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Taking a year out

Once you have finished your degree, HNC or HND you may decide that you’re not ready to go straight into full-time work. Taking a year out is unlikely to impact negatively on your future prospects especially if you can show that you used your time productively, and indeed may even help you develop your career ideas and pick up new skills.

‘Taking a year out’  can include things like:

  • Going on an organised ‘gap year’ project. These are run by a number of companies and can vary greatly in terms of cost.
  • Finding your own voluntary project abroad
  • Taking paid work abroad – this is often in the form of teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL). If you wish to teach abroad then research your options. You can do a short course and go on an organised placement with a company like i-to-i or you can do a longer course (like a CELTA certificate) that will give you a recognised qualification and open up a wider range of opportunities.
  • Working on a voluntary project in the UK

The range of options can seem daunting, and projects can vary a great deal in terms of expense, experience and length. Research your options carefully. Consider your budget and what you want to get out of the experience – is your primary interest travelling around different countries, or is it important to you to have a project that will enable you to develop skills?

There are a range of useful websites out there for you to use in your research. A good starting point is the Gap Year information from Prospects which includes links to other sites too.