Time Off: How To Put It To Best Use

Keep in mind that many of us have not had soft landings – we are still out there looking for work, sending out resumes, interviewing etc.  Having your job – no, your entire firm – eliminated is much like having a bed sheet pulled taut: all of a sudden you are thrown up in the air and wonder how and where you’ll land.

I am fortunate in that I’ve managed to sock away some savings and I can be added to my partner’s health care benefits at American Express.  Many of us are in similar situations where we are taking some time off to evaluate our situation and consider all our options.  If this sounds like you but you have trouble getting started or adding some structure to your time off, consider these options:

Volunteer

Right now many non-profit groups, especially community-based organizations are looking for people to help out.  Consider volunteering your skills and services with an agency that might help you find work such as a neighborhood chamber of commerce or your city’s visitors and convention bureau.  You’ll most likely work in an office atmosphere and be able to network with a variety of people and companies.

Part-Time Work

Also consider seeking out the companies that manage major conventions in your city.  Very often for large conventions such as MacWorld they need extra hands on a part-time basis.  Seek out conventions that are in your line of work or interest.  Besides picking up some needed cash, you’ll have the credentials so that you can attend the convention on your off time and visit the vendor booths.  One tip: change into your business attire before heading out on the convention floor on your own time – it will make a better impression and show you are serious about networking.

Brush Up Those Life Skills

Have you ever wanted to learn how to type? Cook? Drive a stick shift?  In a post earlier this summer entitled 50 Things Everyone Should Know How To Do, you’ll find a huge collection of links on how to wisely spend your time off learning the things you always wanted to.  Such as:

Build a Fire
Operate a Computer
Use Google Effectively
Perform CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver
Drive a Manual Transmission Vehicle
Do Basic Cooking
Tell a Story that Captivates People’s Attention
Win or Avoid a Fistfight
Deliver Bad News
Change a Tire
Handle a Job Interview
Manage Time
Speed Read
Remember Names
Relocate Living Spaces
Travel Light
Handle the Police
Give Driving Directions
Perform Basic First Aid
Swim
Parallel Park
Recognize Personal Alcohol Limits
Select Good Produce
Handle a Hammer, Axe or Handsaw
Make a Simple Budget
Speak at Least Two Common Languages
Do Push-Ups and Sit-Ups Properly
Give a Compliment
Negotiate
Listen Carefully to Others
Recite Basic Geography
Paint a Room
Make a Short, Informative Public Speech
Smile for the Camera
Flirt Without Looking Ridiculous
Take Useful Notes
Be a Respectful House Guest
Make a Good First Impression
Navigate with a Map and Compass
Sew a Button onto Clothing
Hook Up a Basic Home Theater System
Type
Protect Personal Identity Information
Implement Basic Computer Security Best Practices
Detect a Lie
End a Date Politely Without Making Promises
Remove a Stain
Keep a Clean House
Hold a Baby
Jump Start a Car

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5 Responses to “Time Off: How To Put It To Best Use”


  1. 1 Hellboy 20 November 2008 at 8:49 pm

    You forgot:

    Pick lint from navel.

    Stare at wall.

    Join that pot club you used to pass while going to work.

  2. 2 Why 21 November 2008 at 1:26 pm

    What happened to the sidebar section that showed the most recent comments?

  3. 3 Thomas MacEntee 21 November 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Sorry about that – nice to know people follow the sidebar. I have added the Recent Comments back in. Thanks for the heads up!

  4. 5 Living in Hell-er 21 November 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Great job, HD – you are and have been much appreciated!

    I hope you do not mind me adding one comment that is not really related to this particular post. Maybe this has already been mentioned, but in case it hasn’t, it would be a good idea to make sure Heller has all employees’ most current home addresses for when the 2008 W-2’s come out. When tax time comes, we might not know who/where to contact in case we need a copy!

    Thank you and have a great weekend and Thanksgiving Holiday~


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