How to Discuss a Gap Year in an Interview  

Some graduates who are not ready to start their career journey often choose to take a year off for various reasons such as to do volunteer work, to travel, to self-reflect, or to discover one’s interests. While taking a gap year is beneficial for self-growth, some people might think that having such gap will not look great on CVs and make it hard for them to be employed.

What about you? Are you interested in taking a gap year? If yes, let’s learn employers’ actual response when knowing a “gap-hole” in a candidate’s CV. 

According to Basecamp article, taking a gap year will not make you look bad in recruiter’s eyes. Why? Because what really counts is what you did during that year off. Albeit some employers might not pick candidates that have “year-hole” in their CV, some others really appreciate you for giving yourself time to discover what really matters for you. Likewise, the tight talent gap in the future will also make employers think that a gap year is not really a problem at all. 

See also: How to Get Your Resume Passed by the Robots & Into Recruiter Hands

One thing that you should note is to tell relevant reasons for taking a gap year that will help you land the job. Here’s how you could discuss the gap year in your resume with a prospective employer.    

Tell only the relevant activities 

An interviewer does not really care what you do in a gap year, whether you have just visited the Taj Mahal or the Great Wall. An interviewer does care, however, whether your gap year has helped you stay relevant in your job application or not. What does it mean? It means before telling your holiday story to the interviewer, sort out some that are relevant to your job application. In a year, you must have done more than just travelling. For example, you can share what you have learnt from reading books about finance, teaching English, or coding for your personal web. 

There is at least one meaningful relevant thing you do in the year around that can make you stand out even after one year off. 

Tell your reasons 

Recruiters might be wondering why you choose taking year gap instead of taking certain training or extended courses. You might have many reasons why you do so. But among those many reasons, recruiters expect you to say something beneficial that help you with your career choice. That said, relevant reasons such are gaining skills as an individual, achieving language fluency by travelling, increasing job satisfaction, or creating better life balance and wellbeing might be appreciated more. 

Emphasise yourself as an awe-inspiring individual

At the end of the question, emphasise an astounding event that helps shape yourself as an individual and why that event is helpful in your job. To do this, you need to be able to explain in your job interview what a gap year really is, what you did, and how it benefits the employer. Do tell what skills and characteristics you developed that translate to the job and to you being a superior employee. 

Be confident 

This is the one trait you should have when giving an explanation. But keep in mind to not be over-confident with your answer. Overconfidence can make you give exaggerated answers, leading recruiter to question your credibility. 

Read also: Ask These Questions to Yourself BEFORE Joining the Workforce 

business taxation and politics

Politics refers to the way a country is governed and how its government makes rules and laws for the citizens. Meanwhile, taxation refers to the practice of government collecting money from citizens based on their earnings and property to pay for public services. Without taxation, a country might not have public libraries, parks, or public transport.

Politics, tax, and government can be said as the backbone of any country. The problem is, from news and updates we often learn that these three things can be the most controversial topics that put headache to people, making them ignorant with their country’s political situation or taxation issues.

See also: 7 Top Languages You Should Learn to Face Future Workforce

What about you? How important is getting updated about politics and taxation to you?

Jonathan Dolen, an online political science professor at Grantham University, said that “the subjects” might be totally not glamorous for some and people might also be apathetic toward it. Yet, there are three major reasons why you should totally care about politics. Here’s why:

Reason #1 Politics impact nearly every aspect of your life

Politics impacts nearly every aspect of life because the laws government made have a huge influence in the way we do daily activities, ranging from what the price of food material at stores, the salary we earn, to what we can purchase. By having knowledge on this topic, you can help determine the best course of action for yourself or your surroundings.

Further, by understanding politics, you will have better knowledge about taxation rules and regulations, thus, helping you prepare for the worst. For example, when the government increases the tax on a certain car, you can calculate if buying the car is worth it and suitable for your lifestyle.

Especially as an employee, said Tim Worstall, you should understand taxation better as it allows you to not be misdirected. As an example, employees constantly believe that they are responsible for paying certain tax while in reality, it is the company that is responsible to pay the tax. Therefore, to really understand how the business system works, you need to understand how taxation works.

Reason #2 Politics help you become a better voter

Having knowledge of politics helps make you an informed voter because it is important to go to the polls armed with the facts so you will not choose wrong. In addition, being an informed individual, according to Dolen, should not necessarily read and follow every news. Instead, you should do some independent research which will give you peace of mind that you have done your homework prior to casting your ballot.

Reason #3 Politics are entertaining

Some people believe that politics can be entertaining. Well, it might not be as entertaining as going out with your friends, but politics can be fun to some extent. You can stay ahead in your social status and include yourself in an insightful debate about political issues and scandal. 

Read also: Best Countries for Expats to Work and Raise More Pocket Money

Graduation Dilemma: Should You Take a Gap Year or Just Get Into the Workforce?

Admit it, we all have been in a position where we aren’t ready to leave school and enter the workforce.

Upon graduation from college or university, there are good chances that fresh-graduates feel unready to join the adult world. The transition between being a dependent student to independent worker could be tough. You might find yourself surrounded by new people you don’t know how to deal with, get to know professionals that inspire you, make funny mistakes in your first job, and even embarrass yourself while adapting to the new environment.

Taking a gap year

As daunting as it might sound, landing a job is an important stage in life we cannot avoid. But here’s the good part: you do not have to get into there directly after graduation. Instead of putting yourself in the talent market directly, you can take a break first. 

See also: What Do Employers Look for in Fresh Graduates?

