In some way or other, we have all either gone through the decision-making process or it is lying ahead of us. Because, at a certain time in life, practically everyone is faced with the question whether to start an occupation that requires training or to study and take up a profession. For the former, this decision has to be taken at an earlier age, whereas the latter means embarking on a career much later. The one finishes his school education with a diploma after 10th grade at the age of around 16, whereas the other aims at graduating from high school before commencing university studies or professional training. If the decision is in favor of vocational training, it is in any case important to think carefully beforehand about your interests and what you really like doing. Someone who likes juggling numbers and making analyses should consider, for instance, whether commercial training would be an option. This could later lead to specialization in controlling or financial accounting. On the other hand, there is little sense in a technophile person, someone who is enthusiastic about finding technical solutions and tinkering with machines, starting an apprenticeship in the field of commerce.
Job application – what to watch out for
Once the decision has been taken – perhaps with the advice of a career information center – to start an occupation that requires formal training, and the appropriate training organization has been found, it is important to make a good impression right from the start. The saying that “you only get one chance to make a first impression” still holds true. And that begins, naturally enough, with the application documents you submit. It goes without saying that they should be complete and suitably drawn up. They include the covering letter itself, a résumé and the relevant school reports and assessments as well as testimonials and attendance certificates, if any. The covering letter should be individually adapted to the corporation in question. Simply using “copy and paste” is not good enough for this purpose. It is also important to make sure that the wording is appropriate and the spelling correct, and that the style of writing makes the reader curious to know more. Once this first hurdle has been taken and an invitation to a job interview has been received, there are still a few things to be considered: arrive on time, be well prepared for the interview, open-minded and friendly (already at the reception desk); take care how you dress, ask questions and show interest. If you keep these points in mind, you have fair chances of being accepted.
MENSHEN is a “Training Organization of Excellence” – for the sixth time in succession
Further up, I briefly mentioned the choice of training organization. That sounds easier than it actually is. In the past, meaning up to five or ten years ago, companies were able to select their trainees from numerous candidates. Nowadays, though, the situation is the other way around as there are too few apprentices to fill all the vacant training positions. It is not unusual to hear that organizations have not been able to fill their trainee vacancies at all because there were simply no suitable applicants. This can lead to quite a dramatic situation, because there is then no skilled staff on hand to ensure succession. That’s why the prospective trainees of today are in a comfortable situation because, in the best case, they can choose between two or even more companies that would accept them as trainees. And this is where it gets really interesting. Which factors should have priority when you have a choice? The number of employees? The turnover? The quality of the website? The salary trainees can earn? All of them are important and certainly play a role in getting some idea of one’s future employer. But what could be more reliable, authentic, credible and meaningful than an evaluation of the training organization by the trainees who are already working there? Quite simply, nothing! So, a good assessment is ideal as a reference framework and decision-making aid. After all, who could rate a company and its trainee occupations better and more accurately than the apprentices themselves? And whose opinion would potential trainees trust more than that of their own peers? The only question that remains is how to access such assessments. For several years now, an agency has been conducting surveys of this kind among trainees. In it, different categories of questions based on various criteria were formulated which were answered by the apprentices of the relevant company. The questions included assessing the general training situation in the organization, rating the satisfaction of the trainees there, and requesting an estimate of the company’s image from the point of view of the apprentices. In all these segments, MENSHEN achieved higher-than-average ratings. As a result, the organization was awarded the “Training Organization of Excellence” certificate only a few days ago – for the seventh time in succession.