The taking of a ‘gap year’, immediately after completing their secondary school education, to explore life before embarking on formal studies or starting their career, is a growing phenomenon among young people in South Africa. This research study explores the experiences of three young people who engaged in a gap year and focuses on the influence that gap year had on their individual career decision-making process. A case study design was used and the data was collected by means of semi-structured interviews, as well as lifelines and collages the participants created for the purpose. Finally, the three participants, who were consulted throughout the research process, also participated in the final analysis of the data. The outcome of this study revealed that the chief value of the gap year might be found in the personal growth it facilitated and the benefit of extra time that the young people have at their disposal before finalising their career decision-making process.