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Entering the workforce for the first time is one of the toughest yet most exciting stages of life. However, there are entry-level jobs that require applicants to have prior experience to get in. This is a common predicament for fresh graduates and students who are just starting to fill their resumes, which is why there are companies that – together with partner institutions – offer internships or traineeships to help young people get their foot in the door. But aside from providing industry exposure, these programmes also benefit those who learn better through hands-on instruction.
Previously, the Singaporean government launched an initiative to promote traineeship programmes to help young job seekers as well as companies in need of labour resources amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But even though Singapore is already speeding up its economic recovery, undergoing a traineeship is still a great option for students who want to build skill sets, expand networks, and have an edge in their chosen industries. If you’re one of those students, here are some tips to help you make the most of your traineeship in Singapore and potentially gain meaningful employment in the future.
1. Be Punctual and Professional
Once a company has accommodated you as a trainee, be sure to meet their expectations as much as possible. Always show up early or on time to reinforce your trustworthiness and interest. Be compliant with company dress codes and follow the proper etiquette when communicating with your colleagues.
A good tip to keep in mind is to act as though you’ve already landed a job with the company. Any employer would appreciate trainees that maintain professionalism and remember common courtesy at all times. In short, once you get into a programme for traineeship Singapore-based students covet, you should work doubly hard to ensure that you’re adding value to the organisation that has reposed confidence in you.
2. Do Your Research
Before embarking on a traineeship with any company, it’s best to do your homework on them first. Not knowing anything about your employer is a red flag, so it would be wise to do your research on fundamental information such as company history, portfolio, achievements, and clients. Learning more about your employer will also give you a glimpse of their inner workings and the tasks you might be assigned to do.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the company’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) so you could familiarise yourself with your potential workday. Asking questions shows your dedication to the job, and employers are often eager to discuss and answer your queries.
3. Go the Extra Mile
Going beyond the bare minimum is a sure way to impress your superiors and build your skills. Always finish tasks with excellence and make sure that every output you produce is the best you can give. Be proactive and take the initiative to add value to daily tasks, no matter how small. Use online tools, be resourceful, do more research, and amp up your creativity to improve processes and go beyond project goals.
Pro tip: take the opportunity to learn something new! If possible, ask your supervisors for upskilling initiatives such as sponsored workshops or training. Doing so will equip you with the expertise that the company will value and will eventually help you professionally.
4. Manage Your Time and Projects Wisely
You may be set on your journey towards becoming the Best Trainee Ever, but don’t make the mistake of biting more than you can chew. Assess your current capabilities and set achievable goals for yourself. Don’t volunteer to take on additional projects if you think you can’t accomplish them. Follow good time management practices and organise your schedule to fit your workload. Being transparent about what you can offer will save you from misunderstandings in the long run. A PMP Certification Training will teach you how to manage your time and projects properly.
Pro tip: keep records of projects that showcase your industry-relevant skills to future employers. You should still ask your supervisors for approval, though: some companies have strict confidentiality rules and might forbid you from using your output as samples or portfolio material.
5. Build Professional Relationships
You may be on a traineeship programme to accumulate experience, but it’s also a great way to build your network. Rub elbows with other employees and superiors who make significant contributions in the industry you intend to enter. Be a team player and learn how to collaborate well with people of all personalities. Making new connections that will last beyond your traineeship could also give you access to future opportunities that are open to only a few trusted people.
Your traineeship is also a good opportunity to gain a mentor. Some traineeship programmes already assign you a mentor, but you can also politely ask someone in the company that you look up to who can guide you throughout your traineeship. Having a mentor will give you the industry know-how that you won’t learn anywhere else.
6. Ask for Feedback
Continuous self-improvement is a plus for any employer, and the best way to show your eagerness to develop your skills is to constantly seek input. Don’t be afraid of constructive criticism; remember, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from objective feedback. Instead of waiting for performance reviews, open a discussion with your managers on what you’re doing well and what you could do better to meet company goals.
After getting an overview of your performance as a trainee, reflect on your time with the company. Remember all that you’ve learned during your traineeship so you could be better equipped to work your way into the world. Who knows, this could be the first major step that will lead you closer to your dreams.