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Returning from furlough - what next?


By Helen Slingsby – Wed 19 Aug 2020 @ 8:57


Returning to work from furlough will not mean a return to normal for any of us.  Some in sectors hardest hit by COVID 19 may well be made redundant. This will come at a time when the economy is shrinking by the highest level in 100 years so finding work will be a challenge.

But as someone who has lived through four recessions of varying magnitudes, and coached through two, things will and do bounce back. Even the Bank of England expects the economy to be at its pre-Covid size by the end of 2021.

If you are made redundant, here are some tips:

• Be flexible and open to different opportunities as well as looking at sectors resistant to the downturn such as healthcare will be required.

• Deconstructing what you are telling and selling is key.  On your CV think of your achievements, rather than your day job, consider your transferrable skills and how they can slot into other roles.

 Don’t rely on the internet for jobs. Pick up the phone, connect via LinkedIn and let people in your network know you are available. It’s a numbers game so make numerous applications, and good quality ones too.  One size does not fit all.

• Make the most of your company’s outplacement programme, they really do help and if not on offer even a single session with a career coach will make a difference to how you market yourself and boost employment chances.

• Finally, do some volunteering to keep up confidence levels and remember things will improve. 


For those who are returning from furlough and holding onto  jobs you may be like some of my more recent clients who have discovered that this period has given you the breathing space to reflect and realise things need to change.  

• You may have been doing some pro bono work and gained huge fulfilment from a more client-facing role as a recently furloughed client of mine discovered.

• You may have recognised that ever since graduating you have jumped from job to job but not stopped to think about what sustains you at work. And you may have never really found your niche like my client who, following a career as an elite sports professional, has struggled to find his feet, but is now using furlough to think about what the future looks like, with my help.

• The time may not be right to resign from your job when you do return from furlough but continuing to reflect on who you are and what fires you up,  enlist professional coaching, continue with a side hustle to develop skills and experience, will mean when things are more certain you are ready  to jump.