The Graduate’s Choice: Straight To Work Or Relax For A Year
Should you hold off on sending out copies of your resume?
Graduation is behind you and you’ve got the open world right in front of you. Should you take a step back or plunge in head first?
The case for finding a job right away
Most graduates will be eager to join the workforce and start making their own money and gaining their own professional experiences. There are several benefits to doing this, the first of which is that you’re likely to get a job earlier than your gap-year-taking batch mates. That head start can sometimes be the defining aspect between you and your competition. Employers will see you as eager, responsible and ready.
And while it isn’t a certain thing, there is also the likelihood of getting further in your career faster. The first step, after all, is often the hardest one to make.
On a personal level, it might also work to your advantage if you ride with the momentum you’ve started. It would be easier to work right out of school because you still have a hold on that type of responsibility. There will be no drastic change in routine, for example, as you already have that mindset.
The case for taking a year off
It’s not a common practice, but there are graduates who decide to take a few months off for themselves before they dig into the pool of employment. It’s supposed to act as a refresher, as one last hurrah before the real world swallows them up completely. Think about it. No more summer breaks and no more Christmas breaks. You’ll be exchanging 5 hours of classes for 9 hours of work every day.
If you’re worried about how taking some time off will look to your eventual employer, don’t think about it too much. You’ll be asked about it during the interview, but chances are the company will respect your decision. That being said, it’s important to still do something with your time. Do volunteer work or travel. Anything that will expand your horizons professionally or personally will sound good to them.
You can also use this time to think about what you want your future. What career you want, where you want to work, what you want to get into.
So which one is for you?
It all boils down to whether or not you’re ready and if you’ve done everything you want to get done. If there’s a skill you were eyeing during your studies that you just couldn’t get into, then now is the time to do it. If you want more personal experiences or feel like your time now is better spent outside of the office, then go for it.
On the other hand, if you feel like you’re ready, then why wait? If you’re satisfied with what you’ve accomplished, then there should be nothing holding you back from going after your future. Likewise, if you know what you want in your career, get started on it already. Make sure that fear isn’t what’s holding you back.
The time is now. Choose your path; roll with it and enjoy.