Katie Ruben on her first week as an apprentice

My first week as an apprentice

Haddon Learner Katie Ruben is based at Tom Jackson Eventing where she is doing her Level 2 Horse Care Apprenticeship.

My first week… well what a whirlwind it was! It was absolutely crazy. I moved out, started my job, got enrolled onto my apprenticeship and entering a job that I was completely unfit for all in the first couple of days!

But thankfully it got better from there and if you are undergoing the same situation – then don’t worry! Hopefully, these few tips will help based on my own experiences:

1) My first tip is stay organised. This applies indefinitely if you are moving away from home because I can assure you belongings will get forgotten.

If you are in the position to do this, maybe buying two of each of your essentials will stop you having a crisis when you’re just about to head to bed after a long day and you forgot your toothbrush…

2) Next, remember that it’s not just you settling in, it’s your colleagues getting used to you as well. So don’t forget that if things aren’t going your way for the first week or month even then it could be your fellow staff members getting used to the way you work which could be very different to a previous member of staff. But, give yourself time – it is OK to feel a little out of your depth!

With the mixed emotions of moving away from home and in my case starting a job straight from school it is going to take time to really feel settled.

3) First impressions count. Make your first week your best. Although this will be your hardest period, it is very important that you show your co-workers and employers what you can and can’t do in the first week so improvements can be made quickly and they become a habit.

It’s also a chance for you to get to grips with the horse’s personalities especially if you are starting your new job on a big yard with a lot of horses… that’s a lot of names and faces to learn!

4) Get to bed early. Make sure you are fully refreshed ready for your first week because you will certainly be absolutely shattered by the end of it – I know that I was!

This was also a favourite saying from my Mum and I honestly couldn’t agree more with her, by the end of my first week I can remember getting in and completely crashing on the sofa and not waking up until the next day so always set your alarm the day before just in case that happens…

5) Finally, bring clarity, a big smile enthusiasm and DON’T be late to your first week on the job! You should have clarity in asking questions about what to do and communicating to the horses, a big smile because let’s be honest here, no one likes a miserable employee and one major point made… don’t be late!

If it helps, be early, I was an hour early for my first day and it was great because my co-workers were already here and we got on with the day without finishing late!

Good luck with all your new ventures!

If, like Katie, you’d like to become and apprentice then please give us a call on 01672 519977 or send us an email to enquiries@haddontraining.co.uk.