A couple of years ago, many of us found ourselves in a challenging situation: we were suddenly without work. Some of us had worked at the same company for over ten years. Now what do we do? Many of us thought, “Well here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into.” (Ollie; Laurel and Hardy)

We all dutifully went to outplacement workshops, job seeker support groups, and networking meetings. The schedule was grueling. It was winter in Northeast Ohio – a bitter cold and snowy winter. And as the months dragged, I noticed that the conversations at the support groups and workshops mirrored the weather: grey, dreary, sad, and down-right depressing.

There must be more to life that “Find a Job” I thought. But what?

I brainstormed with others and came up with several options outlined in the article, “So you’ve been laid off? Here are some tips to help you thrive.” We found it helpful and enjoyable at the time. Gradually, most of us found employment. Some of us found new careers. Others found new locations and careers, and I forgot about the article…until last week.

While organizing my portfolio, I came across the hard copy version and re-read the tips article. Hmmm… I’m not unemployed yet I’d like to expand my activities beyond work. Maybe I can use some of these ideas!

So I’ll follow some of my own tips:

  • Find events related to career goals (maybe I’ll meet other writers and editors who have interesting hobbies).
  • Take a class that isn’t work-related – maybe an art or photography class.
  • Visit some of the local museums.
  • Attend inspiring and motivating lectures.
  • Enjoy a picnic supper in a local park.
  • Plan a day trip to a local historical site.

And, in general: meet people, learn a new skill, and have FUN!