time out

August 21, 2015, by Laura Estrop

Three Pieces of Advice: Taking Some Time Out

By Suzanne McGregor, Careers and Employability Consultant

Did you graduate this summer or last year and are unsure what career you want? Are you thinking of taking some time out to travel or volunteer in a different country? If this sounds like you, then take note! Suzanne McGregor shares her top three pieces of advice if you’re considering taking some time out.

  1. What do you want to do with it?

There are many reasons for taking time out, but it is good to know what yours is; you may want to travel, learn new skills, or gain experience in a particular field. Don’t forget that these are not mutually exclusive. For example, you could have a temporary job, whilst undertaking some part-time work experience in another field in order to save some money for a period of travelling.

If you are interested in doing this, it is a good idea to have a structured plan; otherwise it is all too easy to let time slip by and to let weeks turn into months. You should ask yourself questions along the lines of:

  • Do you have a period of time in mind?
  • Is there a particular location you want to go to?
  • Is there a role you want to have?
  • Do you have a set budget?
  • Would you need to work along the way?
  1. Exotic is not always better – how can you talk about what you have done?

When you are planning your time out, it is a common perception that the furthest destinations carry the most kudos with a future employer. Actually, what is more important is that you can explain what you have gained from your experience and how this could add value to X role or Y postgraduate course. Remember, you can impress an employer by helping with a local charity or working in a bar if you can articulate the skills you have utilised or the situations you dealt with.

  1. Ask for advice

Before, during, or after your time out, you can seek help. Talk to your own networks; if a friend has taken a year out ask them about their experience and what they would do differently if they were to do it again. Did you know that you can use The Careers and Employability Service for life? Even if you are not in Nottingham, you can still get help via Skype, email or telephone. We’re always here if you need us.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way to starting the most exciting adventure of your life as well as enhancing your CV, good luck!

If you would like to find out more information on the benefits of taking some time out of employment or education then see our website. You can also use Venture and Passport Career if you are searching for roles overseas or would like more specific information, you can register for these here. Remember, you can always book an appointment with our team if you need tailored advice. 

Photo: Moyan Brenn – ‘Travel’ 

Posted in Alumni StoriesVolunteeringWork experience