Starting your journey into the workplace is not one-size-fits-all. Perhaps you’re studying at uni and contemplating your next move. Maybe you’re considering an apprenticeship or thinking about going straight into the workforce? At La Fosse, we’ve helped many different starters begin their passage to career success. To help you understand more about your choices, we look at the benefits of the most popular pathways.
Option 1: Going straight into the workplace
University can be great - but it’s a personal choice. Having a degree doesn’t necessarily mean you will earn more; skipping the classroom and gaining real-world experience might just be the right path for you. According to a 2021 survey of 16–18-year-olds not yet in higher education, almost three-quarters had their career planned, and only half of those surveyed wanted to gain a degree. Will this be you too? Here’s some benefits to consider if you’re thinking about making a move directly into the workforce.
You will gain independence early
By going straight into the working world, you will become financially and socially independent before your peers. Organising your tasks and timetable for the working day, plus managing your own income means you will come to rely on yourself and realise how self-sufficient you are.
You will gain more autonomy
Rather than being pressured by peers and teachers who say you have to go to uni, you can take control of your destiny by making the career choice that’s most suitable for your needs and goals. You know you best.
You will start building your career early
If you already know what industry you want to work in, getting straight into the industry can help you accelerate your career progression. You will be able to focus on the job itself and not have to spend time looking for a job. Plus, the experience you gain at work is highly effective in demonstrating your skills to employers.
You will expand your professional skills
You will undoubtedly learn practical skills in your job that you simply can’t get in a classroom. Day-to-day, you will pick industry knowledge, and learn new transferable skills, like teamwork and communicating with colleagues. You will gain a broad understanding of how companies operate. Learning new skills on the ground in rapidly evolving fields such as technology can be a huge asset for both you and the company you work for.
You can achieve financial goals more easily
Going straight into work gives you the potential to reach your personal goals sooner, rather than later. You can skip repaying student loans and start saving now, it also paves the way for future financial success. A study published in the FT found that non-graduates are earning more than graduates from more than one in ten universities across the UK. With tuition fees on the rise, you can avoid going into debt by earning early on.
You will become more self-motivated
Ambition certainly goes a long way. You can make the most of your future by tackling your personal goals right away. When you have achieved one career ambition, it can be exciting! When you begin work, you will regularly review your aims and objectives, and set new goals keeping the momentum of your career in full swing!
You can make your decisions on your own time
For some, uni can seem restrictive in terms of your options. Getting into the workplace now opens the gateway to new opportunities you may not have thought of, bringing more flexibility and freedom to your working life.
You will prove the doubters wrong
Going straight into a career means you may have people doubting your choices. Whatever their reasons, it will feel good to succeed early in the game and prove everyone wrong. Uni doesn’t exactly offer the types of hands-on, real-world experiences that working can. By trusting your instincts, you can take risks, and push yourself to new levels of success!
Tip: If you’re ready to strike into the job market now, get in touch with an experienced recruitment specialist who will put you in the know when it comes to your options and what you need to do next.
Option 2: Beginning work after university
Going to university remains a popular choice for those looking to get their career off to a strong start, with 767,000 full-time undergraduate applications made through UCAs in 2022 – a record high. (Source) The university experience helps you gain depth of knowledge in a specialist area, acquire valuable life skills and enhance your transferable skills too.
If you’re about to complete your studies, congratulations! It looks like you’re kicking some serious goals. But what happens now that your higher education is over? Your first job, of course. So, how will your first steps from the classroom and into your first role be? Here’s what you can expect:
Your learning doesn’t stop here
Lectures are over, but that shouldn’t mean your learning is done. In some ways, it’s just getting started. On the bright side, you get paid. Most companies offer training and development programmes to further improve the abilities and knowledge you have developed at uni. Gaining workplace qualifications will also help speed up the progress in your career.
You are essential for your company’s future
Sure, you don’t have much work experience. But, as a graduate, you do bring the kind of fresh thinking, Millennial/Gen-Z mindset, and digital-first savvy that companies need to drive their future success. Be confident – you’re in demand and you deserve to be treated with care and respect.
Expect to make yourself seen and heard
If you find yourself in an admin function in your first job, don’t let your talent go to waste. Put your hand up for every opportunity, no matter how scary it seems. You’ll develop essential skills, learn more about the company and make important connections. Remember – it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the oil.
Remember, the fun also doesn’t stop here
It’s unlikely your office is as carefree as the uni bar, but we guarantee you’ll have just as much fun along the way. If you’re with the right company, you’ll soon be jetting off on work holidays, away days, and team socials where you can let your hair down with your peers.
