How to Make the Most of a Gap Year

suitcaseIf you think taking a gap year is just for high school kids before they jaunt off to college, think again.

According to the Brazen Careerist, experienced professionals have blazed a trail well into their careers and they’ve done it on small budgets to boot.

For starters, you should look into your employer’s sabbatical policy. If you’ve already been at your employer for a few years, you may qualify for a sabbatical. Another option entails taking an unpaid leave of absence in exchange for a guaranteed job when you return home.

While the sole purpose may be to travel and explore the world, there are a few ways to make the most of the time off in terms of future employment. For starters, you may have time and may certainly need the extra cash when it comes to freelance gigs. You may also enroll in online classes to keep some skills sharp. If you plan on being in one area for a significant amount of time, you may want to pursue volunteer opportunities, too. While you’re there, flex those writing skills and blog or finally sit down to crank out that novel you’ve been yearning to write.

The piece points out:

“Other opportunities may arise that you can’t imagine right now. That’s what’s so awesome about travel: It’s interesting and creates opportunity. Employers will see that, too. In my exit interview before my gap year, my CFO revealed she also took a gap year — which turned into three years because she didn’t want to stop!”

Sure, this woman’s family asked who will hire her after the adventure ends and although they weren’t able to glance into the future, it turns out she ended up just fine. The woman figured people who find her experiences interesting will be the ones to hire her and that’s exactly what happened. She’s currently a CFO “with experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.”