Post Graduation options – taking a GAP year…
One of the obvious alternatives to finding immediate employment after University is the GAP year. Apparently the “year out” or GAP year first became a popular option in the UK in the 1960’s (what a surprise!), However, take away the image of loads of middle class Grads traveling around Europe in Sergeant Peppers’ Costumes, the GAP year phenomenon is a valuable post Graduation option for many Graduates. With this in mind TheEmployable took some time out to consider the whys of the GAP year…
End of an Era
Post Graduation you are probably in your early 20’s. Considering that you have spent at least 15 years in education, for many of us Graduation is more than just about the certificate and grade. It is the end of an era, so to speak, and your mind and your mindset may need a little bit of refreshing. For many it is not a case of taking some time out, it is a case of taking some time for yourself to consider just what it is that you want to do with the rest of your life.
Broaden your Mind
And without getting too deep, you might just want to go travelling and see the world! There aren’t many options which are more educational than visiting other parts of the world, experiencing new cultures, and meeting people with different ideals, beliefs and values. It might broaden your wallet to go travelling for a year – but it can also broaden your mind and your overall outlook on life too.
A GAP year does not necessarily need to be a gap from work. Many people “take a year out” and come back with loads of valuable work experience. Bearing in mind we are in the midst of a global recession, you may be surprised to hear that some countries still hold strong economies – you may even find that the places you travel to will give you better employment opportunities than the place that you left!
Work experience, also does not need to be career related, and it can be so much more valuable than that anyway! You may volunteer to work for a charity, or teach English to a group of kids – whatever you decide to do, many people come back from taking a GAP year, with different ideals, simply because of the work experience they gained.
Learn something new
Learning does not stop when you finish your education. In reality your education never finishes – but travelling and going to new places will naturally mean you learn new things too.
It’s not just for Grads
Don’t panic if you think you need to take a GAP year straight away – a GAP year can happen anytime and for various reasons. Many people use the opportunity of a career break to do the whole ‘travelling’ thing, and many people in their 40’s or 50’s enjoy all of the above, just the same as those in their early 20’s! In fact, you don’t need to go to uni at all to take a GAP year, so no panic if you decided against uni full stop!