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Gap Year Careers That Can Become Full-Time Jobs

Could your short-term employment could become long-term?

By Jenny AdairPublished 3 months ago 5 min read

Many students across the world see a gap year as a rite of passage. Before embarking on the adventure that is a university, they take a structured year abroad and use the time to discover, reflect, and explore. It’s a popular decision amongst many UK students, with the government estimating that 200,000 and 250,000 young people take gap years each year.

If you’re thinking about taking some time for yourself, it might be helpful to know that other students typically join official programs or find appropriate jobs while on their travels. Not only does this help you expand your skill set and learn new things, but it also helps fund these once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Some find relevant ‘gap year careers’ perfect for passing the time and gaining new capabilities before university, whereas others discover that their short-term employment could become long-term, whether that be instead of going to university, or circling back once the degree has been secured. Let’s explore some gap year careers that could become full-time.

Au pair

There are countless opportunities to become an au pair in all corners of the world. Perfect for students taking a gap year, this self-financing option allows you to live in a new country without spending fortunes on accommodation, food, and day-to-day living expenses.

This career path allows you to live as part of your host family, with simple responsibilities such as keeping on top of housework and looking after children. You’ll receive a room in their house, food, and a monetary allowance for your efforts.

Various skills can be gained during your time as an au pair, including flexibility, adaptability, confidence, and discipline. Once you’re settled, you may discover that this is a career you could see yourself staying in beyond your gap year. Being an au pair is a viable full-time career as it’s unlikely you’ll ever run out of families who need cost-effective help with their homes and children.

Sports coaching

If you have an interest and skills in a certain sport, become a sports coach during your gap year and, if you love it enough, you could turn it into a full-time career! Feed your passion, experience the world, and share your talent with other people.

Countries across the world are always looking for expert assistance when it comes to developing the sporting passions and competency of their natives. So, whether you’re into football, rugby, tennis, boxing, or another sport, you should be met with ample opportunities.

There are pre-existing programs that allow sports enthusiasts to begin coaching in various countries straight away, or, if you have a specific location or plan in mind, you might be able to organise your opportunities following some research.

Teach a language

Being a native English speaker is an asset you can take advantage of as a gap year traveller.

Teaching your language or learning a new one is a skill that any future employer would be delighted to see on your CV.

What starts as a gap year career could very well turn into a full-time job, too. An estimated 250,000 native English speakers work as English teachers abroad in more than 40,000 schools and language institutes. As English remains the most spoken language in the world, the demand for English teachers will always exist, so it’s unlikely you’ll ever be out of a job.

You could change locations every few years if you want to continue exploring the world, or stick to one country if you’ve fallen in love with it. The choice is all yours.

Ski instructor

There’s a reason that more and more people are fleeing to ski resorts for their gap year – not only is it a fantastic skill to learn and exercise to take part in, but it also has a booming social scene. The ultimate gap year has the best of both worlds!

Instead of being a participator, you could push yourself further and use your free time to learn to become an instructor. Gap year ski courses are not only enjoyable, but you’ll also receive a professional qualification and the ability to work in ski schools around the world. With this kind of achievement in your back pocket, no one could blame you for choosing to turn a gap year career into a full-time one.

Oh, and think about how cool your Instagram grid is going to look...

Music teacher

If you have a passion for music, it might make sense for your gap year to revolve around a music program. Appreciated globally, it’s something everyone shares in some way, regardless of location, background, or class.

A gap year music program will allow you to take your craft across the world and share your skills with like-minded individuals. Perhaps it’s singing you’re interested in, or maybe a particular instrument.

Gain a deeper cultural understanding of music and expand your geographical knowledge as you hop from location to location. If you’re not ready to end your career as a music teacher once your gap year ends, you could keep it going for as long as you want. Music is an art form that people will never tire of.

Ultimately, this time is about you

The above is not an exhaustive list of gap year careers that could become full-time– there are many more possibilities waiting for you. This time in your life is special; ultimately, it’s about doing what’s right for you. We wish you every success!


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