The Ultimate Guide to Apprenticeships

Taylor Pearson
Jun 6, 2018 · 22 min read
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

What Is An Apprenticeship?

For many, an apprenticeship conjures images of laboring as a beginner mechanic or tradesman. An ongoing tradition begun by medieval tradesmen like carpenters or blacksmiths passing on skills to a young journeyman in their guild.

Image for post
Image for post

Why Should I Get an Apprenticeship?

First, apprenticeships are paid. Unlike going to college or graduate school where you are paying to learn, an apprenticeship means you get paid to learn. Not only will you be learning skills that will set you up to work remotely for as long as you like, but also you will be paid.

To Remote Or Not to Remote? The Benefits and Realities of Remote Work

Before we get into the nitty gritty of how to get an apprenticeship, it’s worth slowing down to consider what exactly it should look like. Because there are not a huge number of companies offering apprenticeship type roles, it can be easier to find roles remotely rather than just looking in the city you live in.

How Apprenticeships Work

An Overview

Remote apprenticeships started primarily in the technology industry as it started with software development. It has extended to many roles including:

  • Design
  • Marketing
  • Inside Sales
  • Customer Support
  • Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • HR
Image for post
Image for post

How to Get an Apprenticeship

There is usually a clear path that people who successfully land apprenticeship positions follow:

Image for post
Image for post

Image for post
Image for post

Step One: Choose a Skill To Learn

The first step is to figure out one skill you’d be interested in developing. There are a lot of potential options.

  • They are all extremely valuable. While it may cost very little to start learning the basics of copywriting or SEO, those who become good at them can make very good incomes.

Content

Written Content / Copywriting

Image for post
Image for post

Social Media

Community Management

Design

Design and User Experience

Development

Front-End Development — HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

Image for post
Image for post

Step Two: Start a Side Project

After choosing a skill set that interests you, it’s time to start practicing those skills by getting started on a side project.

  • Provides you with a testing ground to try out whatever skills you are interested in learning.
  • Gives you an online resume (CV) that shows what you’re capable of, that you are self-directed, and that you’re able to work on your own.

Choosing a Side Project

One of my first side projects was a small site built for college students looking to buy cheap, used furniture to fill their dorms (the now-defunct collegefurniture.net). In order to set up the site, I had to learn the basics of HTML and CSS. In order to get it to rank in Google I had to learn some SEO and copywriting.

  • I had a testing ground to learn real skills.
  • I was able to directly serve the needs of an existing market, as well as teach myself SEO as I went.
  • I eventually used the site to get an apprenticeship with an SEO agency.
Image for post
Image for post

Side Projects: Where To Next?

Let’s say you’ve decided to start a Side Project in the form of a WordPress blog reviewing Air Fryers. You write a new blog post each week filled with affiliate links, since this is a great beginner revenue model that matches well with niche review sites.

Step Three: Leverage Your Side Project to Get an Apprenticeship

So how do you actually leverage all of this work and learning to find a company that is willing to take you on?

Image for post
Image for post

Four Proven Strategies for Finding an Apprenticeship

1. Look for Local Companies and Networking Groups

One way to find an apprenticeship is to look around for companies in your local area that are hiring.

2. Cold Email the Inc. 5000 List

Another option would be to cold email companies you’re interested in working for outside of where you live. If you’re willing to relocate or they offer remote positions, this can be a great option.

  • You’ll get to move up the organization quickly.

3. Follow Companies You Would Like to Work For

If there is a specific type of company you want to work for, follow them on email, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, and see when they are offering new positions. Whatever they post will give you an idea of what kinds of skills you’ll need to develop in order to provide value to them.

4. Sign up for GetApprenticeship.com

For the past couple years, I’ve been running a site that helps connect apprentices with small businesses and startups for marketing, sales and operations roles.

Action Steps:

Today, apprenticeships still seem novel. In fifty years, I think we will look at apprenticeships in much the same way as we look at an undergraduate degree today. It will be a default part of a “smart” career path.

  • Start a side project. Whether it’s pursuing an interest or setting up a business, build a side project where you can apply, learn, and grow your skills.
  • Leverage your side project to get an apprenticeship. Use your side project to show off your skills and show how you can provide value. Do this to start working with a business you want to be part of and learn from.
  1. Start thinking about your side project. Write down 5–10 ideas of hobbies you’re into, interests you have, or ideas you’d like to explore. Do some research to see if there are existing communities for these already on the web. Maybe you’re already part of some of these communities — how can you add value to these communities? How can you be of service to people similar to yourself? What can you provide that people will pay for? These are the sorts of questions you should be asking yourself to get into the entrepreneurial mindset.
  2. Subscribe to updates from companies you love. While Get Apprenticeship will send you updates from companies we love, you should personally subscribe to updates in whatever way you can from the companies you would love to work for.

Mission.org

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to…

Sign up for Mission Daily

By Mission.org

Mission Daily Newsletter Take a look

Create a free Medium account to get Mission Daily in your inbox.

Taylor Pearson

Written by

Author and entrepreneur. Into history, complexity, productivity, and blockchains. Don’t have all the answers, but happy to share what I’ve learned

Mission.org

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple. Mission.org

Taylor Pearson

Written by

Author and entrepreneur. Into history, complexity, productivity, and blockchains. Don’t have all the answers, but happy to share what I’ve learned

Mission.org

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple. Mission.org

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store