If you’ve just received your A-Level results and you find yourself in the same boat as the many people who haven’t got a job or university place, don’t worry! Taking a year out is a brilliant way to enhance your skills and reassess your options. Plus, you’ll also get to travel the world and see so many amazing places.
‘But wait a second’, I hear you crying; ‘I spent my last bit of cash on far too many drinks to celebrate my results’. Well, come a little closer and we’ll tell you a secret… you don’t actually need a stack of cash in order to see far-flung destinations around the world. All that’s needed is a bit of initiative, a spot of wanderlust and a sprinkling of confidence. Here are just some of the ways to get paid to take a year out:
Because of the huge global demand for English teachers, you’re 80% of the way to grabbing yourself an amazing TEFL job, as long as you speak English fluently. What makes up the other 20%? Completing an accredited TEFL course will stand you in good stead. A TEFL certificate is your ticket to jobs everywhere from China to Chile, where you’ll be able to live as a local, make loads of new friends, and gain some great new skills and work experience. Find out how to how to get started by downloading a free copy of TEFL Uncovered: How to Teach Your Way Abroad with TEFL: http://www.onlinetefl.com/contact-tefl-team/tefl-ebook.html
Pros: Interesting work; huge demand for teachers; total immersion in another way of life
Cons: Have to pay for TEFL course; tricky to find work in some countries without a degree
2) Working holiday in Australia
If you’re from the UK, Canada or Ireland, you can head to Australia for a year for a variety of work and play – most travellers who take this option work for six months or so before frittering through the money they’ve earned while travelling up the East Coast for half a year, taking in
Fraser Island, the Whitsundays, Byron Bay and Cairns. Get more information here: http://www.visabureau.com/australia/working-holiday-visa.aspx.
Pros: Amazing destination; fantastic beaches; friendly people; great social life
Cons: Work is often menial and poorly paid; not as easy to find jobs as in the past
3) Working as yacht crew
Do you know your port from starboard, your mainsail from spinnaker? Probably not, but even without knowing one end of a boat from the other, you may be able to hitch a free ride on a yacht in return for deck-handing, cooking and cleaning. Check out websites like Crewseekers (http://www.crewseekers.net/) or the Cruising Association (http://www.cruising.org.uk/) for details of jobs.
Pros: See some wonderful places; good atmosphere on board
Cons: Long periods of time spent at sea; work can be tough
4) Bar work in the Med
If you have an EU passport, it’s pretty easy to pick up bar work in the Mediterranean’s holiday hotspots, such as southern Spain, the Canary Islands and Greece. If you’re a party animal at heart, this is a great way to basically spend a few months sunning yourself by day and living it up by night (albeit from behind a crowded bar). www.seasonworkers.com is a good place to start for jobs and advice.
Pros: You’ll be living in a holiday hotspot; great parties
Cons: Long hours; large amounts of vomit
5) Do a ski season
If skiing/snowboarding every day sounds like your idea of heaven, this is definitely the option for you – as long as you’re prepared to interrupt your time on the slopes with a spot of bar work, cooking or cleaning, you can look forward to a very fun few months indeed. Hey, if you’re good enough, you can even pick up work as a ski/snowboard instructor. You can get details of jobs and talk to other ‘seasonaires’ on www.seasonworkers.com/skijobs.
Pros: Employers usually offer free ski passes; great social life
Cons: Antisocial hours; poor pay compared to cost of living
So, now you’ve got all the options for your gap year, what are you thinking of doing?