Friday, 23 September 2011 3:01 PM
Spending part - or even all - of your gap year travels working is not only a great way to earn some extra cash, but to meet new people. However, whether you're intending to go on working holidays or are hoping to pick up casual work in several countries during your globetrotting adventures, there are a range of factors you ought to consider.
Indeed, one of the first things that you should bear in mind before jetting off is where you would like to go. Among the most popular gap year destinations for those seeking work are New Zealand and Australia; however, it's possible to take on paid positions throughout the world, including countries such as France, Canada and China.
Depending on where you go, you may need to arrange a working holiday visa before your trip - in some places you will not be allowed to get a job without this - so make sure you check what the regulations surrounding this are prior to hopping on a plane.
Of course, once this is done and you've arrived at your destination, you will need to start looking for a job. You can attempt to do this yourself - such as through reading the classified sections of newspapers and looking for vacancies online - although you may find the process of getting work be easier if you register with a gap year travel company. That way your details will be sent to a specialist agency that can match your skills to positions that are best suited to you.
The number and type of vacancies available will vary but you should find there is the opportunity to work in a range of sectors, from doing temp work in an office to working on a construction site. Fruit picking is especially popular for those travelling through Australia on a gap year.
If you have always fancied working in a particular sector, a gap year could be a great way for you to get an idea of what the profession is like. You may even get the chance to develop new skills which could assist when searching for jobs following your return home.
However, if you have specialist skills or experience in a particular industry it may be a good idea to seek out positions in related fields, as this could improve your chances of getting work and boost your earning potential. For example, if you've worked on a farm before or have studied veterinary science, spending a few months on an Australia cattle ranch may prove an ideal way to apply this knowledge to helping to care for animals.
As is the same with searching for jobs back home, you'll need to have a CV ready in order to apply for positions. Make sure that all your contact details are correct and check it carefully for spelling, punctuation and grammar. Employers often take a dim view of mistakes on CVs, some will even refuse to interview applicants if they find too many errors, so this could make all the difference between being successful in your search for a job or not.
You should also ensure that you dress smartly for interviews and are polite and friendly to potential employers. Competition for seasonal work can be fierce, so make sure that you stick out from the crowd for all the right reasons.
Getting a job while on your gap year not only gives you the chance to earn a wage in order to fund your travels, but you'll get the opportunity to meet lots of new people, enhance your CV and get a better insight into the places you're visiting. Bear in mind the above hints and tips about how to work abroad and you can be sure you'll be able to make the most of your time away.