Gap years – they seem to be on the agenda for many 20-somethings who are fresh out of university and ready to experience the world. But are they always a good idea? It’s worth considering why you shouldn’t take a gap year as well as why you should.
Sure, gap years can be great! They’re likely to be the longest holiday of your life, will help you to build self-confidence and give you the opportunity to experience new places and cultures. However, when it comes to your career prospects could taking a year out to travel actually be damaging?
Here are a few points that you may want to consider before you fill your rucksack and go jet-setting.
If you’re considering a gap year, the current economic climate probably isn’t something that has even crossed your mind. However, the state of the economy and therefore the graduate job market will have an impact on how your career takes off.
If things aren’t looking too great with the economy and it’s a difficult period for job hunters, then you may as well head off on your travels. When you get back, you’ll hopefully be starting your job search in a better market. If not, at least you will have an experience that will help you to stand out from the crowd.
Right now the job market is looking pretty good for recent graduates. The number of graduate vacancies is on the up and graduates can afford to be a bit pickier when it comes to securing their first graduate role. Employers are competing for the best graduate talent and in order to do so, they are increasing their salaries. And while graduates still need to impress employers, they aren’t settling for sub-standard opportunities.
Taking a gap year now may mean that you miss out on the thriving graduate job market that we currently have in the UK. It really is a good time to be looking for a graduate job? There’s no guarantee that things will be as bright when you return in a year’s time.
If your mind’s made up and you know that a gap year is for you then make sure that it will help and not hinder your job search when you return. Your travels will be a great talking point in your interviews. Remember, employers will want to hear that you made the most of them and developed some valuable. Obviously, you will want to have fun, but when it comes to starting your job search think about how you can talk about your experiences and show their worth to employers.
Travelling is great, but it does not have to be at the expense of your career. If you want to get stuck into the world of work and start building a career where you will thrive, remember you can still travel in shorter bursts and you’ll have more money to do it!
If you’re still unsure about what the best option is for you, take a look at why you should take a gap year. Yes, we’re playing devil’s advocate here!
If you think you’re ready to get stuck into your job search instead, why not start by browsing our graduate opportunities.
Whatever you decide, make sure you think about your career. Make a choice that will have a positive impact on your future.
For more job hunt tips and advice, take a look at our blog.