Survey shows people in the East of England want to make new career plans after Covid-19


New market research released today reveals how many people in the East of England are looking to 2021 for the career plan shake-up they had envisaged at the turn of the new decade, before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

Seven in 10 (70%) of those surveyed in the East of England agree that 2020, and all it brought, was the year that made them realise what is important to them. Many people find themselves in a ‘decade dilemma’ with more than a quarter (27%) now looking to re-evaluate their job or career, and almost two in five (38%) agreeing they are looking forward to making new career plans this year.

The national survey of over 2,400 people for Get into Teaching – the campaign aimed at encouraging people to consider teaching as a career – explores the public’s views on their career aspirations and plans for the future following a turbulent 2020.

January, traditionally a natural time for reflection, has prompted a moment for many to look back on 2020 to help shape their goals for the year ahead.

More than two fifths (41%) of those in the East of England said they had started the new decade with long-term career plans, but of those almost three quarters (71%) said they had to adapt them in some way due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Over half (53%) don’t think 2020 lived up to their expectations in terms of their career. Looking ahead to the future, 57% say they want a career that helps others.

The events of 2020 have inspired many people in the East of England to consider their current career path and seek out a role that makes a positive impact on the wider world. In fact, 51% agree they want to give something back to society, and two thirds (66%) would like to feel more rewarded at work.

When asked to think about their long-term career plans, three fifths (60%) of those in the East of England said they’ve been inspired by the work of the nation’s key workers. Thinking about the efforts of teachers in particular, 66% agree they have a lot of admiration for their work last year, and 75% agree teachers should feel a huge sense of pride for the job they do in society more generally. Seven in 10 (70%) agree teachers do more to shape the next generation than they can in their job and half (50%) agree teachers have a more rewarding role than they do.

Separate national data from the recent Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Census reveals that in England there has been a 23% increase in new entrants to ITT 2020/21 compared to 2019/202.

Post-graduate teacher training typically lasts one year, with new trainees starting courses each September, so applications are now open to train from this coming September.

Danielle Payton, a Design & Technology teacher at Long Stratton High School in Norfolk, decided to switch into teaching three years ago after working in fashion. Reflecting on her career and life change, Danielle said:

“Deciding to train as a teacher is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ll never regret the career I had before as it taught me a lot, and the life experience I gained has been invaluable to bring into the classroom. Of course making the jump can seem daunting at first, especially coming from a completely different career, but if you think about what you want out of life and what you want to give back, it’s all worth it.

“Shaping the lives of the next generation is a huge privilege, providing you with a sense of purpose that’s unrivalled and that’s been made even more poignant over the past year. I finish every day knowing I’ve made a difference to the lives of my students. For example, giving students a wider understanding of the world around them and looking at how the decisions and thought processes that they have now within their work can actively impact their lives, not only in terms of design but having a better understanding of what influences the world and how they can create a better world for future generations.

“I would urge anyone thinking about a career move to considering teaching, it’s a role you can bring so much to and one that will reward you in equal measure.”

Roger Pope, spokesperson for the Get Into Teaching campaign and a National Leader of Education, said:

“Our research highlights how many people have been caught in a ‘decade dilemma’ and are seeing this year as the time to re-set or change aspects of their lives – and this includes their job or career.

“After a year like no other, with everyone still pulling together to navigate challenging times, it is understandable that many of those we surveyed are now looking for a career that allows them to give something back to society and forge a career path they find more rewarding.

“Teaching offers many of the motivating factors people are saying they want. We are always looking to recruit the best possible teachers. That’s why I would encourage anyone who is searching for a more rewarding role with great prospects to visit the Get into Teaching website. We have an unrivalled package of support available and dedicated teacher training advisers on hand to guide you.”

Sue Belton, Life Coach, said:

“January is always a time of self-reflection when it comes to our achievements, and what we want for the year ahead. But this year, more than ever, it is going to be a particularly significant time. Last year’s events forced many of us into a journey of self-actualisation – a desire to become more of who we truly are.

“With so many people aligned with a particular career and life track that often does not match up to who we truly are as an individuals, it comes as no surprise that a large proportion of people have come to the realisation that they would like to be doing work, a vocation even, that has more purpose and meaning.

“As more and more people seek future career options that truly match their values and plug the gap where they have fallen short until now, it’s clear to see why many would consider teaching. It is a career that not only allows individuals to help shape people’s lives, but also one that provides stability and great progression opportunities.”

The Get Into Teaching service has experienced advisers available to give free support and advice. To register your interest in teaching and find out more about initial teacher training starting from September, visit: or call the Get Into Teaching line on 0800 389 2500.

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