You will make lifelong friendships
You’ve spent years bonding with your uni mates over coursework and cut-price beers. But don’t forget that your workmates will soon be who you spend the majority of your time with. Put the effort into getting to know your team, say yes to after-work invites and you can look forward to making amazing memories with people you admire, respect, and – let’s be honest– probably love a little bit too.
It’s your first role, not your last
Good companies let graduates experience different roles internally to find the perfect fit. Now is the perfect time to test the waters with your career in a company that offers a wide variety of positions, a range of projects, and exposure to different industries.
At La Fosse, we treat everyone with care and respect, no matter what their position. We offer a variety of rewarding recruitment roles that let graduates spread their wings, flex their muscles and make a real difference in our company. Plus, we have plenty of fun along the way.
Secure your career before finishing your studies
Getting ahead of the game and securing a role before you officially finish university life will pay dividends for your future success. Here’s how you will benefit:
Kickstart your career development
By getting ahead early, you’ll be progressing faster in all aspects of your career. Promotions come earlier, you’ll have more money to save, and accelerated success. An early start means you’ll be further along down the line than your peer group - putting you ahead of the game.
Get your foot in the door
You’ll be building your professional network straight away.
Freedom to enjoy your last days at university
If you have a job secured by the Easter holiday, you’ll be able to relax a little bit, making your final days at uni more enjoyable.
Say goodbye to all the career questions
Sick of all the questions about your career from your parents? Make them proud and worry-free by landing a great job and proving that your time at uni was well worth the money.
More time to spend on your dissertation
By having a job secured, you’ll have one less thing to stress about while preparing for your finals.
Feel proud of yourself
Landing a job is no easy feat these days, so having the motivation to go through the process early is a big deal. It’ll be great to know these last few years of hard work have paid off.
Beat the competition
With approximately 226 thousand students enrolled in university in the UK, the earlier you secure a role, the better.
Tip: Start getting ready by writing up your CV, preparing interview questions and finding relevant work experience. Tap into your careers advice service at university, or better still, speak to one of our experienced consultants at La Fosse.
Option 3: Opting for an apprenticeship
As a new starter in the world of work, your career options don’t end here. Apprenticeship programmes are also increasing in popularity, with many favouring this route instead of working towards a degree. Higher apprenticeships are continuing to grow in 2022/2023, with new starts rising by 10.0% compared to the previous year. (Source).
Benefits of apprenticeship programmes
One of the biggest advantages of starting an Apprenticeship programme is that you can work in a paid job while receiving training at the same time. This means you can begin earning a salary from the start while also keeping on top of your learning.
A large number of employers often retain their apprenticeships after their placement too. Plus, you will have the skills for your CV that will help you go on to future career success at a faster rate. Typically taking 1–4 years, as an Apprentice, you will have a contract, paid holiday leave, and increased opportunities for career progression.
Apprenticeships at La Fosse
At La Fosse, we know the experience gained during an apprenticeship is vital for career development, but we also believe these programmes provide value for businesses and society as a whole.
The best way to highlight the benefits of an apprenticeship is for you to hear from an actual apprentice! So, we spoke to Matthew, who is undertaking a Level 3 apprenticeship in IT Software Web and Telecoms. In addition to his full-time work with La Fosse he spends various days completing coursework off-site. Here’s what he had to say:
Q. What are the benefits of being an apprentice?
"There are quite a few, but the main point that sticks out to me is that you’re able to earn money whilst learning on the job. It’s been really beneficial to learn about the key skills and gain qualifications that future employers want."
Q. What’s it like being an apprentice at La Fosse?
"It’s brilliant to be honest. This is the first time I have worked in a fast-paced office environment, but what strikes me as different is the atmosphere and company culture. Everyone is down to earth, friendly, and generally easy to get along with."
Q. How is La Fosse supporting your career development?
"I am not treated any differently than the rest of staff as an apprentice, so my growth and progression has been supported from day 1. My manager is extremely helpful and has set out a clear career development path for me.
But what really stands out to me, is how everyone else has gone the extra mile to help: from answering endless questions; to assisting in my role; to even organising extra training sessions just for me."
The route you take to start your career begins with you. Consider what benefits appeal to you most, what your own style of learning is and what your personal goals are. Reputable companies are open to new starters with various educational backgrounds and experience. Consider which benefits in this guide align with your personality and from here, get your research hat on to discover the career options open to you.