Making mistakes is part of being human and an opportunity for growth. For National Apprenticeship Week, our apprentice Jade Ling explains why little slipups have helped her get better at her job and why there is no such thing as asking “silly” questions in the workplace.
Making mistakes might not seem top of your to-do list when you are new to a job.
But it stands out as one of my most important lessons since I started my apprenticeship nine months ago. Not just making mistakes however – but learning from them.
The whole idea of an apprenticeship is that you get to learn in a more hands-on environment.
It’s not sitting in a classroom and taking notes. It’s getting up, going to work and learning all sorts on-the-job.
In the last nine months I have learnt how to write press releases, design newsletters, create social media content; communicate… and the list goes on. But I can say I definitely didn’t pick up all my new-found skills by doing everything perfectly the first time around.
Prominent is nothing like school. There, wrong answers were marked with a big red cross and “silly” questions were frowned upon. Here, we work in a “no question is a silly question” environment where even the most experienced members of staff admit to not knowing it all.
This means that mistakes are few and far between – simply because we are encouraged to turn to colleagues for a helping hand, a bit of advice or just an extra pair of hands.
We can’t all be good at all things. We are a team so we have a collective skill set to pull on to provide the best possible service.
If you knew everything, what would be the point of trying new things? And if you always did everything right, how would you know how to improve? You wouldn’t. You’d just plateau. Mistakes give you an opportunity to reflect on how you can get better. And then you can do that celebratory dance around the office when you’ve done some amazing work.
I used to be afraid of making mistakes and asking for help. I thought it meant I wasn’t good at what I was doing. But I’ve now learnt to embrace doing things slightly wrong and more importantly, I ask questions to make sure that if I’m not on the right path, I can easily rectify my journey.
Asking for help can be daunting but asking questions doesn’t make people think any less of your ability.
My apprenticeship and time at Prominent has taught me that making mistakes is ok and that asking for help is never something to be ashamed of.
This is something I’ll carry with me forever. Both in the workplace and every other aspect of my life.
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