With the recession in full swing, many companies are forcing their employees to take unpaid time off. Don't let this unpaid spell weigh you down. Get moving and make the most of your break with these activities:
The holiday season is a great time to volunteer your time towards a charitable organization. Work at a soup kitchen, collect winter clothes for shelters, or raise money for a children's hospital; it's all up to you. Not only will you be working, but you'll be helping individuals in need during the holiday season. Volunteering could unlock a new interest, help you meet new friends, and bring you closer to your community. Research charitable organizations you are interested in online and get involved locally.
Discover a New Hobby
Ever wanted to learn how to cook, sew, or play an instrument? A holiday break may be the best time to pick up a new skill. Start off by doing research at the library or online about the hobby you are interested in. Ease yourself into it to prevent getting frustrating and quitting early on. From there, you can see if you truly enjoy it after devoting your time and effort to the hobby. Just be sure to be patient and work at it to get good.
Search for a New Home
The recession has turned the real estate climate into a buyer's market. Research the costs behind moving, look for home equity loans you are eligible for, and compare moving quotes online. Even if you can't move now, it's good to have an idea of what the moving climate is like now to be prepared for a future move.
Spend Time with Friends, Family
Now is the best time to catch up with old friends and family members. Sift through your contacts and call or email loved ones you haven't spoken to for awhile. If you're feeling especially crafty, handwrite short letters or postcards to friends. It's a very personal way of reaching out and will definitely make for a pleasant surprise in their mailboxes.
Create a Timeline for Your Job
Just because you're on break doesn't mean you shouldn't think about your job at all. Start creating a list of accomplishments you would like to make for every month in the New Year. Make each goal realistic and ultimately attainable. Also, create a list of long-term goals to refer back to whenever you feel you've hit a rut at your job. It can help you get a leg up on your coworkers and show your genuine enthusiasm for your company.