The BIG decisions. Like should I take a gap year?

November 29, 2018

Should I take a gap year between Year 12 and Uni?  Harvest Careers Specialist, Tanya Derrett-Houghton helps you make this BIG decision. 

We hear a lot about the merits of students taking a “gap” year between school and academic study, but is a gap year for you?

Tanya Derrett-Houghton Careers Specialist Geelong

Tanya Derrett-Houghton Careers Specialist Geelong

Making a decision that impacts on what may be a large chunk of your life can be a challenge. When I struggle with making decisions and committing to a course of action it’s often because there are many options and I want them all!

Other times, circumstance may mean that a change is happening whether you want it to or not and you have to make your mind up what that change will look like.

Perhaps you have been weighing up deferring from study to take a gap year do a bit of travelling or thinking you might just need a brain break so you’d like to get a job? Perhaps you can’t decide what or possibly where to study? Or, maybe you just don’t know which shoes to wear for the Christmas function on the boat. I mean, it’s a party, but it’s also a boat………are boat shoes a real thing?

A coin toss can get a little tricky if there are more than two options. Really decisions this important shouldn’t be made at the whim of the fates. At the same time, overthinking can have you chasing your tail. Fortunately, there are simple tools that provide us with a structure for a more considered approach to major decisions with multiple options.

Using a decision grid is one I have found that gives a bit of structure to values and ideas. No one tool is going to decide for you but breaking down and examining the important elements of the decision can be a great way to gain some clarity.

Set your grid up by listing the options you are considering down the page. These will be your rows and then the elements which are important to the decision across the page to form your columns; see example below.

Next, weight each element against each option out of 10, with 1 being least important for the option and 10 being most important.

The option with the highest number is the winner, or if it’s not you’ll have a better understanding of what is important, and chances are you’ll be in a position to at least rule out the ones that don’t meet your criteria.

Should I take a gap year? The decision grid.

 

Factors influencing the decision which are important to me This would make me happiest at the moment This is a time commitment I can deal with This is financially viable I feel confident doing this My friends will be doing this too My family will be supportive  
weighting weighting weighting weighting weighting weighting total
Take a gap year and travel 10 8 6 6 8 6 46
Take a gap year and work $$ 7 7 9 8 8 4 43
Work for 6 months to save and travel for 6 months 8 8 9 7 8 7 47
Go to UNI 7 7 7 7 8 7 43
Go to TAFE 7 8 8 8 7 6 44
Get a full-time ongoing Job 4 6 10 5 5 5 35
Sit in my room at home playing Fortnite and watching Netflix 24/7 6 6 0 8 3 0 Ha ha ha  as if this was ever an option

Love Mum x

 

Good luck completing your BIG decision grid.

Still unsure about Gap Year ?  Let’s chat.

Call Harvest HQ on 1300 363 128 to chat about your future career options.

We can deliver a range of careers and transition solutions aimed at helping you plan for the future.