Mind the gap: Taking a year out of education or work

Taking a gap year: The practice of carrying an overstuffed backpack around South East Asia and Australia for 12 months, whilst simultaneously bemoaning the blisters between your toes from flip flop overuse.  Or is it?

While a gap year can be an incredible, eye opening and unforgettable experience, it can also broaden your horizons when you return to more familiar shores - what really matters is what you do with your time.

Seeing the world, visiting different cultures and having experimented with eating snake are fantastic ice breakers at a job interview, but there is real scope for gap year experiences to enhance your attractiveness to employers and assist your chances of selection.

For instance, volunteering for a charity in South America you may have found yourself working in a very unusual environment with limited resources, thinking on your feet and using creative approaches to get the job done. Creative thinking - tick. Working under pressure - tick. Getting a job done with limited resources - tick. You can see where this is going….

Education and work experience are always invaluable; Gap year work experience has the potential to really showcase your abilities in a very different light. So, if the thought of carrying a backpack is weighing you down, remember -  it may lighten the load in the future.

You can join @guardiancareers today, 11th May 2016, for a live web chat on the subject and for more information.