Education is one of our most prised experiences. From a young age we begin to learn, gathering information from the world around us. We are taught by our parents, by our life, and by our peers. Most importantly, we are taught by teachers. We often forget (especially as children) that our teachers are humans, still growing and learning themselves. Occasionally, our teachers are taken away from their work for unavoidable circumstance. For those who have experienced substitute teaching, it is common knowledge that the quality of the fill-in teacher can be varied depending on the availability of skilled educators in the area. This is especially a challenge for international schools, whose focus is the education of children from expatriate families and those wanting to gain broader, more widely accepted qualifications.
The weight of this challenge is what inspired qualified educators to institutions all over the world. Because of the unique challenges facing international schools, many recruitment agencies individually screen each application, selecting candidates with at least two years of classroom experience who are flexible, adaptable, and ready to travel immediately. The staff has worked in over fifteen countries, responding to emergency requests since 1999. Teachers through the agency are typically available for periods of six weeks to twelve months, are able to teach kindergarten through twelfth year, and have experience in British, American, and International curricula. Continue reading
If you’ve always wanted to explore Australia, then you can get a working holiday visa. This lasts for 12 months, and you can extend it for a further 12 month if you’ve completed 3 months of agriculture work. This usually means fruit picking and farm hand jobs, but of course you don’t have to undertake this type of work if you’re only looking to stay down under for one year.
It can be a bit of a wake up call when you go from your 9-5 admin role in the UK to a fruit-picking job in Australia, but it’s all part of the experience. You can apply for sponsorships too, but competition for these roles are fierce. A working holiday visa is certainly more about holidaying than working, and if you’re looking to develop your career, this may not be the right type of visa for you.
As a rule of thumb, use this route if you want to earn some money to fund your holiday travels, but don’t use it if you’re looking to further your career.
No matter what some teachers say, not many students know exactly what they want to do when they leave school. Some students go into ‘panic mode’ and choose a college course or degree in a subject they ‘think’ they want to work in, and this can result in a lack of opportunities when they complete the course.
There has been a lot made of courses like ‘Media Studies, History and Travel and Tourism to name a few, and competition can be fierce when you complete your studies, meaning you may have to go back to drawing board. Many students finish courses, online to find they have to go back into their former retail roles, such as ‘sales assistant’ or ‘telemarketer’, and the longer you’re stuck in a ‘dead end’ job, the more damaging it can be to your career.
If you know you want to go to university, but don’t know what you want to specialise in, then you should be patient. It’s better to enroll on a course a year later, than it is to rush in and waste money on a degree that isn’t right for you.
Many businesses are on the lookout for graduates, and naturally the salaries for these positions will be low compared to senior roles. This is something you have to accept early on, as you will not have experience required to come in at a mid-level or senior salary. During university, you may well be told by your lecturers that opportunities in your field are scarce, and this is usually motivational talk, because if you do come out with a good grade, there will be opportunities.
Most of the time, you’ll be speaking to recruitment agencies, and you do have to be careful with some of these agencies. They’re interested in filling positions fast, and they may not be taking your best interests into account. It’s best to make sure you stand firm and only accept a position you’re comfortable with, one that’s not too different from the industry you’re looking to break into.
Recruitment agencies are there to make money, and while some consultants will take the time to understand your needs, a lot of them won’t so only apply for roles that you’re entirely comfortable with.
Volunteering can often be an ideal starting point to a successful career, and it doesn’t usually matter what industry you’re looking to break into, you may have to do some work experience to gain that ‘essential’ initial experience.
Most job positions, including graduate roles, require a certain amount of experience, and you can get that from volunteering in your industry. Whether you’re looking to break into finance, journalism, teaching, marketing or midwifery, you can show you’re eager to ‘get your foot in the door’ if you have experience and qualifications on your CV.
Not many students can step out of school or university and break into a particular industry without any experience whatsoever, so show your passionate by volunteering and getting hands on experience that will stay with you forever.
The decision to take a gap year is a bold one, so you may want to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages before you come to a decision. One of the biggest concerns is whether or not a gap year can have a negative effect on your CV, but that depends on what you do with your time while you’re away.
If you learn a new language, volunteer, teach English or develop your photography portfolio, you may be adding skills and experience, but if you don’t actively take part in anything while you’re away, potential employers may well be put-off when they see a big gap on your CV.
Every individual is different, and so too are their experiences on their gap year, so whatever you do, make sure you return home without any regrets. If you’re seriously contemplating a gap year, remember the option is always there to raise your cultural awareness, hone your existing skills and become more independent, so you could actually boost your job prospects when you return.