Traineeships, Everything you need to know

How time flies! Starting university feels like yesterday; now you’re about to graduate. That means making some important decisions about your future. What do you want to do? How do you like to work? Are you interested in traineeships or a starter position? Answering these questions will determine your future career. Little wonder so many feel daunted!

But hold up, I hear you saying: what even is a traineeship? And why should I be interested in one?

That’s precisely what we’re here to answer. If you’re weighing up your future options, traineeships are great opportunities to consider.

Traineeships in a nutshell

A traineeship is a structured position offered by a company which follows a certain curriculum-like structure. During 1 or 2 years, you will have a junior position – or have multiple positions over the course of the program. How does that benefit the trainee? Well, programs which allow trainees to alternate various roles are a great opportunity to orient yourself on the first steps in your career. Besides that, traineeships provide extra emphasis on learning and personal development – this benefits both you as a trainee and the employer. In this way, companies can train and develop you to become a professional that possesses the skills that you will need in their business. For you as a trainee, it will be an opportunity to build competencies that will be valuable in your entire career. That’s a worthwhile investment, isn’t it? Most of the times, the program operates within a certain domain. You will find many flavours that will be accessible for various graduates; Operations, Management, Technical, Data Analytics and IT- traineeships are just some examples in the rich landscape. Sounds pretty good, right?

What are the benefits of traineeships?

If you’re struggling to break into a field, traineeships may be the solution – they are more accessible by design. But that’s not the only benefit. Here are a few critical upsides for you to consider:

  1. Guidance. You’re young and inexperienced. That’s not a bad thing, but it does put you at a disadvantage. Thankfully, with a traineeship, you’ve got a company of resources to help you achieve your best. Besides that, you won’t be alone. Most of the times you will be part of a trainee group with other trainees that are eager to get to know and help each other.
  2. Know how to rise. With traineeships, there’s no ambiguity. Every step of the way is clear. It also gives you an excellent understanding of how the company works. So, when the traineeship ends, you know what you want to do next.
  3. Orientation. As there are so many possibilities after graduating, it may be a bit daunting to choose one direction. In a traineeship, you will have the opportunity to experience different roles to discover what suits you best (and what doesn’t).
  4. Learning through practice. Theoretical learning has its place. But, learning as you work improves retention and understanding by giving you concrete examples of each problem.

What are the downsides of traineeships?

Ok, what’s the catch? That’s what you’re thinking, right? Well, there’s no catch. It’s just that traineeships aren’t for everyone. For some, the rigid structure of a traineeship may seem claustrophobic. They want to branch out on their own. Figure their career out as they go along. That’s why starter positions and other graduate schemes exist.

Traineeships also come with a lot of expectations. Companies aren’t investing idly. They expect a return on their investment. You’ll need to work hard, take responsibility for your development, and typically commit to working for an organisation for a period after the traineeship.

What’s next?

Once you’ve completed the traineeship – which almost always happens – you’ll be a trained professional with broad experience. Typically, that means the company will offer you a job. Some traineeships even come with jobs attached. Where you work will depend on your preference or the company’s demands.

On rare occasions, you may not be offered a job. That’s not the end of the world. It simply means you haven’t made a significant enough impression. Nevertheless, you still acquired the necessary skills, giving you the freedom to look elsewhere.

So, what do you think? Is a traineeship for you? What about these?