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Should You Take a Year Off After Graduation?

Should You Take a Year Off After Graduation?

Peter Vogt/Monster Contributing Writer

You’d like to take a few months or even a year after college to do something off the beaten career path, but you’re worried about the effect on your job prospects after your self-imposed sabbatical is over. Take heart: Such a break can often be empowering and beneficial to your career.

“If an employer thinks you wasted a year by biking in Eastern Europe or tutoring children at a homeless shelter, then why would you want to work for that employer?” says Jerry Houser, director of the Career Development Center at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California.

Besides, says Colleen Kinder, author of Delaying the Real World: A Twentysomething’s Guide to Seeking Adventure, potential employers will just as likely respect your decision as question it.

“I gathered the stories and tips of over a hundred young adventurers for Delaying the Real World,” says Kinder, a 2003 Yale graduate who after graduation lived in Cuba, traveled throughout Latin America and volunteered with the elderly. “So many of them stressed how much their unconventional experiences have benefited their careers.”

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