Taking time out

In this section...

Taking time out

Is a gap year right for me?

Taking time out is a great way to gain experience before entering employment or further study. Before deciding whether or not to take time out, there are many factors to consider. Use the Prospects website to think about the question is a gap year right for me?

What are my options?

The pros and cons

Pros - you could gain …

  • Valuable experience - employment, skills, knowledge
  • Skills such as problem-solving, resilience, initiative, determination, communication
  • Time and/or experiences to help clarify career choices and preferences
  • Cultural awareness with international travel
  • Developed self awareness
  • Foreign language skill
  • Greater maturity

Cons - it could mean…

  • Additional debts - it can be expensive
  • 'Missing out' on annual graduate recruitment schemes
  • Not making the most of your experience or potential
  • Frustration - finding work overseas can be difficult
  • Working on the minimum wage, or in an undemanding or boring role, for a long period of time

Planning your gap year

Essential advice

  • Prospects gap year – articles, information and case studies
  • Gap Advice – independent source of impartial advice and information for planning gap years – includes planning tools
  • GoGapYear – the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s advisory website for gap year travel
  • Great Gap Years – a website of informative articles on all gap year aspects
  • TARGETjobs: taking a gap year – information and articles on planning, choosing and funding a gap year

Gap year opportunities

Newspaper resources – inspiring articles

Need more help?

Call in to the Careers Service for further help and advice.