Taking time-out

Taking Time Out

So what do we mean by time out? - well, we mean the period immediately after graduation - anything from three months to a year or more.

Why take time out?

Here are just a few reasons:

  • Travel - some people travel to gain wider cultural experience, others travel to gain work experience in countries that have work/travel schemes.
  • Work experience - it is extremely valuable to gain relevant work experience in a number of careers, for example; social work, journalism and physiotherapy, before pursuing professional training.
  • Voluntary work - you may need to work voluntarily in order to gain relevant work experience or, you may simply wish to participate in something that helps others.
  • Teaching English as a foreign language - demand for teachers is significant and is often met by recent graduates teaching English as part of their time out. Destinations may be as far away as the Far East or closer to home in Europe.
  • Personal reasons such as disability or caring responsibilities - if you have to delay getting a job, consider other ways to add to your skills and knowledge such as online study or using our website resources to plan for when you're ready to find work.

Having time out is not particularly unusual, however, an employer will want you to be able to talk about your skills and experiences and do so in a positive and analytical manner. Be ready to answer questions such as:

  • what were your reasons for taking time out?
  • how did you plan the time available?
  • what did you get out of the experience?
  • would you say you have a stronger application for having taken time away?

To make the most of your experience, make sure it is well planned, your finance is secure, you are clear about what you hope to get out of it and you have thought about what you will do afterwards.

Be aware that if you graduated in a technical or scientific subject, employers may have a concern that your degree has got a little out of date during your period of time out, so try and continue to read around your subject.

Use the Careers Service while you can

You can still make use of the Careers Service up to three years after you graduate. However, it's easier to research your career options while you are still at university, so try to use us before you leave.

Book an appointment via Career Connect within Muse if you want to talk over your options before you graduate.

If you are a recent graduate (within 3 years of graduation), you can email an enquiry to us via Career Connect but you will have to register on the system first.