenticeship?
- Being part of a team
- Feeling really supported
- Helping and supporting other people go on the same journey as I have and start their careers
- Cake Thursday!
- Being Head of Christmas 2017
Why do I think you should look into apprenticeships?
- You are still learning but in the real world and not at school
- You are getting paid to do it
- You’re getting proper work experience to put on your CV
- You can start at the bottom of a company and work your way up
- You’ll get loads of support and your confidence will build as you go along
If you are thinking about your options, have a look at our Facebook page (by clicking here) for some of the apprenticeships we are recruiting for at the moment across the UK.
Or, you can drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with what you are looking for and I’ll try my very best to help you out.
You can also read more stories from other apprentices by clicking here.