School leaver blog: managing career expectations and more

  • Anna Vall Navés
  • 25 Sep 2019

Welcome to this week’s AllAboutSchoolLeavers’ blog. This week, we’ll be discussing how to manage expectations and disappointment early on in your career. We’ll also be taking a look at the apprenticeship available to become a teacher and at Charlie Hayward’s experience as an apprentice at a law firm. 


Career insight of the week: disappointment at work

Transitioning into the workplace can be exciting, but it can also be a very difficult process emotionally. In fact, a recent study by GSM London found that over 85% of 18-34-year-olds feel like their professional ambitions are not being met, while almost a quarter reported unhappiness at work. Why are so many young workers disappointed?

While there are many ways to explain these statistics, some have pointed to the fact that starting a career is intrinsically hard—not only in terms of finding the right job but also in terms of managing your expectations when you do. With social media, we’re often surrounded by what can appear to be everyone else’s successes and very little insight into the realities of what entering the workplace is actually like. And yet the truth is that it’s very rare to land your ideal job on your first try; it’s even rare to know what your ideal job actually is.

It’s completely normal to feel like the first few jobs you take aren’t quite the right fit, even when you thought you’d enjoy them. But while it’s also normal to feel disappointment, you shouldn’t forget that starting your career requires a bit of experimentation. You haven’t failed if you’re not happy at your first (or second, or third) job; you’ve just gained a better understanding of what it is that you want and don’t want from your career. Remember that it’s uncommon for people to stick with their first role or career choice, and nothing but seeing for yourself can get you accurate insight into what you’re looking for!


“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently” —Henry Ford  

Weird and wonderful apprenticeships: teacher

Although there’s nothing weird about becoming a teacher, it’s certainly wonderful that you can now become one through a higher apprenticeship

Offered by several schools and colleges and regulated by the Department for Education, the teaching apprenticeship helps aspiring educators learn how to “inspire, motivate and challenge pupils” between the ages of 3 and 19. While you may need a degree to take the apprenticeship, it offers an excellent opportunity to gain experience in the teaching field while you earn money.

While it’s a difficult job, being a teacher can also be extremely rewarding if you’re passionate about it. If it’s a career you’re considering, keep in mind that the traditional university route is no longer the only one available to you.

Spotlight on: Charlie Hayward, law apprentice at Fletchers Solicitors

Despite achieving impressive grades at A-level and being offered a place at Lancaster University to study law, Charlie Hayward chose to pursue an apprenticeship at a law firm instead. Seeing an advert for the Fletchers Apprenticeship Scheme, Charlie applied and began to work under Patient Claim Line, the firm’s leading medical negligence line. 

Although turning down his university offer was a difficult decision, Charlie says he has no regrets about choosing his apprenticeship over a law degree; not only is he gaining valuable experience, but he’s also avoiding the costs of a university degree. He said: “I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship because it allows you to gain the knowledge and qualifications you need while gaining experience and competence which will ultimately help you to succeed."

School leaver news

Last Friday, thousands of students and workers across the UK joined in a global climate strike, with crowds of about 100,000 people gathering in central London.

A record number of university canteens are cutting meat from their menus as more students and staff turn to veganism and conscientious consuming. 

Labour delegates have voted in favour of plans to integrate private schools into the state sector by redistributing their assets. 

Recommended reading

  1. If you’ve recently left home for university or work, it’s important that you maintain a healthy diet. The Student Food Project has you covered. 
  2. And if you’re also concerned about the impact of your diet on the environmentthis graphic looks at the changes we should make to fight climate change.
  3. Whether it’s a part-time uni job or you’re looking for employment straight out of school, it can sometimes be difficult to convince employers that you’re fit for the part. Here are some of the most innovative ways people have got hired.
  4. While we often discuss tips on how to survive university, it might be useful to get lecturers’ takes on first year.
  5. Finally, if all you want before classes start is to relax, here is a list of the 100 best books of the 21st century.


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