Having a “me-time” during the time gap will help you discover so much more. According to stats from Global Banking & Finance review, 80 percent respondents believed that taking a gap year can greater their chance of employability. You can fill the gap year with training or taking courses to help you prepare entering the adult world. You can also use the gap year to figure out what you really want to do in life. It will be a good experience as you can avoid making mistakes from your lack of knowledge. 

In order to make your gap year more valuable, here are some other suggestions.

  1.  You should make your gap of employment useful to make intentional choices by taking a course or training. You will not be fully ready until you make a decision – so, use your knowledge and willingness to decide better.
  2.  You can set plans during your gap in employment. Of course, you cannot be unemployed forever unless you are being supported financially for a lifetime. So, create a plan of when you should be employed and what kind of job you want, then set a date to when you need to send the resume. Create an eye-catching resume so recruiter will see you during their employment. Visit here to find more tips on how to create best resumes.  
  3.  You should clear your “bad reputation” in the network. Remember that no one wants to hire a ‘jerk’. So, if you happen to have posted something bad on your social media, it will be better to remove them immediately as recruiters nowadays conduct an online background check before hiring candidates. 
  4.  You can create a journal of your journey. Be it journal of your gap experience or lifetime, the notes will help you track your ability and improvements better. The journal will also help you during job interview session. For instance, you can refer to your journal what you are good and capable of doing best.
  5.  You can surround yourself with competent, good, and kind people. Consult and tell them about your unreadiness to join the adult world. They usually can help you set better goals and re-evaluate them for you. But of course, in the end, you should decide what’s better for you because only you know who you truly are and what you truly want to be/do in life.

Learning the adult world

While taking a gap year will benefit you a lot, you might wonder what employers will say about that when reviewing the resume as you might think that gap year will decrease your value in the employer’s eyes. Jason Clark in an interview, however, stated differently. He commented that an individual who has taken a worthwhile gap year is indeed an appealing prospect. “What we want to know is what people have done, why they did it and what they do to get out of it,” Clark emphasised. In other words, as long as you make a meaningful gap year, recruiters will still think positively about your unemployed time.

Nonetheless, if you want to get a job as soon as you graduate from university, college, or high school while you are not ready, you can always learn. You can learn how the adult world works by employing yourself in their world. It will not be as scary as you think it is. You might make funny mistakes but you can always learn from it. Besides, there is a free on-the-job-training, pocket money during your training, more experience and more chance of employability. You can also meet experts of your interest field as well as leverage your network when you join the workforce.

A piece of advice

So, how to decide between taking a gap year and diving into employment directly? The trick is to consider your needs and preferences first. After encountering your own doubts, you will figure out whether you are ready to apply for a job or not. Because if you are waiting to be ready, you might never move from your current position or you might never develop as a person. Best of luck!

 Read also: Things to Get Rid of If You Want a Career Success

5 Lucrative Careers for You without Getting another Degree

Switching from one career to another can be tiring as you need to upgrade your skills and even additional education degree in order to land a better job and salary. However, based on data from Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are some lucrative jobs you can snatch without having to pursue higher formal education degree. These jos are amongst popular jobs with tantalizing salary. According to Labor Statistic, these jobs can make approximately $75,000 a year.

See also: What are Jobs of The Future?

However, although you do not need to upgrade your expertise, these jobs will require you to undergo on-the-job training and lengthy internships. Based on Labor Statistics, here are jobs for you.

Air traffic controllers

  •         Median salary: $124,540 per year / $59.87 per hour
  •         On-the-job-training: Long-term on-the-job training
  •         Projected number of new jobs: 1,000 to 4,999
  •         Job outlook to 2026: 3 percent

As air traffic controllers, you are responsible to coordinate movement of aircraft and to maintain safe distances between them. You will work in control towers, approach control facilities, or route centres. You are required to be on maximum concentration all the times as you need to work night and weekend with rotating shifts. Being an air traffic controller also means you are responsible for many lives, so you cannot make a mistake. A little mistake can make huge fatalities.

Power distributors and dispatches

  •         Median salary: $83,020 per year / $39,92 per hour
  •         On-the-job-training: Long-term on-the-job training
  •         Projected number of new jobs: declining
  •         Job outlook to 2026: 1 percent  

Your responsibility is to control systems that generate and distribute electric power. Most power operator and dispatcher work full time. Many work rotating 8- or 12-hour shifts.

Radiation therapists

  •         Median salary: $82,330 per year / $39,58 per hour
  •         On-the-job-training: None
  •         Projected number of new jobs: 1,000 to 4,999
  •         Job outlook to 2026: 13 percent  

Radiation therapists treat cancer and other diseases in patients by administering radiation treatments. You will work in hospitals, offices of physicians, and outpatient centres. Most of radiation therapists are required to work full time.

Elevator installers and repairers

  •         Median salary: $79,780 per year / $38,36 per hour
  •         On-the-job-training: Apprenticeship
  •         Projected number of new jobs: 1,000 to 4,999
  •         Job outlook to 2026: 12 percent  

Your responsibilities for this job are to install, fix, and maintain elevators, escalators, moving walkways, and other lifts. Elevator installers and repairers often work in cramped quarters inside crawl spaces and machine rooms, as well as exposed to heights in elevator shafts. Repairers are required to work overtime when essential equipment needs repair and are sometimes on call 24 hours a day.

Airline and Commercial pilots

  •         Median salary: $115,670 per year
  •         On-the-job-training: moderate-term on-the-job training
  •         Projected number of new jobs: 1,000 to 4,999
  •         Job outlook to 2026: 4 percent  

Airline and commercial pilots fly and navigate airplanes, helicopters, and other aircraft. You will have variable work schedules, with overnight layovers that are more common for airline pilots.

Read also: 6 High Paying Jobs that Allow You to Work from Home