The concept of a Gap Year is becoming increasingly popular with students. It’s usually a year off between secondary and tertiary education. Students usually want a break from academic pressures before committing to more study.
It can include a volunteering contribution to an environmentally- or charity-based organisation, backpacking through Europe or working in a Canadian ski resort or on a tropical island.
Wouldn’t it be great to have the opportunity to take a ‘gap year’ in our working life!? So what are our options? The answer could be found in the acronym, PIC ME.
Passions: choose something you really enjoy or have been wanting to do for a while, for example, writing a book in a farmhouse in the south of France, teaching English to adults in South Korea, working with an endangered species in an animal sanctuary in tropical Asia or being on an archaeological dig in ancient Egypt.
Interests: many times our careers have been chosen for us or we just ‘stumbled’ into them. They’re just jobs that we do, without it being inspirational, enjoyable or related to our interests. For our career ‘gap year’, why don’t you choose a job that caters to your interests?
Career-Orientated: your ‘gap year’ position could have elements related to where you sense your career is heading. For example, it could include experience in an overseas job that will provide skills to enhance your present position, an opportunity to work in a natural ecosystem which parallels your local habitat, or being a hired research assistant in a project related to a future venture your company will be investigating.
Of course, it would be even nicer if these career-orientated positions were located near a coastal paradise, a ski-field, a great fishing lake or a quaint town known for its’ tourism notoriety.
Money: some people choose to work in a ‘gap year’ job purely for financial gain. For a limited period of time they will endure a working environment that provides no practical, personal or professional fulfillment, for example, labouring on a mining site. It’s just a short-term opportunity to improve their economical prospects for the future.
Experiences: we have all heard of the ‘bucket list’, that is, experiences we want to have before we ‘kick the bucket’. When given the opportunity to find employment pursuing our dreams, we’re crazy not to take it. Some opportunities only come along once in a life time!
Most of us might be quite content with our employment positions. But for those of us who have the opportunity to take a ‘gap year’ there are some interesting options available [for example, PIC ME]. Could it be possible that one of these ‘gap year’ jobs becomes a new direction for a future career?
Please feel free to let me know how it turns out.
Brian Horan is a Careers Counselor/Coach, a published author and international speaker. He is also the Managing Director at eCareers Academy, a Career Counselling service. You can find out more about his services by visiting the website www.eCareersAcademy.com , giving him a call on 1300 396 929 or sending an email, info@eCareersAcademy.com
© Brian Horan at eCareers Academy; August, 2014