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Career Advice

Filling a Gap Year – Basic Tips

If you’re at the stage in your career where a Gap Year is an appealing prospect, then it’d be fair to say that planning and preparation is key. There is no sense in taking deliberate time out if you don’t actually have a clue how you will spend it. Since employers will expect you to justify what you spent your year doing and why, you can’t possibly just leave things to chance.

We’ve put together some basic tips on filling a Gap Year which we hope will help.

Become a Volunteer

Volunteering can be one of the most rewarding and beneficial ways to spend time on a gap year. Not only will you be improving your employability and developing skills that will enhance your career in the long term, but you will also be doing some real good since most volunteering opportunities tend to exist in the charity or community sector. Volunteering can also be a great way of exploring new sectors and could potentially help you to make definitive decisions about the path your career will take in the future.

Take a Trip

For many people, the natural way of spending time on a Gap Year is to pack their bags and to go travelling. This may seem the most exciting and some may say glamorous way of spending time on a year out. Whilst to an extent this is true, it is also something which warrants serious research and planning in advance. After all a trip abroad like this will do wonders for your organisational skills. It’s important to remember too that when you return, an employer will not necessarily want to hear about the amazing sunsets you witnessed but will want to hear how travel has broadened your mind, how it has helped you to become more self sufficient and independent and how you have truly benefited as a result. You may choose to find casual employment when you’re travelling or even to work your way across a country or continent, but either way such employment will greatly enhance your employability in the long term.

Develop your skills

If you’ve been yearning to learn some new skills but have always struggled with getting the time needed to do just that, a Gap Year can provide you with the perfect opportunity. Perhaps you would like to learn how to code or learn a new language, the fact is there can be no better time to do it. Without the restraints of study or employment, you can have the freedom to learn what you want, when you want.

Strengthen your experience

If you have had quite limited work experience to date or perhaps have only worked in one area, a Gap Year can enable you to considerably strengthen your experience. You could for example seek employment in a variety of different areas or sectors. You could undertake a host of temporary jobs or short term contracts. Your aim should be to strengthen your key transferable skills so that when the year is up, you will be a much more employable candidate for any prospective employer.

If a Gap Year is on the horizon for you, we hope that these basic tips will help. Got any other suggestions or advice that you’d like to share? Simply let us know via the comments section below.

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