Graduate Blog

5 Ways that Gap Year travel can enhance your Career


You’re due to finish University and the options of what you do next are endless; grad schemes, internships, entry level jobs, travelling; travelling, you say?

In the current climate, many young people feel pressure that in order to climb the career ladder they must begin their careers as soon as they graduate, but we don’t feel that this should be the case. Gap year travel is an option open to all that can save up the money to pay for it and it can provide a rich experience that adds a wealth of interesting information to your CV. To explain it in a bit more detail, here are 5 ways in which taking a gap year can enhance your future career:

1)      Self Discovery

We have all experienced people who come back from travelling with a new sense of purpose and a knack for telling anyone who will listen about the spiritual journey that they have just taken. It can be annoying to hear, but they are saying it for a reason. Travelling the world and experiencing different cultures & customs can have a profound effect on the way that we see the world and, therefore, the career that might make us happy in the future. Feeling compelled to help street children whilst travelling in Africa might encourage you to target your job hunt towards charities when you are back in the UK for example. Spending time around people who lead lives in a very different way to you may mean that you reassess what goals you want to achieve in the future and streamline your focus when you get back to the UK and embark upon your graduate career.

2)      Finding a new passion

Travelling opens up opportunities to pursue passions that you might not otherwise try. A graduate career can be gruelling, time consuming and leave little time for exploring your interests outside of work whilst you are trying to make a great initial impression. Gap year travel gives you the freedom to spend your time exploring the things you love. Have you always wanted to learn more about photography? Travel gives ample opportunity for exploring photography using vibrant subjects. Always enjoyed writing those essays at University? Why not start a blog to document your travels. Has travelling opened you up to a different wealth of tastes and foods? Maybe your future lies in cooking. Not only will all these new skills add something different to your CV, but you might decide to turn one of these passions into a career you love in the future.

3)      Planning & Organisation

Most graduate recruiters are looking for people with excellent planning & organisational skills and nothing illustrates this better than travelling. Not only are organisational skills required to get you there; which places to visit, time frames and how much money you need to take, but it also takes some serious planning when you arrive at your destination. Although travelling is all about freedom, you are still limited to a certain amount of time in any given place and planning properly will mean you will get the most out of the time you spend somewhere. These skills are easily transferable to any graduate job and travelling means that you have real-time examples of the success or failure of your planning which will be a sure fire hit with potential employers.

4)      A Story to tell

Going for an interview can be a daunting experience, but it is important to remember that an interview is as much about you working out if a potential employer is a good fit for you as it is for them. Having a gap year on your CV provides an interesting talking point at interviews and the insights that you give from this time will provide a lot of useful information about the kind of person you are and whether or not you fit with the company for which you are being interviewed. Employers are likely to look at your CV and admire the fact that you took time out to travel and gain a wealth of valuable life experience. It also provides some common ground as it is highly possible that your interviewer will have visited similar places to you.

5)      Life is too short

The main thing that people take from travelling is that life is too short to be doing something you don’t love. Experiencing cultures which are quite different from your own gives a unique life perspective and often drives people to finding new ways to enrich their lives which inevitably spills into their career. If you aren’t sure what you want to do in the future and are looking for a new experience then gap year travel could be the perfect solution for you.


About the Author

National Holidays National Holidays

National Holidays are a UK coach tour operator based in the north of England. They operate tours from all over the UK to destinations throughout Europe as well as providing affordable travel to events, theme parks and other UK attractions. This post was inspired by their recent blog post “A Beginners Guide to Travel Photography”.

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