In 1813, Charles Darwin accepted an offer as an unpaid naturalist across the country. Despite his father’s wish Darwin made his own decision. He embarked on a 5 year journey voyage. His job was to collect life and mineral specimens and send them to England’s scientists for examination. This was the beginning of Darwin’s apprenticeship, which ultimately lead him to discover evolution.
When starting a new career, it is important to get off to a good start. You may be a new college graduate or crossing over to a completely new field. Already you’re at the bottom starting your first day. It’s also important to have deep focus on the task at hand. You will be assigned a mentor to learn the ins-n-outs of your new job function.
Everything you will know at the beginning relies on your mentor. Stay on their hip, take all the knowledge in like a vacuum suction and write everything down as much as possible. This is a new environment full of ancient knowledge that has been passed down, update and revised, so observe all you can. If you work in corporate, try to get a tariff or manual (the first day) to study after work and through the weekend.
- learn the rules and procedures that governs your mentors success
- ask lots of questions (you need to know every step and why)
- pick up certain keywords used frequently
- notice shortcuts
- learn the power relationships within the department
- understand who’s really in control
Please under no circumstances should you feel the need to impress, draw attention or be Mr.or Mrs Not It All. No one cares who you are. Keep your head low and grind.
Skills Acquisition (practice mode)
After a few day’s you’ll notice that your mentor has a set routine on how to complete tasks. You should be learning through endless repetition and hands on work. Your goal in this practice mode is to steal and imitate all the skills and knowledge from your mentor. Your 10,000 hours started on day one. By 2 to 4 years of constantly sifting through every valuable piece of information in sight, you’ll be ready to elevate to the next level.
As you gain skill and confidence you must make the move to experimentation. What this means is taking on additional responsibilities. This exposes you in the presence of your colleagues and/or in public perhaps. Most people procrastinate or pass up the opportunity out of fear, only to remain in the same position.
Your daily strategy to completing you apprenticeship is to
1.”Trust the Process”
2. keep your eyes on the bigger picture
3. have a “grit mentality” to hurdle through the hard times.
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This blog is inspired by the Robert Greene best-selling author of the book Mastery. Robert has written several books such as 48 Laws of Power, Art of Seduction and 33 Strategies of War.