When advancing through the big stages of life, people often and rightfully tend to take breaks here and there. In many parts of the world, a gap year is not only a normal thing to do but it is also expected.
It’s a way to not only explore parts of the world but to recharge or take time to celebrate a past accomplishment before moving on.
When to take that gap year is totally up to you. Many people may take it between college and university while others may take it between the university and further studies. Some people even decide to take a break between finishing their studies and going on the job search.
Once you start one of those big stages, whether it be studying or working, there’s not going to be a lot of time for you in between. This doesn’t mean that you should let your coursework or job define but, but natural time constraints will limit what you’re going to be able to do in your free time.
For those that are making their trips before jumping into the professional world, there are still plenty of things you can do to bolster your resume and employability.
Polish your Resume
Making a resume is one of the more frustrating parts of the entire job-hunting process. Not only are you overwhelmed on exactly where to start, but there are so many different templates out there that are telling you to do different things.
There may also be pressure from friends and family alike, whose offers of help have slowly turned into a cycle of utter annoyance.
That’s why, during your most relaxing and stress-free times, you should start to polish up your resume. Take the time to search for others that are similar in your field. A medical resume is going to look much different than a freelance writer’s resume. Use your periods of downtime to keep distractions at bay and focus on your project ahead.
Learn a New Skill
If you’re fortunate enough to be travelling long-term, you can always set out to learn a new skill. One of the best skills to learn is a new language.
The UK ranks last in people who claim to speak more than one language, meaning learning an additional one is going automatically boost your job profile. You don’t have to become fluent in any new language, but being able to be conversational is a great tool to have.
It will make you more marketable and it’s always a great personal accomplishment as well!
Focus on How Traveling Changes You
Travelling isn’t always just white sands and climbing mountain tops. There are plenty of ways travel can influence and change you for the better, making you not only a more well-rounded person but a better employee.
There was probably a lot of training and planning that went into your trips, maybe using various websites and having to navigate through some languages that you only kind of understand. Showing that you were able to plan a full weekend for multiple people is a fantastic way to show how organized you are.
Travelling can also change how you handle stress. No vacation is ever going to go 100% to plan, and while some minor hiccups like a restaurant closing are easy to overcome, a train strike is not. Through this, you’ll learn about handling stress in very difficult situations and how you’ll be able to handle stress in a future job.
Even though you may be taking a gap year to not work, working while you’re abroad is a popular option for many. You will be able to travel, earn money, and use that money to potentially travel more.
There are plenty of options for working abroad, such as teaching English, working in a hostel, working remote, or a combination of all of the above. This allows you to show that you were still trying to grow as a person and future professional during your trip.
Through the work, you may also learn a new skill or find a different calling in life. You could find out that through teaching English, you now feel stronger about education. Who knows? You could end up staying there permanently!