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TheBot's avatar

What do you think of taking a sabbatical year after college to do some travelling?

Asked by TheBot (764 points ) March 19th, 2010

The more time goes by, the more I feel the need to discover places I have never been to. By that I mean mostly Asia and Latin America, though not only. But the thing is, wouldn’t taking a gap year look bad on a resume? I know, please don’t tell me it’s not about what you put on your resume, I know. But I can’t shake off the idea that now is not a great time to do this kind of thing. In the end, when I start looking for a job, HR will get my CV before anything else, and I certainly don’t want to hurt my chances of getting a good job, because I do value the professional part of my life quite a lot.

What do you think?

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18 Answers

Fausnaught's avatar

If you can afford it, do it. Work will always be there waiting. Trust me. Do what men were meant to do, live an existential existence. Not toil for the benefit of others. Go see the world. I suggest Paris, but make sure you take or find a lover. It’s like going to New York and not seeing the empire state building.

Bronny's avatar

I second what @Fausnaught said. if you have the funds, go and stay gone till you just simply can’t afford to experience any more of life.

Chongalicious's avatar

I think I need to become a trust fund baby to do that :|

Ltryptophan's avatar

Doooooooooo it. If you learn or strengthen a language you will become even more valuable.

lilikoi's avatar

I worked for two years and am now gearing up for my “gap year”. I don’t give two shits what it looks like on a resume. This is my life and there are things that I need to get done for me. If a potential employer can’t see the value of experiencing other cultures, speaking multiple languages, and embarking on wild adventures, we will never get along.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Sone time off is good. Take that European vacation. I don’t think it needs to be a full year.
I’d say 3–4 months tops. That’s plenty for a break but in the US, it’s hard to find work. You gotta get right to it.

lillycoyote's avatar

as @Fausnaught said, if you can afford it, do it. And it won’t be a “gap year” unless it consists of playing video games, playing beer pong and… well, I can’t think of a third thing. I you spend the year doing useful things, or even interesting things it will be a good thing on your resume. And as someone mentioned, if you end up being bi-lingual, that will be a great thing on your resume.

Coloma's avatar

Go to Taiwan ! lol

Absoloutly..but your asking the free spirited 70’s chick here…still doing exactly as I please and it’s all good.

Yep…you can work when you are old! Have fun now!

TheBot's avatar

@Fausnaught I actually live in Paris already ;-) No lover though :’(

So it seems most of you guys think I should do it!

@lillycoyote Yeah no, it would not be German beer pongs and Malaysian keg stands lol I have been moved lately by the stories of people who suffer in the world. I have always been aware of these problems, but now it’s like I’m reaching a tipping point. ie. How can I sit here any longer doing nothing when some people don’t even have clean water to drink?

Vunessuh's avatar

A year is quite a long time. If I personally wanted to do it, I’d have to prostitute my way around the world to fund my adventure.
I say, if you have the money, the guts and the heart to do it, then go for it. You have one life. Make it a good one.

YARNLADY's avatar

Most people would love the ability to not have to work for a year. It sounds like a dream come true. Go for it.

Jeruba's avatar

Excellent idea. Some people worry about losing their momentum (or perhaps more accurately, some people worry that their kids will lose their momentum—get distracted and never go on with their education, or not take the right steps toward their career). If you don’t see that as a risk, and you can afford the year, go for it. Travel is deeply educational and ought to be part of any young person’s preparation for adult life, in my considered opinion.

However, you can also gain a lot from three months or even three weeks, especially if you do your homework, plan well, and hold yourself open to the experience. A year is a very big chunk of time.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I’m a fan of it. Which I had had the money to do it…

RedPowerLady's avatar

Do a bit of volunteer work wherever you go and then you can put it on your resume and that’ll explain the gap without you having to put an addendum in there.

I wish I would have taken a sabbatical but practically I could not. I think it is very worth it and if you have the means to do so then I highly encourage you.

I’ve been on a few hiring committees and I rarely noticed gaps in employment. I know many HR’s do notice the gap but if your resume is up to par this simply means they will ask you about it in an interview. At that point you can explain how you wanted to broaden your horizons and how in the end it helped you become more multiculturally competent (a big selling point).

mrrich724's avatar

Do it. As an HR person, I (my colleague as well) don’t scrutinize what someone does right after college. In fact showing that you accomplished interesting things while seeing the world and broadening your horizons could help your resume experience. The scrutiny comes in once you start your career and what you did in it…

mrrich724's avatar

And I agree with @vuhnessa you only have one life, don’t let becoming part ofthe workforce that society deems as normal stop you from experiencing life and the world

TheBot's avatar

@mrrich724 @RedPowerLady

Thanks for the advice, yeah I guess it is true that I can turn the experience to my advantage…yay! :P

Ok, so now I have a year to really think about it, see what I could do, and how I can get organized and everything.

RedPowerLady's avatar

Awesome! I hope it works out well for you :)

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