Is it bad for your career to be turned upside down?

Traineeship - the kick starter for your career

Being a trainee from Borussia Dortmund or Bayern Munich - that would be cool, wouldn't it? But it doesn't even work that way! Because a trainee has nothing to do with a trainer. And the German translation - intern, trainee, trainee, course participant - doesn't really fit what we mean by it in our language area. So, let's just take a look at what the Duden suggests: There is a trainee "someone (especially a university graduate) who receives practical training in all departments within a company and is thus prepared for his later job." To put it plainly: A trainee has his university degree under his belt and - as a new graduate - is ready for it Career entry. On the job, he wants to get particularly deep insights into the company - and build a steep career on it.

This is exactly what companies offer Entry programs for graduates to get targeted Professionals and executives to train. You will develop into a high potential with managerial responsibility or with your know-how you will become a specialist in your field. At the same time, you make important contacts and build up an extensive network. By the way: Exceptions prove the rule. Of course, it is mostly graduates who dare to start with a traineeship, but you can also be hired as a trainee with professional experience or as a career changer.

... that on an international level one does not speak of a trainee but of a graduate? And the other way around, trainees may find themselves in an internship - because interns are also called that in English.

Can a traineeship be equated with an internship?

A traineeship has more to offer you than an internship. Of course, it is important and helpful to complete various internships during your studies in order to gain practical experience. A plus on the knowledge account brings you a big step closer to the trainee position. By the way, you can't just start a traineeship during your studies, you have to do that graduation already behind you.

Briefly remember your internship: Exactly, there was often relatively little or no salary. If you've landed in a company's trainee program, you usually already have one quite well paid job get hold of - and that as a career starter. You will also get to know a company in a completely different way than in an internship, but you will too more demanded and you will gradually get more responsibility transfer. In the traineeship, you will be specifically prepared for your future tasks.

A company invests a lot in such an entry-level program, which is why it is important to keep the trained specialist or manager. So your chances of being hired are not bad! Leave the coffee to the interns and jump on the pie chart!

Designation jungle traineeship & Co.

Scouring job advertisements is one thing, finding the right traineeship is another. Because the terms you can come across are diverse and yet mean the same thing: the kick starter for your career! You may come across the following when searching:

• Traineeship

• Trainee position

• Trainee program

• Trainee program

• Graduate Program

• Global Graduate Program

• International Graduate Program

• Young management program

• Management Development Program

• Future Leaders Program

You have probably noticed that the last three titles are clearly geared towards a career as a manager, whereas the specialist trainee program, for example, trains experts. The remaining terms can contain either one or the other. When posting a job, pay attention to the opportunities that are offered to you as a trainee - from the exact area of ​​responsibility during the traineeship to career prospects in the company.

How does a traineeship work?

Traineeship sounds great and, above all, a clear, uniform concept. Since the terms traineeship, trainee post or trainee program no protected terms the programs can differ considerably in structure, process and duration from company to company. So you have to look carefully at what is being offered to you, because every company can advertise a trainee position.

What do I learn in the trainee program?

The concept of a trainee program should be structured according to certain criteria that will best suit you as a career starter demand and promote. It should give you the ability to move through multiple departments so that you can do one Insight into various specialist areas and fields of activity - or you just become an absolute expert with professional know-how in a special area. After all, it is important that you know the company structure exactly if you take on a management or expert position after your traineeship and have to make decisions that are relevant to the company.

In the case of internationally operating companies, a stay abroad Be part of the program. So you learn on-the-job and gradually get more and more involved in projects and get more responsibility assigned. Sure, gaining practical experience is cool, but you also have to be offered a theoretical foundation. In off-the-job training, in Seminars, Workshops, Coaching and Training promoted your professional skills as well as yours Soft skills Filed - as a prospective manager or soon to be a specialist, the focus is of course on how to deal with employees correctly.


Nothing is more important than a good connection! No, we don't mean the LTE network for your smartphone (well, that too) - we're talking about one networkwhich consists of work colleagues and partners, specialists and executives from their own and sometimes other companies. Networking events are often part of a traineeship. It's about getting to know each other personally, knowing who you're working with or with whom it might be worth working with. This is intended to secure and improve cross-departmental work within the company. Of course we can do this for you too new shortcuts with new, exciting job prospects. Remember: it's always good to have the best network!

Will I be supported in the trainee program?

Sure, you will be taken by the hand - no, not by mom on the way to work, but by someone mentor, who is your contact person in professional and personal matters. This could, for example, be a former trainee who can easily adapt to your situation. It is also possible that your mentor does not come from the company itself, but is hired externally. Also the Head of department and human resources are suitable for the job and always have an open ear for you and take care of you good care - After all, that is the big plus point in contrast to direct entry: A professional supervisor will train you because he knows exactly what is important.

What can I expect from my mentor?

New to the business and no plan, where to go? Doesn't matter, because that's exactly what this is for Mentoringso that as a trainee you are not alone, but have a competent supporter at your side - the mentor. As far as clear: the mentor is not a chewy candy! The mentor is a specialist or manager who supports you. But what exactly is he or she doing?

  • He'll show you how it works! He lets you participate in his everyday work and explains certain processes to youso that you get out of it Gain experience can. At the same time, you can ask questions at any time, whether you are unclear or if an area interests you particularly.

  • No trainee without a trainer! The mentor is yours Instructor, your Sponsor and supporter in all matters. And yes: it will personally. Technical knowledge is not in the foreground here, it is about your concerns, about what concerns you. Whether questions about the future and career, requirements, skills or problems - yours Coach is by your side!

  • He gives you Feedback - about your work, your workload, your performance and your development. He also asks your supervisor how things are going for you. Of course you have to be here too criticism cope with it, but that's natural constructive. After all, it's about moving yourself forward. So, not so bad if something goes wrong. You learn from mistakes and your mentor is with you Suggestions for solutions and improvements to the side.

