Being a trainee means that you automatically build a big contact network when working in different departments and functions in the company. Besides your ordinary work tasks, you should also take the opportunity to meet with people you wouldn’t meet otherwise. Or go on study visits and learn how they work elsewhere in the company, and with what. In many ways, what you do is to devote yourself to tourism. It might take a while getting used to it. But I can assure you that when you do, you will learn so much more! It gives you an holistic view of the business that most other people probably don’t get. At least not in the same way, and probably not as easy.

Tourism in this way could make you a link between different functions within the company. It is not uncommon that you have some kind of knowledge which is of great importance to others. For example, I booked a lunch meeting with a manager at a completely different function in the company, just because I want to understand more. I presented some topics that I wanted to learn more about at that meeting. And guess what, my point of view of what I wanted to talk about turned out to be exactly what they are in need of in their organization right now. Win-win! It feels great to not only learn from others, but also being able to teach others something!

If you ask a previous trainee what he or she had wanted to do differently if they got the opportunity to be a trainee once more, many of them will say that they had wanted to use the time to network more, smarter, or more efficient. This is a hot tip for you, whoever you are. Use your time to network. Book meetings, go out there, talk to people. And if time is of short supply, book a lunch meeting, everyone’s got to eat right? You never know what they can teach you, or what you can teach them for that matter! In many ways, being a trainee is like being a tourist. So, use your time to see as much of “the world” as possible.