Year Introduction | Gap Year Organisations
Work Abroad | Voluntary Work
Year UK Jobs:
will need money to pay for your travels because even if you are
getting paid work abroad, you will still need money to get to
the job and to cover emergencies, not to mention a little something to keep you in chips when you get back.
Your non-work options are:
Gifts - if you're lucky some affluent family member may fund all
or some of your expenses.
or Overdraft - a loan from relatives is always worth a try, but
most realise that it probably won't get paid back.
You could try a bank, they'll be falling over themselves to lend
you an interest free pittance while you're at university, but
you should only borrow a small amount during the Gap year as you
don't want to start your course already in debt.
Make sure you let the bank know of your acceptance to a full time
course (they'll want proof in writing) otherwise they'll treat
you as unemployed and you'll have no chance of getting a loan
Sponsorship - if it's for something
worthwhile (e.g. saving small furry animals, children or rain
forests) you may get sponsorship from a philanthropic business
or local charities such as (in the UK) the Round Table, Rotary or Lions Club.
If you can get yourself any kind of media exposure locally or
nationally for your trip then potential business sponsors may
become more generous.
Local people who live near you may sponsor you a little each if
they like the cause - you'll need to knock on a lot of doors though. Successfully sponsored gappers say the best system is to fire up a range of money-making activities, and let the funds build.
Work - there are plenty of low paid temporary jobs around throughout
the UK, particularly during the school summer holidays, so write
up a basic but professional-looking CV (Curriculum Vitae/resumé/history
of qualifications and work experience so far) and go looking.
Local Newspapers - usually have a job vacancies section once a
week, so get the paper as soon as it hits the shops and apply
Agencies - get your CV out to your job agencies with the kind
of work you are looking for - some specialise in temporary work.
It's likely you'll be interviewed before they accept you.
Technology New Media Design,
Systems Support and Programming
- high pay for programmers and network support, particularly in
London and other big cities.
- respected as a skilled member of staff.
- offices from okay to stylish.
- may not have to do the shirt and tie bit.
- might even be able to work from home.
- can be very high pressure work.
- demands considerable skills.
language (i.e. ASP, Pearl, Java, C+); systems knowledge (i.e.
Microsoft NT, Oracle, UNIX).
it would be unrealistic for you to acquire these skills in a short
space of time and courses are expensive, so you really need to
have been heading towards a career in IT at school, or at least
to have designed some websites. Computer geeks are quids in.
- you talk to lots of people in person or on the phone
- commission is reasonable if you are good enough.
- immense pressure to sell so it ceases to be fun when the sales
- people can be unbearably rude, and telesales are the worst.
Required: gift of the gab; to look smart if a direct Sales
representative (beards, mustaches, long hair, tattoos, piercings
not usually welcomed); excellent telephone manner if doing telesales;
persistence and self confidence in your ability to close the deal;
not taking no for an answer.
Training: on the job or experience
for the better jobs, some of which have high potential earnings.
- plenty of social activity.
- there're lots of jobs available during the summer after you've
finished your exams, especially in touristy places.
- unsociable hours as evenings and weekends are usually busiest.
- your local could be about as exciting as watching beer ferment.
- there may be a lot of tobacco smoke around.
- having to deal with drunken louts.
Required: basic numeracy, basic knowledge of drinks (good cocktail
bars will want you clued up beforehand or to learn in a couple
Training: on the job or need experience.
- readily available through specialist temping agencies.
- usually sociable 9-5 type hours with lunch.
- generally clean, smart offices.
- looks good on a CV for future white collar work.
- some tasks can be just as repetitive and dull as washing dishes.
- just like school you will probably need to wear a tie.
Required: computer literacy, especially with PC's running Microsoft
Office type software; touch typing an advantage and necessary
for the higher wages which often entail high speed database entry
or secretarial type duties; a good telephone manner.
needed for the better pay:
Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations in IT are nationally recognised
Skills Levels 1 to 4 - aimed at 16 to 19 year olds which you may
already have from school.
(Computer Literacy and Information Technology) - a very popular
and useful certificate, now joined by New CLAIT, CLAIT Plus and
CLAIT Advanced, aimed at the web generation and incorporating
MOUS (Microsoft Office User Specialist) units for abilities in
the Microsoft Office Suite of applications; Word, Excel, Access,
PowerPoint and Outlook.
mind crushingly boring database entry work or secretarial efficiency
you will need touch typing skills at 40wpm or above; impossible
with two finger tapping unless you're an android.
Pitman Five Minute typing test can be taken anywhere to confirm
your motor skills, or an agency may interview and test you themselves.
local colleges throughout the UK do daytime and evening courses
towards the qualifications and typing skills mentioned above.
You may have to do a quickie before looking for work.
There are programs for your computer which will teach touch typing
in your own home.
- easily available.
- good opportunities for well-paid Sundays and night shifts.
- some deeply unpleasant uniforms about.
- shelf stacking can be dull and backbreaking while checkouts
are just dull.
Required: good customer service, basic numeracy, short legs and
long arms for shelf stacking.
Training: on the job.
- entertainment facilities, sporting events and festivals have
- you may see some good shows and even celebrities.
- you are not the entertainer you are the dogsbody.
- you may have to deal with thieves, drunks, blaggers and flying
Required: smart, smiley politeness for theaters; good litter picking
action and aerial beer dodging for festivals.
Training: on the job.
- like bar work, jobs are more plentiful in the holiday season
- the tips can make a huge difference in the right places (posh
restaurants where you are responsible for your own tables).
- you may get fed very well before/after work
- things are always hectic some of the time.
- chefs are often rude and impatient, and so are the customers.
Required: smart appearance, basic numeracy, politeness; good restaurants
will want you with previous experience.
Training: on the job.
- no trouble finding work, though it is easy to be over qualified
for this one.
- you'll probably get well fed.
- unrewarding and insanely boring.
- greasy and sweaty.
- makes you feel like crap and often treated like it too.
- unsociable hours, usually evenings and weekends.
Required: tolerance of boredom and kitchen Napoleons.
Training: unnecessary, you could be dead and still do this job.
- most often - these days - fruit and vegetable picking, so out
in the fresh air.
- will probably increase your daily fruit intake.
- can be good for your biceps.
- dodgy climate, though at least rarely far too hot!
- can be back breaking and knee destroying groveling around in
Required: recognition of basic shapes and colours, balancing on
Training: nursery learnt skills and fruit eating experience will
usually have you well prepared, as will the gym for more manual
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