Planning your career path

Your apprenticeship is the first step on your new career. Think of it as a stepping stone to your future. It’s worth spending a bit of time making sure you are starting off in the right direction.

Four things to help you decide

  1. It might sound obvious, but if you want to pick the right apprenticeship and kick off your working life in the best direction, you need to think about yourself and your interests. If you know what you’re like, you can work out the career you want.
  2. Next step is to assess your strengths and skills. If you aren’t sure yourself where your strengths lie, you can ask your family, friends and colleagues.
  3. Once you know the kind of career you want, you need to weigh up the options that are out there. Once you have an idea of the field you want to work in, you can narrow down your choices a little and see which apprenticeships might be available.
  4. Finally, you need to work out who you know that might be able to help you move forward to that career, establish a network. Another advantage of apprenticeships is the opportunity meet new people who can help. It’s always useful to make some new contacts.

If you’re still a bit stuck, we have developed an online tool, ‘choosing the right apprenticeship’, to give you ideas.

Choosing the right apprenticeship

This can be a challenge, but if you bear a few strategies in mind, you can navigate it safely.

If you choose the right level of apprenticeship, this will mean you can maximise the benefit of learning new skills rather than covering things you already know. Weigh up these options carefully.

Look for an apprentice role that will offer the level of pay and working conditions that meet your expectations; otherwise, you might find yourself struggling to make ends meet.

Research the training programmes so that you can get a sense of how good it is before you make your choices, so that you aren’t frustrated once the placement starts.

Take a step back to assess whether the apprenticeship will help you further along your career path and achieve your professional goals.

It might be that you take a different course in future anyway, but keeping these factors in mind might mean your more likely to pick a career you enjoy for years to come.

Our ‘choosing the right apprenticeship’ tool advises you on the level of apprenticeship as well as suggesting potential careers based on your personality type.