How to start a career after a gap year
Whether you’ve taken a gap year to travel the world, gain life experience, or volunteer, it can be hard to start a career once this comes to an end. Especially if you’ve had the opportunity to live a carefree and relaxed lifestyle over the past 12 months.
However, when it comes to your career, it’s important to be proactive. This means taking the time to find the job that’s going to be right for you. Read on for practical advice on how to start a career after a gap year.
Explore your options
Trying to start a career after a gap year can feel daunting – particularly if you’re not sure how to decide what job to look for. But the first step is to figure out what career path you’re interested in. Start by thinking about the type of work you want at the moment. Do you need a job to tie you over for a few months, do you want to gain some experience? Or are ready to jump into a full-time position?
Now consider what qualifications and experience you have and decide if there’s anything else you need to pursue your dream role. You may even have a hobby or interest that you’re passionate about which could sway your decision. For instance, if you love blogging, you might suit a career in content writing or copywriting. Don’t worry if you’re still not sure. Trying out different roles and gaining experience in the workplace will help you figure it out.
Dedicate time to your job search
Job hunting can be time consuming, but you’ll need to invest your time and effort in it if you wish to get started in your career. Aim to set aside an hour or two each day to concentrate on your job search. Start with social media and a simple Google search to check out the pages of companies you’re interested in.
The best tip we can give is to put together a CV and cover letter that you can tailor for every application. This will mean that you don’t have to start from scratch every time you send off an application. Instead, you can tweak and amend your CV and cover letter to fit the spec of each job you apply to. If you’re struggling to produce the perfect CV, GB Solutions are here to help you!
Once you’ve perfected your CV, uploading it to job boards like CV-Library can be beneficial. Not only does it allow recruiters to find you, most boards allow you to set up alerts to keep track of what roles are out there and ensure you don’t miss out on any great opportunities.
Sell your transferable skills
If you haven’t been employed over the past year, it doesn’t mean that your gap year hasn’t been an educational experience. In fact, many employers will look favourably on gap years if you can show it added value to your career and taught you new skills.
Common transferable skills you might have learnt include communication, organisation, time management and team working skills. These are all important in the workplace, so try to provide specific examples of where you used them to impress the employer.
For example, if you had to arrange your transport and accommodation in a challenging situation, it might indicate that you work well under pressure and are organised.
Consider an internship
An internship is a great way to gain valuable, hands on experience. Many companies will pay a reasonable wage to interns, so be careful of unpaid opportunities that can take advantage of individuals that are desperate to get some experience.
Some internships will even offer the chance to work in different departments for a few weeks at a time, which is great for those who are unsure which direction to take their career in.
Therefore, they’re a great way to get your foot on the door – especially as some companies will offer full-time employment to those who have proven themselves during the internship.
Unfortunately, you may face rejection, un-returned calls and applications that appear to be lost in cyber space. At times, this can feel frustrating. After all, you’ve put in the time to perfect your application and you want it to get noticed.
But it’s important to stay positive while job hunting and persevere, even when it seems hard. Remember that the right opportunity will come along if you put in the time, work and effort and have the right attitude. Reward yourself every now and then to stay motivated and ensure you remind yourself of your end goal.
To ensure you find success, focus on tailoring your application for every position you apply for and really sell your transferable skills. Remember, the right attitude goes a long way to helping you land your dream role!
Thank you to CV library for this quest blog post! If you would like any further assistance in starting a career after a gap year, contact us or send us your CV and we’ll be happy to help you. It’s free after all so what do you have to lose!