Find your purpose
Before taking your year out, take out a pen and paper and make a list of things you want to get out of the year. This will help decide what you want to do and, most importantly, find out if it’s achievable. You need to think about how you’ll explain the gap in your CV to a future employer or university. This means aiming to do something worthwhile that will boost skillset and show your ambitions.
Help your career
Always think of the long term. A gap year can be fun but take care not to waste it. Working abroad is always a popular option because you’ll get to experience new cultures, which in turn is a great thing to highlight when approaching a multinational company for a job. You could volunteer with animals, help communities in developing countries, teach English in schools, even go fruit picking in Australia – all of these will teach you transferable soft skills that will make you more desirable to future employers.
Choose something that reflects your interests and personality, and take notes about what you’ve learned. Talking about these experiences is often what will help you stand out in interviews.
You don’t necessarily need your passport
Gap years aren’t all about backpacking across a continent. You can choose to focus on gaining experience with a year-long internship or a series of placements with companies specific to the sector you hope to work in. You’ll put a good chunk of experience behind you and you might even land a full time position with one of the companies in the future. The Year in Industry option also gives you the chance to be paid to work for a renowned company and gain tones of relevant industry experience.