I finished my degree this year and I am now working to save money to go travelling. People keep telling me that I should do something constructive during my year out. Will employers think I am lazy if I just travel around? Will my CV really look that much better if I do some volunteer work?
Most employers will consider it a positive step that you have got the travelling bug out of your system before settling down and building your career.
I am of the opinion that you should incorporate activities that will set you apart from the group that will be seeking those elusive positions. Something interesting on your CV will set you apart and provide a point of interest and possible discussion at the interview. The more unusual and thought-provoking, the better.
Everyone can go grape-picking or work in a dog’s home, but not everyone has the get-up-and-go to undertake a personal challenge that proves motivation, organisational abilities and execution. I have seen some great examples on CVs. One that sticks in my mind was a graduate who was so moved by the plight of orphanages in a country they visited that they spent six months raising funds to hire trucks to transport clothing and food, and changed lives as a result.
However, if you are very career-focused and know the particular field of Architecture you would eventually like to specialise in, pick up the phone to the Architecture Practices in the countries you plan to visit and sweet-talk them into giving you some work experience. Be cheeky – it pays.