Taking a gap year between A-Levels and university, or travelling the world after you graduate, can have a positive effect on your future career. Whether you travel through Europe, volunteer in Africa, Asia or South America, or pick up work experience back home, you can gain some real skills and great experience from this precious time.
Even if you are not sure what career is right for you yet, there are still a number of advantages you can get from the experience. You can:
Gain new skills
Whether it’s a new language, organisation skills or an insight into different cultures, the abilities you pick up along the way can enhance your future employability. Even the planning you undertake before you set out on your gap year shows resourcefulness that employers can appreciate.
Try out different roles
If you don’t know what you’d like from your future career, a gap year is a great time to experience different industries. Volunteering to work in different sectors, even for a short time, can help you gain perspective into what your future career could be like.
Find out more about yourself
Finding what career is best for you comes from knowing who you really are – your goals, motivations, strengths and preferences. This is the perfect time to explore what makes you tick. Push yourself to try new things, make new friends and explore. This will help you feel more attuned to who you are, and what career would suit you.
Gain work experience
If you already have a clear plan for your career, this is an ideal time to approach companies within your chosen field to undertake work experience or internships. The experience you gain now will be invaluable, not only in the knowledge that you acquire, but in the contacts that you make.
Think about your CV
While planning your trip or work experience, think ahead about your CV. As you progress through your gap year, take notes on the lessons and skills you have learned. You may not even know what you want to do yet but having a great CV that makes the most of your gap year is a great start!