(Written for Beamly)
The Apprentice is back on BBC One and we have a host of new wanna-be business men and women to be annoyed by, humoured by, and at some point, find ourselves cheering on. So here’s some basic tips for the new competitors to remember. But of course, these are also the basic points that they will forget over and over again.
1. Don’t start your CV by commenting that you’re the modern-day Dell Boy
It’s an introduction we’ve heard far too many times. And how many times have we cringed at it? Every single time. If we, as the audience, are sighing in regret for the many of those who think this is a good enough description of one’s self, then just think what must be going through Alan Sugar’s head. There are a few words that spring to mind, but if I wrote them down they would come up as a selection of stars and hashtags.
2. Alan Sugar doesn’t appreciate a suck up
If you’ve made a mistake, you’re going. No matter how many times you tell Alan Sugar that you’re dedicated and passionate, he’s not going to care if you can’t prove that. Words quite obviously aren’t important in this game; only your actions count.
3. Contribute any idea, even if it’s really bad
Taking the back seat will get you nowhere. If you don’t want to step up in your team then at least throw some ideas around so that it seems like you know what you’re talking about. A bad idea is better than no idea, and if the previous series prove anything, it’s that the bad ideas are usually the ones that are chosen.
4. Take the Project Manager role early on… but do it successfully
Taking the Project Manager role on at any point is a bit of a self-sacrifice, because if you fail it’s all falling on you. But it’s also a chance to prove yourself. The tasks aren’t that hard if you remember the point of them, and that’s usually to make some money. So keep your head in the game, don’t let the pressure take over, and remember that you’re in it to win it.
5. Sell, Sell, Sell
It really is about the money, and I can’t emphasise that enough.
6. Backstab all those in your way to the top
The Apprentice isn’t a game that you will come away with friends from. Don’t let your guard slip by trusting any of the other contenders, because they will only take the chance to stab you in the back when the chance arises for them. So use people to your own fortune; lead them to allow you to succeed, and then blame them for your shortcomings.
7. Don’t forget your character
The Apprentice may be a difficult game, and it’s certainly one that challenges you at all levels by testing your limits, but what annoys me most about the contenders on the series is how easily people forget their character. Manners and a good attitude are easy to forget with the stress that this game puts you under, but you mustn’t forget that it’s the impression you give off that people are putting their money on, not just the product you are selling. If Sugar questions your motives, don’t become angry or grumpy and make yourself look bad, take it on the chin and improve yourself from it.