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What can a Gap Year Really do for You?

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Hi gappers,
I’ve just published a piece on [url=http://www.gapyear.com/articles/181996/what-can-a-gap-year-really-do-for-you]What can a Gap Year Really do for You?[/url]
It’s supposed to be a provocative think-piece on the benefits of a gap year. I’m hoping for an out-cry of support (though I’m fully aware a lot of people will disagree with me), so please discuss it either on here or in the comments section at the bottom of the article.
Share it around and let’s get a proper old-school gapyear.com debate going! I really want to hear your thoughts!
Happy posting…


To be honest I’ve never heard anyone saying that a gap year will/wont boost your CV… might just be here though?
I do believe that an employer should see the benefits in personal growth… I can’t really imagine many people going on a gap year and not becoming more tolerant, open-minded and increasing their abilitie to think fast and problem solve…


I’ve just qualified as a teacher in the UK, I did some English Language teaching in Prague when I was 18, and during my uni summers did the Camp America programme. Both obviously helped me get onto a PGCE course at the Institute of Education – arguably the Oxbridge of education, and helped me get my job for this September. Camp America also made me realise I prefer working with the older kids, not primary age – as this was what my childcare experience had been in prior to CA.
However I also did a WHV in Canada and worked as a Claims Analyst for an insurance company which has done very little for my career in education. However, I’d say this experience developed me more as a person than the other 2 did. All of the qualities Hayley listed are so true, and even more such as money management and decision making.
I don’t think a gap year should always be about doing some work abroad that will aid with a future career – some is good, but having an all round experience is just as important in my opinion!


If I hadn’t done my post-A Level/pre-uni gap to Kenya I wouldn’t have got the dream job I have now, where one of the highlights is that I get paid to travel to, and hike in exotic destinations.
Also, if I hadn’t gone to Kenya in particular then I wouldn’t have been first choice to be the tour manager of a Kilimanjaro trek which gave me the bug to start climbing mountains.
If I hadn’t done my post-uni/career break gap through multiple continents then I would be £24k richer and 1000 times unhappier. Being older and already having a bit of independent travel experience meant I could appreciate the cultural side of the travel rather than getting wasted a lot!
This has meant I have more first hand knowledge to share with you lot on here, which I love doing, and I can write articles for Gapyear.com with some level of authority. I always wanted to do travel writing so that’s a dream come true.
So yep, my gap years have pretty much changed my life.


I am currently planning a big rtw trip and have been thinking about this a lot.
I work for a pr agency and most of the stuff we produce for clients is sent outside of the UK, so we always need to take into account cultural, legal and trade differences, despite having never been to the countries in question. I know a lot of people in the office struggle with this and I’m sure having first hand experience of living in a different culture would help enormously.
But maybe interviewers assume that a gap year has been wasted on a beach because the value is not emphasised on the application? We can all see the amount of research, budgeting and organisation that goes into planning a trip, but these ‘soft skills’ are often forgotten in favour of relevant experience , even though they are useful in so many different jobs. Just a thought.
I do think gap years have huge benefits, just that people need to really emphasise them to ensure other can see them too.


Totally depends what you do with your Gapyear.
Spend it on a beach in Oz getting pissed and shagging locals; all you’re going to be able to put on your CV is “took a gapyear which improved me as a person and made me recognise the symptoms of herpes”.
Throw in some volunteering, some trekking, something generally laudable, and you can focus on that side of it in your CV.
As an employer, I can assure you that seeing “I helped educate street children in Brazil which really made me take stock of myself as a person.” in a CV lends itself a lot more favourably than “Fucked a girl who looked a lot like Katie Perry” does.


[quote-0 author="Warrick" date="1345585766"]
As an employer, I can assure you that seeing "I helped educate street children in Brazil which really made me take stock of myself as a person." in a CV lends itself a lot more favourably than "Fucked a girl who looked a lot like Katie Perry" does. [/quote-0]
Surely that depends what kind of job you’re applying for?


It didn’t do much for me. Just got me addicted to travelling 🙁

Robert Morrison

Remember, you can just lie 😉

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