If you’ve been thinking of taking a Gap Year before you embark on the next stage of your career journey, it’s pretty much a given that you should plan how you spend it well in advance. Virtually all employers these days will expect that time out to have been time well spent. In an employer’s eyes, that generally means doing some form of work or developing skills in some way. Here are 5 Ways to fill a Gap Year that should help your ‘time out’ be looked upon in a favourable light…
Undertake Voluntary work
Voluntary work can prove to be a really beneficial way of spending some time on a gap year. Not only will it help strengthen your CV and therefore your employability as a whole, but it will also help give you an insight into other job areas and potentially career choices. Add to that the fact that most voluntary work is in the charitable or community sector and it’s pretty obvious that you will not be the only one to benefit from your endeavours! Whether you choose to volunteer at home or abroad, this can be one of the most rewarding ways that you could spend your year.
This has often been considered as the most popular way to spend a year out – and if you can afford it, it still is. It would be fair to say however that employers aren’t necessarily interested in your tales and adventures unless they have had some beneficial impact on you as a potential employee. Travelling obviously broadens the mind and can help you learn about other cultures, but an employer will want travel to have helped you become independent, self-sufficient and adaptable. Remember, it’s not just a jolly – any travelling you undertake has to benefit you as a whole.
Learn new skills
A year out can be a great way of brushing up on old skills or learning new ones. Whether it’s learning a language or improving your IT skills, developing your skills during your year out can go a long way towards improving your employability. After all, it’s always a good idea to make the most of the spare time that you have when you have it!
Teaching English abroad during your gap year can be one way where you get the best of both worlds – get to see other countries and cultures and earn money in the process. It’s essential of course that you undertake a TEFL course in advance so that you get trained in all the necessary skills that are required. Your teaching experience will also help provide you with many transferable skills that will be advantageous when you are looking for a job upon your return.
Get work experience
If you have been mainly focused on your studies until now, it can be worthwhile using your gap year as an opportunity to get some practical work experience. That doesn’t necessarily mean getting one job for the duration of your year out – you could undertake a variety of temporary jobs in various market sectors. After all, work experience in all forms will be beneficial and advantageous for your overall employability in the long run .
We hope that our 5 ways to fill a gap year give you a little inspiration should you be planning to take some time out. Got any other suggestions that you’d like to share? Why not let us know via the comments section below.