A teacher sits with pupils

Fear of failure holds millennials back in their careers

Fear of failure holds millennials back in their careers

As the deadline approaches to apply to teach in 2018, a new survey by education charity Teach First reveals that while many millennials want to change career and a third (32%) aren’t satisfied with their current career, they are not always bold in making their dream move. 
 
Despite the stereotypes, over half of millennial workers (53%) – those born between 1981 and 2000 – have stayed in only one job sector.  
 
Of those who have haven’t changed careers yet, four in ten (41%) are considering doing so but only one in six (17%) plan to act in the next six months. The biggest barriers putting millennials off from pursuing a career change include having to start again at entry level (33%), the fear that it wouldn’t work out (32%) and worry about the cost of retraining (24%).  
 
Overall, a third of millennials (32%) find their current career only slightly or not at all fulfilling, with the majority of these (60%) reporting they had little sense of achievement in their work.   
 
When asked what would provide job satisfaction in their current role - three in ten (29%) say they would want to explore their interests through their job and the same number (29%) would find their role more rewarding if they were making a difference to other peoples’ lives. 
 
The survey also reveals that the group's attitude to pay versus job satisfaction changes once they're in the working world. Three in ten (28%) saw pay as the more important factor for their first job but, when looking for their next job, only two in ten (19%) would prefer a high wage over personal fulfilment.  
 
Russell Hobby, CEO of Teach First, said:
 
“There’s a lot of talk about the end of ‘a job for life’ and that millennials are footloose. This may be premature: while many in the millennial generation ponder a career change, they're discouraged by the risk of making that bold leap from daydream to reality.  
 
“The cost of retraining and the fear of failure are common reasons preventing this generation - like those before them - from changing careers. But ditching the office for something more personally worthwhile is a life-changing opportunity and there's no greater way to make a difference than teaching. We need millennials to live up to their intrepid image of prioritising meaning in their lives by taking a step into the classroom.  
 
"If you can embrace the risk then teaching can be a refreshing new start. But time is running out to do something amazing with Teach First in 2018. Applying to Teach First helps you overcome the barriers to a new chapter: you earn while you learn on the Leadership Development Programme and there’s plenty of support to help you succeed in the classroom.”  
 
The survey results come as the deadline for prospective teachers to enrol for the next academic year with Teach First in schools across the country fast approaches on 2 May 2018. While typically known as a recruiter of recent graduates, around a third of Teach First’s intake is now made up from people switching from other professions. 
 
In 2017 career changers made up 32% of Teach First's intake, with the number of 25-39s joining rising from 20% in 2013 to 29% of its most recent cohort that started in September 2017. 
 
James Hamilton, who worked in finance for 2 years after university before retraining with Teach First said:  
 
“I was working as a finance analyst and would get to work at 7am and wouldn’t leave my desk until 10pm, reconciling numbers, and I realised this couldn’t be the story for the rest of my working life. My mum is a teacher, so I had always had an interest in it as a career and joining Teach First seemed like a much more fulfilling career choice. No day is ever the same, and I find seeing students acquire new skills or being there to listen to their problems and help them find solutions is far more rewarding than working with spreadsheets all day.”  
 
Honor Whitely, who worked in marketing before retraining with Teach First, said: 
 
“Applying for Teach First was the best decision I could have made. I decided to apply after walking by my old primary school. As I went past, memories of the help my teachers gave me came flooding back, and the positive impact they’d had on my life. I struggled with dyslexia as a child but the support of my teachers led to me study English at University. I wanted to follow in their footsteps and help current pupils the way they’d helped me. Being a teacher has made my life so much more fulfilling and it’s a real bonus that I get to spend my days with amazing children.” 
 
Time’s running out to apply to Teach First in 2018. Find out more: www.teachfirst.org.uk  

ENDS 


Survey conducted by Opinium, of 1,000 respondents in April 2018 (excluding teachers)

Ages of those joining the Teach First programme since 2013:
 

Age

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

20-24

81%

79%

78%

75%

68%

25-29

16%

18%

17%

19%

21%

30-34

3%

2%

3%

3%

6%

35-39

1%

1%

1%

1%

2%

40-44

0%

0%

0%

0%

1%

45-49

0%

0%

0%

1%

1%

50+

0%

0%

0%

0%

1%

About Teach First


We believe that disadvantage should not determine destiny. Our vision is that no child's educational success should by limited by their socio-economic background.

Our charity invests in the power of people to change the lives of children from low income backgrounds by:

  • finding and developing great people to teach and lead in schools facing the greatest challenges
  • increasing the attainment and aspirations of pupils and their access to higher education and employment; and
  • building a movement of teachers, school leaders, social entrepreneurs, policy makers and business people who are committed to ending educational inequality.

Since 2003, Teach First has placed 11,000 leaders in schools serving low-income communities, reaching over 1 million young people.

For more information please contact:

Teachfirst@freuds.com 
Annie Murray: Annie.Murray@freuds.com / 02030036687
Emily Taylor: Emily.Taylor@freuds.com / 02030036495
 

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