Many people view a gap year as time to travel and be carefree for a year before joining the real world. What some people don’t realize is that if you play your cards right, you can enjoy a gap year with little responsibility and have it give you a leg up over the competition for your dream job.
You can do whatever you want in your gap year from nothing to starting a business. But, to get that job over any competition, you need to be intentional about how you spend your time.
You can do a gap year after you’ve already finished your undergraduate degree or before you start uni. Though be careful if you decide to do it before uni and use a company like Going Ivy to make sure you do the right things to get accepted.
Read on to see how you can make the most out of your gap year!
You can volunteer at home or on the road. If you have a pressing problem in your local area and want to be part of the solution you can certainly stay close to home.
It can be tutoring kids to read, helping the homeless get on their feet or work with an animal shelter. Whatever your area of concern is you can find a way to work for change.
If you really like to travel, then use your travel time by volunteering. If you go abroad you can find a number of organizations that help poor people around the globe from helping to build a well in an African village to teaching women entrepreneurial skills in South America.
Volunteering demonstrates that you have compassion, ambition and can commit to an idea. This experience will look great to a prospective employer and may even lead to some networking opportunities.
Many people take a gap year so they can travel while they have the chance. As you get older, start families and generally have more responsibilities it becomes harder to get away on an adventure.
Use this wanderlust to settle in an area long enough to learn another language. It can be a language that will help you in your field you are targeting or it can just be a language you are interested in learning.
Having a second language helps you use your brain to solve problems and think creatively. An employer loves to see this skill on a resume.
If there is something missing in your current skill set, you can fill that gap during your gap. Maybe you would like to learn about programming as a way to sharpen your problem-solving skills. It may not seem like it will help in getting an unrelated job, but it could actually help tremendously.
The more varied your skills are the more valuable you are to a future employer. Many cities have a continuing education program that offers many different classes to learn a new skill.
All in all, a gap year is a perfect opportunity to try something new and even step out of your comfort zone. If you do venture abroad then you could check out jobs abroad to help finance your travels!
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