Taking time out/ gap year

Taking time out/ gap year

Taking time out or a 'gap year' can be an opportunity to consider your career options, gain work experience, learn a language or experience different countries and cultures. It can also add value to your CV. You can use your experiences as evidence of how you have developed the skills and attributes that employers are looking for.

What could I do on a gap year?

This is really up to you and there are many possibilities.  You may opt to work or volunteer in the UK or to work and travel abroad.  What you do on your gap year may be influenced by the kind of career you wish to go into, using the time to gain relevant work experience.  Or your gap year may be the inspiration that shapes your future career. Some of the activities you can get involved in include: paid internships, teaching English abroad, participating in a conservation project, volunteering, learning to scuba dive, learning a language or back-packing around a specific country or region.  

Our top tips:

  • Do your research - make sure you have researched your options in advance and you know what you can expect from the activities that you plan to undertake.
  • Plan it in advance - know where you want to go and what you want to achieve. Think about saving money in advance, depending on what you want to do this might be a key consideration.
  • Talk to others - do you know someone who has done something similar?  Learn from their  experience before you go so you can make the most of your gap year.
  • Make the most of it - ensure your gap year adds value to your CV by developing your skills or experience. You want to make sure that you can talk positively about your experiences on future job applications.
  • Have a Plan B - it is not  always possible to plan for what life throws at you: be prepared to adapt to circumstances and have a plan B. 


Useful resources