Things you can do during your lay-off

Today many professionals have ample time on their hands as a result of lay-offs and forced holidays.

Many professionals saw their career graph also taking a downward turn as the markets came crashing down. Most people are today worried about their future, while those who have faced the brunt of lay offs are struggling to find their place in the market all over again, those who escaped the axe are dreading the pink slip.

While there is no denying the fact that the situation is grave and demands attention, there is no point tormenting your self all the time. So why not change your perspective and look at things in a positive light? Perhaps it’s time to give your life a positive turn.

Update yourself: This is the best time to hone your skills further. For example, let us consider the case of RB, who had enrolled for a Diploma in Training and Development conducted by Ministry of HRD a year back. Due to tremendous workload, RB was unable to balance work and academics. The recession has taken a toll on her work. But the brighter side is that now she has the time to study. Initially she was dejected; but the thought of completing things had put on hibernation. She is appearing for the exams this year. The cherry on the pie is that she will get the qualification. She is also exploring new avenues like developing content for training programs so that when the markets pick up she can be ready.

Pursuing a hobby is always an enriching activity. Creative satisfaction gives you positive energy which in turn activates your feel good hormones. So why not pursue a hobby?

Art is my big time stress buster states an International Sales Manager who has taken up painting. He always wanted to paint, but due to hectic working hours could not pursue it. Now he is a student of a well known artist and really enjoying it. He is at peace with him self and this also helped him cope up with the work related stress.

For TA, who used to work with one of the popular organizations in the country, writing was always his passion. But he never had the time in a 12 hour job, which included four hours of traveling. His job as GM – Training became a victim of recession. During the notice period, he had time to reinvent himself. He says he is utilizing this time constructively for writing a book on training. The project has taken off and he is in talks with publishers. He has even created a blog that has got readers from more than 35 countries. He feels strongly this is a time for pursuing his dreams.

Social service:

It is perhaps time to do whatever little you can to help society. Join a NGO and make a difference in others lives. Volunteer for a cause that is close to your heart. Try and teach underprivileged children or be a caregiver to needy patients. You can bring a smile on many faces.

If you have a knack of teaching, you can start teaching. It will not only keep you busy, but also help you gain expertise over the topic and boost your confidence.

Entrepreneurship and innovation increase during tough times. Although companies lay off full time employees to cut costs, they rope in independent contractors. Don’t let fear hold you back. As it is said, there is an opportunity in very problems.

This is the best time to get back in shape as the time factor is no longer an excuse. If you cannot afford to take a gym membership, start cycling, go for walks, jog or run on the beach. Meet your friends for a game of football. Remember staying fit will pay you back in dividends that go far beyond monetary gain.

When you work for endless hours, it becomes difficult to find time for your family. Now is your time to be with your family. Strengthen your bonds. Spend quality time with your spouse and children. You could also catch up with relatives or friends with whom you haven’t connected for a long time.

It is important to be optimistic and be in the company of positive people. Do not moan over your problems; it will leave you depressed. Keep looking out for a job, socialize and network. Meditation helps keep the mind calm.

Remember this phase is not going to last forever; soon the scenario will change. Always keep your head up and stay focused on the brighter future. Look at the silver lining.