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Thinking of taking a gap year?

Gap years are a great way to take a moment and figure out what you want to do at this hectic moment in your life, but getting to that decision can be quite difficult so here are a few ideas of what you can do during your gap year that will benefit you long-term:

Take time to put you first

Maybe you’ve been putting off volunteering because you don’t have time to commit, but it can be extremely rewarding and have a ‘feel-good’ effect which is a great confidence booster. Our advice is to pick a volunteer opportunity carefully, perhaps going with one which will offer you experiences doing something that will help you later on in your career. For example, you might look at volunteering opportunities in a field you are interested in or you could try to target brands or companies you like to see if they offer internships. This sort of experience is valuable content for your CV and is likely to impress future employers.

Travel with a purpose

Travelling can be a little difficult if you don’t have the cash but you don’t have to go big. Travelling around the UK  is often more affordable and a good way to build your knowledge and make decisions about where you may want to live and work in the future. You may find that travelling helps you build on attributes that employers are always eager to see in their employees, such as independence, a sense of responsibility and organisational skills. So, when you get asked "why did you take a gap year" you'll have an answer that will knock their socks off!

Research for your future

Gap years are exactly that, a gap. It's a chance for you to find out what you really want to do and prepare for work life. Starting out by making sure you are professionally prepped with a killer CV and LinkedIn profile is the perfect way to launch your career research as many employers use LinkedIn as their job search hub.

You make also need to research which job roles are the right ones for you so take some time to carefully read through job descriptions and what they asking for to see if you are their ideal candidate. You can take your research one step further by attending career fairs, which can be a golden opportunity to meet a room full of potential future employers or you can take part in fun career quizzes to find your career match based on your interests.

Get a job to build your skills

A part-time job, internship or apprenticeship can be extremely rewarding in the long run as you can build up valuable skills that employers are looking for, such as time management and customer service. This is the perfect opportunity to experience different work environments and try out different jobs so that you understand what career you are passionate about and want to pursue.

If getting a job is at the top of your gap year plan, you can start getting those all-important skills and experience with an apprenticeship. That’s not all you can get, you can also study, earn a salary and best yet if you end up loving your experience you can choose to progress your apprenticeship further (all the way up to degree level). Click here to find out more about the apprenticeship programmes we offer and employers we work with.