4 Ways to Build Leadership Skills During a Gap Year

By Delan Cooper

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

There are several things that you can be engaged in while in your gap year to build your leadership skills, from teaching English abroad to volunteering. The skills and experiences you gain while in your gap year can assist you in becoming independent and mature.

For those who haven’t heard about the gap year phenomenon, it simply means a year-long break that teens take after they graduate from high school before they join college or university. The practice is common in the U.K., and now it is becoming common in the U.S. as well.

Taking some time away from school is an excellent way for you to gain real-life experience, explore your career options, and mature before you join college.

Each person’s gap year varies significantly. But if you are considering taking one, there are several things you can do to build your leadership skills during that time.

Here are some things you may consider doing:

1. Work

Looking for a job to do while in your gap year can be great for you in two ways. First, the work experience you gain will assist you in developing your C.V. And this will help you in the future when applying for jobs after completing your college studies. This is particularly helpful if you find work that is in line with what you intend to study as your career in college.

Secondly, working can assist you in saving money before attending college. It is evident that college is expensive because of high tuition costs and other expenses like housing, textbooks, and food. So the money you earn while working during your gap year can go a long way in sorting most, if not all, of these costs.

2. Volunteer

While in your gap year, you may decide to take part in volunteer programs such as teaching abroad, joining international volunteer programs, or even volunteering to work in your local youth programs.

Whatever you decide, volunteering can help you gain significant work experience. And you can take up certain leadership roles where you can learn and acquire essential leadership qualities. Volunteering can be useful and will help you feel engaged in society by helping people or causes you are passionate about.

Traveling can help you develop time management skills, which is important for leadership. For instance, you will learn how to make a to-do list during your travel period, and learn how to strictly keep time. Additionally, traveling can help you acquire organization and planning leadership skills, and adaptability skills because things do not always go as planned.

3. Travel

You can also travel the world while in your gap year, especially abroad you can because it can be a transformational experience for you. You will be able to open up to new ideas and view things differently. And this will assist you in gaining independence while you try to cope with the new environment. You will meet new and interesting individuals, experience new cultures, and maybe even learn a new language.

Finally, through interacting with others, you will be with different people of different cultures. This can help you develop social skills, including team leadership, conflict resolution, and interpersonal communication skills.

4. Spend Time with Family

Your gap year period can be the most significant time to stay with your family before going to college. While spending time with family members during your gap year, you will be able to develop listening skills. When interacting with your family members, you should pay attention to what they have to say.

Additionally, you will learn and develop problem-solving skills. Finally, spending time with your loved ones can help you deepen family bonds and relationships. For instance, you can even consider volunteering in a family member’s business.

Final Thoughts

Whatever you decide to do during your gap year, you should ensure it’s exciting for you. Make sure you utilize your gap year productively by taking part in things that can add value to your life and future career, like volunteering, working, or traveling.

All in all, the main thing is that you must ensure your gap year makes a difference in your life by developing leadership qualities and skills.

How Can You Develop Leadership Skills During a Gap Year?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Delan Cooper
Delan Cooper
Delan Cooper is a writer with years of experience in marketing communication. He enjoys meeting new people and reading more books to get inspired for his own book. Connect with him on Twitter.
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