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16 Of The Best Reasons To Pursue A Professional Apprenticeship

By News Creatives Authors , in Leadership , at September 8, 2021

Becoming an apprentice is a time-honored tradition in many industries. Apprenticeships give entry-level novices hands-on experience and the unique opportunity to work under someone who has mastered their chosen trade.

Because the typical apprenticeship can take several years to complete, young professionals who are eager to move forward in their careers might imagine that they would feel impatient during the process. However, the countless benefits of doing an apprenticeship make it well worth considering for aspiring professionals.

Below, 16 Forbes Coaches Council members share how they would explain those benefits to prospective apprentices to show them the long-term value of such an experience.

1. Learning From An Expert Is An Efficient Way To Gain Knowledge

The opportunity to learn from an expert provides an efficient way to gain knowledge rather than through your own trial and error. If you identify a path you want to pursue that is satisfying, allows you to earn a living and gives you a sense of purpose, yet requires you to be an apprentice, it can be part of a powerful narrative as to how you have arrived both professionally and in life. – Jennifer Landis-Santos, Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies

2. Apprenticeship Fosters Lifelong Curiosity, Openness And Humility

As Yoda said to one of his “padawans” (Star Wars speak for a Jedi apprentice), “Much to learn you still have.” If one fully embraces the role of an apprentice early in their career, it can foster a lifelong sense of curiosity, openness and humility—all crucial qualities in the most successful leaders. The ability to learn new things is especially critical in today’s world of constant change. – Glenn Taylor, Skybound Coaching & Training

3. Looking At Your Long-Term Vision Illuminates The Best Path Forward

Coaching is about helping clients create clarity about their vision by providing them with different perspectives and potential future scenarios so that they can make the best decision for themselves. I would work on a 5- to 10-year vision with them to find out how being an apprentice would help them achieve their goal, and maybe an alternative solution would pop up as a result of that process. – Csaba Toth, ICQ Global

4. Using The Criteria Method Can Help You Evaluate Pros And Cons

Many people evaluate opportunities based on pros and cons. I recommend using the criteria method. Where do they want to be? What five to ten things will help them get there? Rate the apprenticeship against those. If they’re changing careers, does it provide experience in the new field? If their goal is moving up, does it provide the chance to work with an industry expert? – Annette Richmond, Career Intelligence Resume Writing and Career Services

5. Having Strong, Varied Experiences Helps Build Judgment

Spending your time becoming brilliant at your craft early in your career pays exponential dividends later. Judgment comes from a strong set of varied experiences. Judgment is the elusive “secret sauce” that allows people to ascend up the ladder. It is not developed from one experience, but from a variety of experiences and deep knowledge, of which an apprenticeship can be an incredible contributor. – Kimberly Janson , Janson Associates, LLC

Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches. Do I qualify?

6. Admitting That You Need To Learn More Is A Sign Of Strength

This becomes an issue of ego. Today, it can feel like a demotion to be “under someone” as an apprentice. The beauty of an apprentice mindset and of accepting an apprenticeship is that you are admitting that you need to learn from someone. That admission alone does not indicate weakness; it implies strength. The student soon becomes the teacher, or the better professional. You can always learn from someone else. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.

7. An Apprenticeship Can Help You Achieve Short- And Long-Term Goals

Coachability is the key. I would share with them that business is a game, and like every game, it has written and unwritten rules. I would connect their core values with their “why” and show how this will make the difference for their short-term and long-term goals. Once we’ve established our frameworks, I would sprinkle in some tough love, knowing that we’re on the way to achieving their needs and wants. – Jon Michail, Image Group International

8. Taking One Step Back Allows You To Take Two Steps Forward

Some may consider being an apprentice as taking a step back. However, I would reframe it as taking one step back to take two steps forward. Doing an apprenticeship allows one to gain valuable experience, mentorship and the ability to apply one’s expertise to a specific project or task. Overall, it can act as an accelerant for career growth. – Rakish Rana, The Clear Coach

9. Continuously Aspiring To Learn And Grow Will Drive Excellence

If the individual is truly aspiring, there is no need to sell them on the benefit of being an apprentice. Coaching works when someone is hungry to practice and grow new skills to become excellent in their profession. The passion for growth and learning is fundamental to those who consistently experience success in their field. There is no convincing; the drive must come from within. Just ask Yoda. – Bobbie Goheen, Synthesis Management Group

10. Building A Robust Foundation Is Key To Success

Apprenticeship is building the muscle you need before you walk into the ring as a master. Apprenticeship is the foundation of the mountain you will climb; when you are standing on the peak with all of your accomplishments, the base will be strong. It will be difficult to topple you if you have this robust foundation. Want mastery? Start with an apprenticeship. – Devika Das, CORE Executive Presence

11. Learning From A Seasoned Professional Accelerates Your Growth

Exposure is key. If you have your sights set on a career far beyond your current skill sets, seek to learn from a seasoned professional. Mentorship will not only allow for accelerated growth and personal development, but will also grow your network and increase opportunities that may have otherwise been missed. You can get from point A to point B in a horse and buggy or in a Ferrari. The choice is yours. – Erin Miller, Erin Miller Inc

12. Looking Toward Long-Term Impact Can Put Things In Perspective

If you look back 20 years from now, what would you have hoped to accomplish with your life, and how do you think becoming an apprentice might impact this? If someone was your apprentice, what sort of impact would you like to have on them? These are the sorts of questions I would ask to help aspiring professionals determine whether being an apprentice is actually the best move for them. – Jim Livingstone, Northpoint

13. Learning From Experience Helps You Navigate Future Challenges

It is a well-documented fact that most leaders report learning more from experiences than from coaching, feedback, courses or books. What matters is the learning and lessons extracted from those experiences that help you see patterns and develop rules of thumb to rely on when faced with first-time tough conditions in the future. – Kathy Bernhard, KFB Leadership Solutions

14. Getting Into The Day-To-Day Greatly Accelerates Growth

I highly recommend an apprenticeship if you have the opportunity. You will learn more fundamentals in this type of situation than you ever will from a book or seminar. Hands-on experience can never be overrated. Getting into the day-to-day, moment-to-moment grind accelerates your knowledge and your ability to grow quickly in your chosen profession. – Jon Dwoskin, The Jon Dwoskin Experience

15. Identifying Your Values And Goals Will Bring Clarity

As a coach, I would need to remain objective and assist the professional in exploring what perceived threats or rewards they envision in taking on this role, as well as their understanding of what this means in the short and the long term for their personal brand and career prospects. Undertaking this exercise should clarify for them what makes sense based on their values and goals. – Arthi Rabikrisson, Prerna Advisory

16. Contemplating Your Long-Term Career Goals Is Critical

Before making any career decision, it is important to contemplate your long-term career goals. Map out what you want to achieve in your career and your life. Then, reflect on how an apprenticeship aligns with your goals. Depending on your career trajectory, an apprenticeship can be a powerful, high-impact opportunity to gain relevant, hands-on experience and make connections within your industry. – Kyle Elliott, MPA, CHES,


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