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Questionnaire: What Kind of Gap Year Job is Right for You?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 22 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Gap Year Job Employment Structured

Many potential gap year travellers hope to work while they are abroad. Earning money for the rest of their trip, getting the experience on their resume and racking up some great references are all good reasons to look for a gap year job. Unfortunately, the broad range of employment opportunities may make it hard to decide what would be the best options for you.

To help you determine your best gap year employment options we've put together this questionnaire. Answer "yes" or "no" to each question and then total up your answers for each section. By matching your section totals to the results at the end of the page you'll discover what kind of gap year job is right for you.

Section One

1. You enjoy working in a quiet, contained environment.
2. You prefer activities that allow for reflection during the process.
3. You don't mind office work and enjoy creating order.
4. You like jobs that require you to carry out many different tasks.
5. You hope for a job that will look good on a resume for a future career.
6. You prefer to work alone rather than with a team or group.

Section Two

7. You long for a job that will provide you with adventure and activity.
8. You like to socialise and interact with others while you work.
9. You enjoy working in larger groups and having the support of a team.
10. You like to focus on one project or task at a time.
11. You hope for a job that will help you make new friends.
12. You would love a wacky gap year job, something that others almost wouldn't believe.

What Kind of Gap Year Job is Right For You?

If you answered "yes" more often in section one then you are likely suited to a gap year job in a more structured environment. Your affinity for office work would make you an ideal candidate for a job with a charity or agency, and your preference for working alone means that a position in research or administration could be a good fit. If you have skills such as speaking foreign languages then you might also be able to offer your services as a translator or writer for a particular group. Obtaining a gap year job that later supports your career choice may also be important to you, so start at the end and decide where you want to be in the future and work backwards to what you would like to get out of your gap year job. Once you narrow down all of your preferences you'll know where to look for a position, though many of those most suited for your future goals may be voluntary rather than paying positions.

If you answered "yes" more often section two then you are likely suited to a less traditional environment. The more fun a job seems the more likely you are to want it. Camp counsellor, sports instructor, tour guide, teacher, all of the jobs will likely appeal to your sense of adventure and your desire to meet new people and make new friends. Such positions also offer you a degree of independence and control over your daily tasks, and allow you to concentrate on just one item at a time. Ask around for ideas of what others did on your gap year, and get in touch with gap year agencies to ask about their pre-planned programmes. Some jobs may require you to obtain certification such as for teaching English or administering first aid, so give yourself plenty of time to meet these requirements before applying for jobs.

If you answered "yes" to the same number of questions in section one and section two then you likely have no preferences regarding a gap year job. You're in the enviable position of being equally happy with just about any job that is out there. But you still need to decide on your priorities. If you really would accept any position going then get in touch with a gap year agency to find out more about open positions. If you do have some preferences, decide which mean the most to you (making more money, making new friends, visiting a particular country, working in a particular area, etc) and then begin your search.

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