7 thoughts that all accounting apprentices have on their first day

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You’ve landed yourself your first apprenticeship and are getting yourself ready for your first day ‘on the job’. It’s an exciting time, but can also be really terrifying, mostly because so much of it is unknown.

Which is why I’m bringing you 7 thoughts that all apprentices have on their first day – so you can rest assured that you’re not the only one who’s ever felt this way, and can get through the first day as smoothly as possible! 

1. “I feel sick”

Before you’ve even left the house your nerves are flitting around your belly making you feel nauseous. They don’t call them butterflies for no reason!

Nerves are really normal, and is a sign you want this opportunity, and care about it going well. Breath, and try and stomach some breakfast. Telling yourself it’s just one day and it’ll be fine tomorrow helped me on my first day at new jobs.

2. “I don’t know anyone…”

When you walk into an office, especially for a company that’s great to work for (which, hopefully is the case with your accounting apprenticeship!) it can feel like everyone is great friends and you’re the third wheel.

It’s daunting, even for the more outwardly social types.

Remember, everyone was once a first starter, and if it looks like everyone’s getting on well, that’s a good sign that you’ll get on with them too and they’ll be welcoming and include you. Try and find common ground with your colleagues if you can, and ask lots of questions about them. This

3. “What if no one likes me?”

What if everyone likes you?

You can’t tell who you will and won’t get on with in life and at work and it’s really normal to worry about this. Try and recall times when you worried about this in the past and your worries were unfounded. I’d hazard a guess that’d be 99% of the time!

4. “I’m not sure what I’m doing”

This is completely normal! Especially if this is the first level of apprenticeship (there are three levels of an accounting apprenticeship). You might panic that you’re not clued up on the jargon or might make a mistake with the numbers and feel like an idiot.

You’re not expected to know everything so try not to worry!

Plus it’s your first day. Your new employer won’t be expecting you to undertake anything too challenging as you find your feet. Breath, and remember you’re here to learn what to do.

5. “Oh, wait, I do know something…”

On the flip side to number four, you might find that at some point on your first day you get a sense of relief when you understand what someone is talking about. There’s a danger of downplaying these moments and brushing them off as a fluke, but try not to. Remind yourself that although you’re just beginning your journey as an accountant, you’ve already got transferrable skills, attitude and knowledge to bring to the table.

Your employer has seen something in you – enough to hire you as an apprentice. So, celebrate when you do understand something!

6. “Do I have to ask to go home?”

I remember dreading this part of the first day on the job. You don’t want to ask to go home in case your boss thinks you’re trying to get off early or aren’t committed, but you feel awkward as everyone starts to naturally pack up and leave the office.

My advice is to ask early on in the day what time everyone tends to finish work and if you need to report to anyone before you leave? That way you won’t be second guessing.

If you don’t get that opportunity, it’s likely that someone will take pity on you and tell you it’s ok to head off now!

7. “That wasn’t so bad!”

As you head home, hopefully you’re feeling a sense of relief that you made it through the first day. Usually apprentices find that it’s never as scary or daunting as they imagined. You’ve survived the first day and it’s no longer the big unknown. Although your learning has only just begun you should feel proud of yourself.

Good luck with your apprenticeship and your journey towards becoming a qualified accountant. If you’d like more advice about accounting apprenticeships, or qualifying with AAT, head to our apprenticeship resource page.

Jen Smith coaches entrepreneurs in social media.

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