2 answers

If you don't know what career you want to pursue in, is it okay to take a gap year?

Asked New York, New York

I am not sure what I want to do in the future.#confused #need-help

2 answers

Austin’s Answer

Updated Washington, Washington

Hey Daylenis great question!! Short answer is yes, it is totally fine to take a gap year if you are not sure what exactly you want to pursue as a career. I have many friends who after having graduated college, went on a trip to Asia just to have a little break from school and have some personal time. Gap years when utilized correctly, can be extremely rewarding and often lead to discovering a potential career path.


There are many things that can be done during a gap year; volunteer work, a part time job, or travel are all examples of potential activities that can be done during a gap year. I would suggest being active and getting involved in something during your year off as the best way to spend a gap year and not remain at home doing nothing. Being active in whatever way best suits your needs and vision is the most productive way to do a gap year.


I would suggest looking into internships for your gap year as they are an excellent way of exploring your interests and are often short in duration which can be a good thing should you not enjoy that internship. Internships are offered in nearly every job field and there are tons out there just waiting for you to apply to. Looking on your college's job board, career service website, or meeting with a career guidance counselor are all good ways to assist you in the discovery of the right internship for you.


Best,

Austin

Austin recommends the following next steps:

  • Explore your college's job board for internship opportunities.
  • Make an appointment with a career guidance counselor.
  • Ask your friends if they have heard of any good internship ideas or if they have any leads on good gap year options.
Updated
Your answer is great Austin, thanks so much for sharing your expertise! At this moment there are more than 800 unanswered questions so I wanted to encourage you to keep going! So many students will benefit tremendously from hearing from you. Keep up the great work!

Dave’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

Hi Daylenis- taking a gap year appears to be very prevalent and acceptable in today's job market. I am late in my career and I needed to take some time away from work for elder care for my in-laws. I'm happy I did. I'll never regret taking that year off because it helped me strengthen my relationships with my family, primarily. The gap year also gave me an opportunity to reflect on what my future might look like once I re-entered the working world. I am currently on a contracting engagement with the company I left a year ago, thanks to staying in touch with them during my gap year. It might be easier to take the time for reflection now in the early phase of your working life when you don't have a family, a mortgage, etc etc. But it's a personal decision.

Enjoy the journey !

Dave recommends the following next steps:

  • Read the book "Seasons of Change"- a great book on how the seasons of our life are like the seasons of Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. It'll help you understand the season you're in and help you to develop plans to progress.
  • Maintain a network. Don't just unplug from your relationships and professional or academic connections.
  • Develop an "elevator speech", a short narrative that you can share with anyone who asks why you're taking a gap year. You want to relate why you're taking your sabbatical and what you hope to gain from it, as well as when you expect to rejoin the working world and in what capacity.
  • Find someone who can be a mentor, trusted friend, spiritual director, confidante that you can check in with periodically to get advice, vent, and have honest and frank discussions with.
Updated
Your answer is great Dave, thanks so much for sharing your expertise! At this moment there are more than 800 unanswered questions so I wanted to encourage you to keep going! So many students will benefit tremendously from hearing from you. Keep up the great work!