Perhaps I am slightly biased, but apprenticeships are great! With the rising volume of apprenticeship schemes over the years, it is difficult not to argue that they have opened up a pool of fantastic opportunities. For younger job-seekers, the ability to secure a sustained role in a company at a younger age is a popular career route. In addition - from an employer point-of-view - recruiting a dedicated younger worker and building them up as an ideal employee is a win-win.
How Did I Decide On Pursuing An Apprenticeship?
Despite my opinions in the paragraph above, my decision to take an apprenticeship was not an immediate one. Since graduating my A-levels, the most accurate descriptor for the past year would be "like a roller-coaster". Step one of my ride was leaving my first part-time job after securing a role as a sales consultant. Having promoted my CV through Reed, I began work at a small telesales company. It was a relief to move away from shift work and into a Monday to Friday schedule.
Office life was initially interesting and there were good laughs all the way through, gaining experience as I went along. I am pleased with the step I took and I do not look back at my time spent there as a negative. I highly recommend this to anyone who feels unsure of what to do after finishing education. It gave me variable skills and relevant experience to help me in future applications.
Now this is where my roller-coaster ride took a dip. After three months as a sales consultant, I decided - for various reasons - to leave. This would have been perfectly fine, but my mistake was leaving without securing another position to move into. Reflecting on it, I understand it was a poor decision. Nonetheless, I learned a valuable lesson! Following this change I took some time to seriously consider university, getting as far as completing my UCAS application and creating a list of preferred universities to study at. What stopped me was the personal statement. Countless times I set up to begin typing, yet my mind drew blank.
I couldn't think of why I wanted to attend university, nor answer the question of why I wanted to join the course. I began to consider why the simple application form presented such a challenge, and realised that I simply didn't want to pursue this route. So I didn't. Fast forward a bit and after months of interviewing for mediocre jobs set up by recruiters, it began wearing thin on me. I was applying for various roles; yet heard nothing. It took forever to go through the process each time, sometimes at the hands of inconsistent communication from the recruiter.
Taking a Different Path - Was It The Best Choice?
I often reflect on the choice not to attend university during that phase, but never did I regret my decision. I strongly believe that everything that happened, happened for a reason. It got me to where I am today - a position I thoroughly enjoy! Over the course of time, I learned tips and gained advice to improve my CV and interviewing skills. Once I started to look into apprenticeships, I knew that was what I wanted to do. There were multiple reasons that piqued my interest in applying for an apprenticeship: -
- "Learn and earn" - The benefit of an income whilst gaining experience and a qualification is extremely appealing to me. I wanted to study and improve my knowledge within digital marketing, but on the other hand, the thought of paying off university debts was too daunting. The apprenticeship was the perfect mix of the two.
- A career in my preferred industry - Due to my previous employment, many of the suggested jobs I received were sales roles, though most failed to conjure up any interest. With the apprenticeship, I was given an opening to a job in digital marketing despite having little experience.
- Prosperous opportunities - The apprenticeship has launched my career and I now have the chance to build myself up and work hard to improve my skills within the industry.
With the combination of these in mind, I set out to begin applying and interviewing for apprenticeships within digital marketing. Luckily, it wasn't long before I enrolled in an academy who found me the role I am in today. I am currently undergoing a fifteen month long course while working as a digital marketing assistant. Pleased with the position I am in, I highly look forward to what this year brings.
Written by Toby Johnson 6th July 2017
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