Working holiday vias are a great way to see the world, get experience for your CV and earn some money to fund your travels. But how to make the most of them? Here are all the do's and don'ts of a working gap year, in three easy steps...
Don’t... be inflexible Just because you are working, doesn’t mean you have to settle down. Picking short term jobs and being relaxed about where you work and what kind of work you do will make your experience more rewarding – not only will it be more spontaneous, but you’ll get to try things you never usually would!
Do... have a plan Being flexible doesn’t mean being unprepared. Before you set of, try to get an idea of the kind of work that is commonly available and remember to chose flight dates that don’t clash with university holidays, so you won't have to compete for temporary work with thousands of students. It's also really important to work on your CV before you leave home because doing it in the country as and when you apply for jobs will mean hours spent wasted in internet cafes.
Don’t... assume you can only be a waitress Don't think that every traveller has to work in a bar of cafe. The more skilled the work, whether you’re working in an office or in construction, the better paid it is – and if you temp you can still enjoy short-term contracts. So don’t ignore any unique skills you may have because you want to move around lots. Check out our five golden rules for getting a job abroad.
Do... research your visa Working Visa’s for travellers are often specifically for funding travel and not for career opportunities. Whilst it may be possible to rack up a good list of work experience in New Zealand, in America the conditions of a visa are much stricter and you shouldn’t expect to be doing the same kind of work. It’s also essential to consider what you want from this experience – if you settle in one place for the majority of your visa, there might be lots of things you miss out on. Casual work and temping agencies offer you much greater freedom to move from place to place, whilst still adding great experience to your CV.
Don’t... spend, spend, spend While you’re earning it will be very tempting to live like you would at home – going out, eating good food, and shopping till you drop. Just remember that the more money you save, the more you will have to spend on the really important things – like snorkelling off the Great Barrier Reef, or swimming with dolphins! So put down that pint, and ignore that new dress, because the rewards will be worth it.
Do... get involved One of the best things about working in a country is the opportunity to really get to know the locals and become involved in the culture. Working will expose you to the great big world, and get you to socialise with people who don’t live in hostels. Don’t let that experience pass you buy – get to know the people you work with, and spend time socialising. And if you don’t fancy living in a hostel, you could even see if any local students are looking for a temporary flat mate...
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