Laid Off? Consider Taking Some TIME Off.

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Laid Off? Consider Taking Some TIME Off.

Most people understand that taking a little time off now and then is good for you. But what if you’ve just been laid off or terminated? Surely your priority at that point should be finding another position, right? Well actually, experts point out that it may take a little time to recover from the shock of losing your job. 

Obviously, it will depend on your financial situation … and it’s not a great idea to stay out of work forever. But if you can afford it, a lay-off can be a great opportunity to look into things you lacked the time for when you were working 40 hours a week. Rather than throwing a pity party for yourself–tempting as that may be–or immediately diving into a frenzied job-search, consider making the most of your suddenly free schedule.

No one is suggesting irresponsibility here: if you only have $300 in the bank, this is not the time to book the three-week cruise you always wanted to take. But being responsible and being a touch impractical are not mutually exclusive. For example, this could prove to be an ideal chance to delve into some of your passions.

Have you always wanted to write a book, but found yourself coming home every evening after work too exhausted to focus on it? Well, now you don’t have that excuse: fire up your laptop and give it a go. Maybe start a book on how to deal with getting fired–people could certainly relate. Who knows? Maybe you’ll come up with a best-seller and start a whole new career.

Ever wanted to try yoga or train for a triathlon? Keeping your body healthy will help keep your mood up and your focus sharp. Have books on the shelf you promised yourself you would read “when you have time”? Guess what? Now you do. This can be particularly helpful if you’re learning new information that can help with your career … or learning about potential NEW careers you might enjoy.

In fact, if you’ve ever thought of a change in career paths, there’s no time like now to start investigating your options. Step back and re-assess your career, your position, and your industry. Make a list of pros and cons, and decide for yourself if this is truly where you want to be. Maybe you enjoy your field, but think you’d be happier in a different capacity. Or maybe it’s time to change industries completely. In either situation, find out all you can. Check into courses offered locally (or online) that might help you further your credentials or open the door to a new career track.

Finally, if you’ve ever toyed with the idea of starting your own business, you won’t have a better opportunity. Maybe you’re the entrepreneur-type, or perhaps you like the idea of being a freelancer. Try it now. You really have nothing to lose taking the chance: if it works for you, you’ll be happier in the long run. And even if you decide it’s not for you, you’ll still gain valuable knowledge and experience … not to mention hopefully picking up a few bucks to help while you find another position.

So before you launch yourself straight back into a job-hunt, consider making the most of your time now. Remember, making a living is important … but not nearly as important as making a life.