Use your gap year skills to become more employable!

Posted on the 14th November 2017

A gap year overseas doesn’t only have a positive impact on the community you are volunteering in. It’s also a fantastic way to boost your employability! Here are four important skills you are sure to gain on a Lattitude placement abroad, and how they can help you along in your career path.

Preparing for your Gap Year: Planning and organisation skills

All the planning needed to organise your gap year overseas can be quite hard work. It requires dedication and a lot of research! You need to choose which country you want to travel to, what sort of placement you’re most interested in and how long you’d like to be overseas for. Once you’ve done all that, you need to get through the Lattitude interview process (don’t worry, we are pretty gentle!). Then there is a small mountain of paperwork to wade through! Fights, visas, insurance, inoculations, police and medical clearance and more. Although your Lattitude coordinator is always on hand to help and guide you with all of these things, it is ultimately your responsibility. Being able to plan your own experience shows commitment, independence and great organisational skills – things that potential employers are always looking out for!

Getting out of your comfort zone

There are many fantastic volunteering opportunities in your own communities (and we highly recommend giving your time to some local projects too!). But volunteering internationally really helps you to get out of your comfort zone. Being in a completely new environment helps you to push your boundaries and become a lot more confident in situations you’re not used to. In job interviews it’s important to have examples of times where you’ve been challenged and have had to work hard to persevere and solve the problem.

Learn cultural awareness on your gap year

Cultural Awareness

It’s really important to show potential employers that you have experience working and communicating with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Spending time living and volunteering overseas is a fantastic example of this. Being able to adapt to a completely new environment and to really become immersed in a community increases your knowledge, tolerance and understanding of other cultures.

Gap Year leadership skills

Leadership

Whether you are instructing an activity with a group of children, or planning the next weekend away for yourself and the rest of the volunteers, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to develop your leadership skills. Having the ability to make important decisions with confidence is such an important attribute, and an interesting story from your times volunteering overseas behind where you learnt those skills is a bonus!

 

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