Are you thinking about doing a gap year but feeling very nervous at the whole idea? You aren’t alone! If you are coming straight out of college or have just finished university, it is likely that you will need some disposable income to help you thrive during your gap year. There are many factors to consider when doing a working gap year – read on to discover how to make the most out of your time and be fully prepared for whatever scenario is thrown at you.
Okay this is a given obviously you need a suitcase to travel and hold all your stuff, but it’s what’s in your suitcase that matters the most. You need to be prepared for where you’re going as well as your gap year jobs, so if you’re helping out on a farm in Ghana you won’t want a suit or if you’re interning at a Swedish newspaper you will want to bring some warm clothing. This should all be obvious but being prepared is important.
This also includes a variety of other things, if you’re travelling in Africa or Oriental Asia a mosquito net and some bug spray will come in handy and if you’re going to Australia some sun tan lotion may come in handy.
Get your papers in order
Again another no brainer, you’ll obviously need your passport and travel insurance. But if you’re travelling to some countries you’ll need a VISA to get in and to work legally.
In some countries you may need more documentation, for example some countries require everyone to have photo ID so you’ll have to sort out some ID for yourself incase you get pulled up by local law enforcement.
National Insurance Card
This is one of the most important things to do as soon as you decide that you will be taking part in a working gap year. When applying for jobs, the law requires you to provide a National Insurance Number. If you are aged 16 or over, you will pay National Insurance contributions (providing that you are earning more than £157 per week). Applying for your National Insurance Number Card with NI Apply is quick, easy and very important to do. If you are working abroad, you will carry on paying National Insurance for the first 52 weeks if you are working for an employer outside the EEA, Switzerland or bilateral Social Security agreement countries. Sorting out your NI card before starting your travels is extremely vital and will make finding work far easier.
It can be very tempting to wing your gap year in an attempt to go with the flow and see what happens. However, the 12 months will fly by before you know it. It is vital to get the most out of your experience. Being organized is key and, although your gap year may be full of spontaneous decisions, having a guideline of what you want to achieve is extremely beneficial. If you are travelling abroad, book flights early so that they are as cheap as possible. This will also mean that you can begin to arrange other activities such as job interviews without the worry of not knowing if you will be there to attend.
You’ll also need to carefully plan out all your destinations and have all your jobs set up in advance. You’ll need to have a set list of countries, entry & exit days as well as a job. This way you can go seamlessly from working on a farm in Australia to teaching English in Cambodia in a seamless experience.
A Bank Account
Obviously, a job entitles you to pay and this will need to go somewhere safe. It’s necessary to have a bank account that your wages will be paid in to. If you already own a bank account, make sure that it will not be expiring any time soon and ensure that all your details are easily accessible. This is a slightly more important thing you will need if working abroad as you will have to set up a bank account and authorize it when out there. Research the countries most popular and trusting banks and apply before you go. All that will be left to do when out there is to provide identification and you will be good to go!
Up to date CV
You might already have a CV, but have you given it any attention lately? Add any relevant experience and skills on to your CV to sell yourself to potential employers. A CV will be the first thing that recruiters look at so it is important to stand out amongst other applicants.
With these four factors in mind, you will find yourself having a greater peace of mind regarding working a gap year!