A Guide To Taking A Gap Year After University

So, you've been in education since you were 5 and you think you need a break. You are also competing for a tonne of graduate jobs that you don't really want at companies that don't really inspire you. You have therefore decided to take a post university gap year; makes sense really...

Well, here at sute we are on hand to advise you how to make the most of your career gap year.

taking a gap year after university with sute

Travelling after university

One of the obvious choices is to travel on your year out in order to find yourself beyond the education system. The choices are vast: Australia, American road trip, interrailing around Europe or a taste of Asia.

However, you are going to need some money to fund your adventures as 9 months travelling is going to set you back as much as £10,000. A good way to get a kickstart on your saving is to get a internship over the summer. If you haven't already done an internship this can be a great chance to secure a job for when you return or even just get some work experience on your CV.

Unless you have savings your willing to use or very generous parents, you will also need to get a longer term job. It is easy to take any job you can find at this point as you need the money, but working in a job where you can learn is going to be far more valuable than working in a supermarket. Consider working in a small digital agency if you're interested in working in technology or perhaps a local newspaper or theatre company depending on your interests. Working in these industries that you want to work within in the future will put you way ahead other candidates when make your triumphant return.

As the for actual travelling, that bit is up to you (we're only a job search website!). Go where you wherever you want to go and "find yourself" somewhere sunny! Our one piece of advice is to take a lightweight quick-dry towel - we're not running a towel business on the side. Trust us, your back will thank you when you're not walking around Peru with a heavy wet towel in your bag!

The working gap year

It is becoming an increasing trend to take a career gap year before you go to university. Many companies are offering year long work placements to pre university students. You are able to get a feel for the working world and what you want to do.

Doing a similar thing after university can have a lot of benefits if done right. You don't want to just work for a year at a dead end job before starting a graduate job next year though. That's not the point. This is your chance to try and peruse what you love doing, work for a startup company you believe in, create an impact on the other side of the world or get experience working in a travelling theatre company. We love graduate jobs, we have tons of them listed on our website, but if you need to take a year to try taking a job at an orphanage in India (or whatever interests you) then the 9 to 5 graduate job can wait a year.

Starting a business in your year out

Many have an idea for a business at university and then say that they will come back to it after they have got some money from a graduate role for a few years. Once you start working, paying rent and finding life partners it get so much harder to take the risks associated with starting a company. The year after you graduate should be filled with very little responsibilities. With living in a digital world it is also very easy live with your parents or with friends (hopefully getting cheap rent) and set up business from almost anywhere. Grants are available from the government and start-up accelerators can give you access to desk space and advice while you launch.

Hopefully you can see that you have a lot of opportunities to explore the world more before you decide the 9-5 office job is for you. Gap years after universities can be great, just make sure you make the most of your last year of freedom!

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