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Hit Pause! Take Today Off!

By Nan S. Russell

Yes, that’s right. Take today off. No job hunting. No interviews. No follow-up. No chores. No tasks. No worrying. No planning. No fretting. Today is a "Pause Day."

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Sometimes the only way we can move forward is to pause. A pause day is a day to renew ourselves, and draw an emotional line in the sand between what was and what will be. Today is that day for you.

To-Do's for Your "Pause Day"

But today, you still have five assignments:

1. Start the day with new thoughts.

Go to the bookstore or a library and select a book of inspiring, uplifting, optimistic quotations. Invest at least 20 minutes reading them to set your mind for the day. Below are a few to get you started.

  • "You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you." ~ John Bunyan
  • "The purpose of life after all, is to love it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
  • "Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again." ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

2. Be sure to play.

Think of your pause day like a well-deserved recess, refueling creativity or cleansing your mind. Think of it as renewing your energy, enhancing your well-being, or getting you refocused.

You need downtime. You need play. You need fun. You need relaxing. You need connection.

You need to get your mind off your job-hunt. So, whatever it is for you that provides that reprieve for you to reboot your determination – do it. Whether it’s a spa treatment, a basketball game, or lunch with special friends, have play-time.

3. Get lost in something.

Make time stand still. It doesn’t matter what, but besides playing today, do something that makes you lose track of time – perhaps a novel, a walk, a swim, some music.

Sometimes the best career prosperity strategy is being present in the moment with whatever totally engages you. Find that space today. You’ll be surprised what it may bring.

4. Turn it off.

Seriously. Don’t use your computer or smart phone for at least four hours straight. Turn off your laptop, disable email, text messaging, web-surfing, application playing, or twittering from your phone. And while you’re at it, turn off the TV, too.

A real pause requires you to be with you, without “stuff” to entertain or interrupt you. Be with yourself today. Breathe. Notice. Absorb what’s around you in new ways.

5. Embrace what’s good.

Good health? A great family? Wonderful friends? Enough to eat? A roof over your head? A car to drive? Sunshine? Loving pets? A welcoming community? Today is a day to focus on what you have, not what you don’t. Be grateful. Notice what is. Celebrate it.

Bottom Line

If you’re tempted to ignore your five assignments - don’t. If you’re clamoring to get back into the job hunting mode – stop yourself. If you want to ignore this and forget you read these suggestions – resist the temptation. Today is a day to embrace the other parts of your world. Today is a day to reset your journey forward. Try it!


About this author...

Job Loss Recovery Expert Nan S. Russell discovered a Stanford degree didn’t protect her from being fired from her first professional job. From minimum wage to Vice President of a multi-billion dollar company, she learned the hard way. Now she helps others with what does and doesn’t work at work. The author of three career books including, The Titleless Leader, Hitting Your Stride, and Nibble Your Way to Success, Nan is a national speaker and work issues consultant. More at NanRussell.com; and her job loss seminar: Rebooting After Job Loss.