  • Ronaldo has one, Messi has one - you have one too - one Consultant! Your mentor always has an open ear for you, so always remember: There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers! Your competent mentor always has advice. You can go to him with questions and problems. Career planning, Change of position or definition? You are right with him. Even if it is more serious, he acts as a mediator and tries to reconcile your interests and those of the company.

  • You have your homies - your mentor has Connections! Building a good network is the be-all and end-all of a career. So you benefit from your mentor's existing network - he has interesting contacts, often not just within the company that can push your career.

  • Oh yes: your mentor and you - you are just human too. It can happen that the communication is not right or that you do not immediately sympathize with each other. It is important that you also have such Addressing problems openly and try to clarify the discrepancies with your mentor in a factual conversation. If you still don't feel understood, don't be afraid to go to the HR department or your manager. You are sure to find one good solution!

Still undecided?

If you don't know exactly where your trainee journey should go at the beginning and afterwards, don't worry: the exact position you will take is often only decided within the trainee program and is determined in consultation with you and the company management . Because, of course, you have a say: Do you particularly like a department? Then discuss your considerations with your manager or mentor.

How long does a traineeship last?

If you decide on a traineeship, you book the full program - and of course that takes time. After all, you shouldn't just get to know one department, you should go through several at the same time. Therefore takes a Traineeship between six and 24 months, depending on the size of the company, the respective program and your previous knowledge. If you are concerned about the money - we can reassure you: Even if your traineeship takes 24 months, you will get a decent salary during that time. After successfully completing the course, there may be a little more!

... that traineeships do not always have to be one-to-one? There are also subject-specific traineeships where you go through fewer departments and are trained as specialists in your area.

Where can I find a traineeship?

Everywhere, where young specialists and managers are needed, you can do a traineeship. Marketing & PR, banking & finance, chemicals & pharmaceuticals or internet & multimedia? The decision which industry suits you is yours. All nothing for you? No problem, because there is still advice, health & social affairs, trade & consumption, telecommunications, automobiles, EDP & IT, textiles & fashion ... and and and. Convinced? We thought so. And that wasn't all. After all, a traineeship usually also means that you go through many different departments within a company in your industry in order to become a real all-round talent. For example, you will gain insights into the area of ​​human resources, product development or quality and risk management.

How do I find the right traineeship for me?

As you can see, there are opportunities for a traineeship in various industries and areas. Which trainee program is right for you depends on yours personal interests from. If you are a cool chatterbox, you can let off steam in sales and distribution. Do you have a good eye for design? Welcome to the traineeship in Graphics & Design. You are always right? Prove that as a trainee in the Legal & Tax sector.

You already know exactly in which direction you are drawn, just don't know where to look? We have the right answer for this, too: Most companies and companies write their trainee positions on-line out. If you have found an interesting job, you should definitely pay attention to the specified one Program content respect, think highly of. Ask yourself whether the topics and tasks presented are really your thing.

In the job advertisement you will find a specific contact person to whom you can address your questions. These can, for example, relate to the content of your traineeship. Small additional benefit: In the cover letter you can refer to the conversation and show that you have taken the initiative and really want the position!

When are trainee positions advertised?

Have you ever thought about an apprenticeship, or maybe even done one? Then you know it: There are set deadlines for the start of training. This does not exist for the advertisement of a traineeship, because that is what the companies do upon need. Your big advantage: You can look for your dream job at any time. So hit the keys and get into the job!

... that a trainee employment contract is usually limited to the duration of the traineeship? So if you can find out something about the takeover rate, you can also draw conclusions about the quality of the program!

When should I apply?

The “when” depends on your future plan. That's right, the future begins tomorrow, but apply today and be in the job tomorrow - sorry, unfortunately that is not possible! Three to six months you should plan ahead so that your application is received on time and that the HR managers have enough time to deal with it.

In the job advertisements there is also often a Application deadline specified. You should make sure that your application has arrived by then. If you don't find a deadline in the advertisement for your trainee program, it means: act! Then your application should be sent out as soon as possible. Very important: If you don't plan a trip around the world or spend a year on the couch after graduation and want to start your professional life directly as a trainee, you should apply to the company of your choice before you graduate!

How do I apply for a trainee position as a career starter?

You probably already guessed it - if you want to apply for a trainee position, you have to consider a few special features. You have to stand out from the crowd and with a few tricks you can already demonstrate professionalism and creativity with your application documents. In other words: Your application must be like a work of art and cannot be outdone in terms of individuality!

What future prospects do I have as a trainee?

With a traineeship you have best prospects on a subsequent Takeover in a permanent position. Because not only you, but also the company, put a lot into your training to become a future specialist and manager: You will be specifically prepared for later tasks in the company, so that you can ideally fill your new position in the company on the first day after completing your traineeship . So you don't have to worry about your future: the majority of the trainees will be hired afterwards. Don't be afraid to talk to your mentor about your future in the company!

... that a traineeship can even be terminated prematurely if a trainee shines through excellent performance? If you are an ideal fit for the job, there is nothing to prevent you from starting your permanent position earlier than expected.

Traineeship or direct entry - what are the advantages?

You are faced with the decision: traineeship or direct entry? We have summarized the advantages as a trainee and as a direct entrant for you:

Advantages as a trainee:

  • Guided orientation

  • Support from mentor

  • Possible stay abroad

  • establish contacts

  • Career planning under guidance

  • Further training opportunities

  • Preparation for management positions

Advantages as a direct entrant:

  • Possibly higher starting salary

  • Assuming a fixed position (possibly unlimited)

  • More responsibility right from the start

  • No firm commitment to the company for two years