Gap years and working holidays can give you the space to learn about yourself and the world, while gaining essential skills that set you up for the workforce.
A gap year is time out from study, often taken after high school before starting university study, although some students decide to take time out during or after their university studies. It’s usually, but not always, 12 months in duration, and can include travel, work experience, working abroad (via a working holiday) or volunteering.
There are also opportunities to spend a few weeks, a semester, or a full year studying overseas on an international exchange program during your degree.
Knowing what you want from your time off from study will allow you make the most of the experience. A gap year or working holiday can be helpful if you’re unsure of your career interests or study preferences, giving you time to reflect and gain experiences to help you better understand what you’re seeking in a career.
Other common reasons to have a year out are:
If you decide to stay in your home city or region during your gap year, you can spend the time gaining practical work experience relevant to your future career.
A well-structured and planned year out can set you apart from others when applying for future jobs, so carefully plan and prepare for your gap year.
During your gap year:
Taking a year out isn't an issue for most employers. You’re likely to gain a range of valuable experiences and employability skills during your time out that can be useful when trying to secure a job after graduation. Ensure you can communicate your relevant skills and experiences to future employers in a concise manner using professional language.
When applying for jobs, highlight the value of life experiences gained during your time out that provide evidence of sought-after qualities such as resourcefulness, resilience and adaptability.